If you have been injured in a car or truck wreck in North Texas, you may think you know how the insurance claims process works. But you might be operating under assumptions that are not accurate. Berenson Injury Law tries to keep the public informed about important car and truck crash topics. We have seen that too much wrong information is spread about how personal injury law works. We want to help debunk widely believed myths about car accident claims so injured people can make the best decision on how they should proceed.
Here are the TOP 10 MYTHS ABOUT CAR ACCIDENT CLAIMS
Myth #1 – The insurance company is going to be fair
This belief is out of a fairy tale book. Insurance companies are in business to make large profits. The best way is for them to do this is to question and fight every claim.
How do they do this? We at Berenson Injury Law have heard every excuse in the book: “We are not paying you very much money (if any) because your client
(1) Caused the crash/was partially at fault,
(2) Was not very injured/waited too long to see a doctor/was injured in the past, or
(3) we found something we don’t like in their medical records, bills, or lost wages.
You need experienced legal counsel who can fight back and guide you through what can be an exasperating process.
Myth #2 – You can wait as long as you want to file a claim or lawsuit
Texas law has strict deadlines. The statute of limitations is usually two years from the date of the wreck. You have to file a lawsuit by then or lose your right to recover your damages.
But as with everything in the law, there are exceptions to the rule. And earlier deadlines can apply and pre-suit notices required.
The longer you wait to file a claim or suit, the weaker your position becomes. Key witnesses and evidence disappear. The other adjuster and attorney will not take you seriously.
Myth #3 – Holding out will increase the insurance company’s offer.
You cannot starve out an insurance company that is worth billions of dollars. Instead, the adjuster can close their claim file, assuming you have dropped your case. And they will not have reserved sufficient funds to pay you if they reopen it.
And if you don’t get a fair offer of settlement – and you probably won’t on your own – the line at the courthouse has grown longer as you delayed.
Myth #4 – If you are not hurt very badly, you don’t need a lawyer
We all hope the pain will just go away. But you can’t diagnose yourself. You may be more injured than you realize. This is one of the typical myths about car accident claims: “I’m not THAT hurt.”
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You may need further medical procedures or even a surgery. In the meantime, you will have to pay for doctors and medications. You might lose pay from your job.
Some injuries take weeks, or even longer, before you know how seriously injured you are. Minor injuries hurt too. You should not have to be in any pain or pay for expensive hospital and doctor visits yourself.
The attorney will advise you. He will make sure you get the medical treatment you need, obtain all necessary records and evidence, and negotiate with the insurance claims adjuster. If he cannot get you a favorable offer, he can file a lawsuit for you.
Myth #5 – Your expenses are guaranteed to be paid back
This is one of the top myths about personal injury claims. The process can be very involved. No one is going to call you up and offer you a settlement unless it is a low ball one, often $500.
The insurance company will make you or your car accident lawyer work to obtain a good recovery of money. There are countless forms and letters to file, pages of medical records and bills to obtain, health insurance payment information that must be revealed, and other projects that can make or break the value of the claim.
If you file a lawsuit, it is not guaranteed that you will win your case or that a certain amount of money will be awarded by the jury. Again, a lot of work will go into achieving a favorable result.
Myth #6 – A case will drag out if you hire an attorney
A personal injury lawyer will know how to obtain and submit all required evidence quickly. They will be able to negotiate or file a lawsuit faster than you would be able to do on your own.
While it is true that getting to trial can take up to two years, most cases settle out of court much sooner than that. Only 1% will reach a jury.
Myth #7 – The other driver will have to pay your settlement
His or her insurance company will pay you. The total can be up $30,000 or more per person, depending on the facts of the case.
You may not want to feel like you want to bankrupt the other driver. Don’t worry. That’s why they have liability coverage.
Sometimes there will be additional coverage on your own auto policy or other sources that will pay you more.
Myth #8 – You will be accused of filing a frivolous lawsuit
Your lawsuit will be a legitimate effort to recover your damages for medical bills, lost wages, and other allowable claims. Any one would file a lawsuit if they needed to.
No one will think worse of you for doing so.
Myth #9 – The police officer said you were at fault so you don’t have a case
While the police assign liability or blame to one of the drivers, that determination can be challenged. The ultimate decision is up to the judge and jury as to which driver caused the car or truck collision.
A personal injury attorney will investigate all of the facts, try to speak to the investigating officer and obtain his photographs and notes, get recorded statements from eyewitnesses, take the officer’s deposition prior to trial, and show the court that he or she did not witness the collision and may be wrong in their assumptions as to who caused it.
But true, it is better if the officer sided with you on the report.
Myth #10 – It is not worth it to hire an injury attorney
They can be a great deal. Here’s why.
For starters, he can get you a lot more money. A study showed that the recovery when someone hired a lawyer was over three times the amount than he or she could get on their own.
Further, the personal injury lawyer makes the payment of fees fair.
You have these advantages that no other profession provides:
- A free consultation to answer your questions and explain the process.
- A cap on the fee. The lawyer only gets paid when you do under what is called the contingency fee plan. This means the attorney gets paid a percent of the insurance company’s settlement offer or jury verdict. They will not bill you for each hour of time or every job accomplished the way other lawyers do ( e.g. divorce or business lawyers).
- The more money the personal injury lawyer collects for you, the more you get and the more he gets so you are both on the same page.
- You do not owe any money at all if there is no recovery.
- You do not have to pay any money down.
- Most injury lawyers will pay for all expenses up front.
We believe that everyone should be allowed to have the right to an attorney, especially those who might be locked out of the civil justice system. We have seen the huge medical bills and lost wages after wrecks that cause our clients to struggle.
So hiring an attorney is more affordable and smarter than you probably realized.
We can help you
Berenson Injury Law has helped thousands of injured Texans over the past nearly 40 years. We have our client’s best financial and legal interests in mind at all times.
You owe it to yourself to hire the best personal injury lawyer. Find out how he can help you and what he thinks your claim or lawsuit might be worth. What is a good personal injury settlement?
Don’t try to do it yourself because you think this is easy, another of the common myths about the car accident claims.
Please contact us by calling 1-888-801-8585 or click here to set up a free no-obligation meeting.