Embarking on a personal injury claim can seem daunting, especially given the amount of misinformation out there regarding the process.
You might not know where to begin or what legal options are available to you.
Instead of trying to field your way through this on your own, it is best to hire a personal injury attorney who can effectively navigate you through the process and ensure you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
At Harris Law Firm, PLLC, our Mississippi personal injury lawyers want to ensure that every person has access to the information and tools that they need to protect their rights and recover full and fair financial compensation. If you are getting started on your case, you may be looking for personal injury claims advice.
Some of the best personal injury advice is to know what not to do: Injured victims must be able to recognize the most common mistakes so that they can avoid them. In this article, our legal team dispels some of the most common myths about personal injury legal advice in Mississippi.
Common Myths About Personal Injury Legal Advice
1. You Need To Pay Your Attorney a Retainer Up-Front
False. This is actually one of the biggest and most damaging falsehoods out there.
Putting a personal injury lawyer on retainer is a very common myth. The fact is that many personal injury law firms operate on a contingency fee basis, which means they will not collect legal fees unless they win your case.
Doing so makes justice accessible to all accident victims, rather than only those who are able to afford it.
2. Your Lawyer Can Tell You How Much Compensation You Will Receive
Your attorney will be able to give you a general estimate or idea of how much your case might be worth, but it would be impossible for any attorney to tell you what you will receive through litigation or negotiations.
Every case is unique, with its own set of circumstances, so what an attorney was able to achieve for one client will differ from what you might be able to receive.
Any lawyer who claims to be able to tell you exactly how much you will receive is not being honest.
3. To Settle Your Case, You Have To Go To Court
False. Surprisingly, most personal injury cases never go to trial. In fact, only 2% of civil suits are tried before the courts.
This is because trials are risky and expensive, so it is in the best interests of both parties to negotiate, or even hire a mediator as a neutral third party to help facilitate these meetings.
4. If There Is One Accident, You Will Have Only One Lawsuit
False. Many types of accidents can often yield more than one lawsuit. For example, a motor vehicle accident can result in court action against the at-fault party, your accident benefits insurer, and perhaps one against your long-term disability insurer.
Never assume that one accident means you can only file one lawsuit.
5. You Can Take Time Deciding Whether or Not You Want To Sue
False. All states have what is known as a statute of limitations, providing accident victims a window of opportunity during which they are able to make a claim.
Once it expires, you will forever lose this chance, so it is important not to take time making this crucial decision, especially if you are facing mounting medical expenses and cannot risk not receiving compensation.
6. You Do Not Need a Lawyer
False. Having a lawyer is not required, but choosing not to have one is a major gamble. You will be dealing with insurance adjusters, who are often ruthless in tearing apart cases, all on your own.
Given your lack of experience in dealing with insurance companies, it will be difficult to achieve a reasonable settlement without an attorney.
Personal injury attorneys have the experience and familiarity with the law that others do not, providing a great advantage that you should not neglect to seek.
7. You Get More Than One Chance to Settle a Case
False. Once your case settles or a verdict is entered by the court, you will not be able to revisit it.
If it turns out that the compensation you received is nowhere near enough to cover the costs associated with your injury, you will not get another chance to ask for more.
This is it.
Make the most out of this once chance and get the quality legal representation you need to achieve the best possible results.
8. It Might Be At Least 5 Years Before You See a Dime of Compensation
False. While some cases can take longer than others, most are resolved much sooner than 5 years. The average time frame is between 2 and 4 years, but it truly all depends on the specifics of your particular case.
Remember, there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to personal injury lawsuits.
Some cases are incredibly straightforward and might reach a resolution in a short amount of time, while others are more complex or involve large sums of money.
You can only receive compensation for physical injuries: Injuries are not just physical, so compensation appropriately covers more than just the physical aspect of them.
You can be compensated for the emotional and psychological aspect of your injuries, including depression, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping.
9. Personal Injury Claims Are Generally Frivolous
False. This is one of the biggest myths. People often believe we live in a society that is trigger happy when it comes to lawsuits, but the reality is that most claims are brought by people who have suffered legitimate injuries in accidents caused by the negligence of others.
This is one of the biggest myths. People often believe we live in a society that is trigger happy when it comes to lawsuits, but the reality is that most claims are brought by people who have suffered legitimate injuries in accidents caused by the negligence of others.
If these lawsuits were largely frivolous, personal injury attorneys would not risk their livelihoods by accepting cases on a contingency fee basis.
10. You Are Better Offer Dealing Directly With the Insurance Company
False. In fact, this is perhaps the worst piece of personal injury claims advice that you could possibly receive.
It is important to understand the role of the insurance company within the personal injury claims process itself. Insurance companies, including your own insurer, are for-profit institutions. In other words, an insurance company is trying to make money. One of the easiest ways for insurance companies to make money is by paying out the lowest settlement amount possible.
This is the ultimate objective of the insurance company: settle personal injury claims for less, even denying liability altogether when possible. Insurance companies put a lot of money and a lot of hours into training their representatives to protect corporate profits.
In fact, they encourage their insurance adjusters to come across as friendly and disarming on the phone so that they can get injured victims to put their trust in the company.
You should not fall into this trap. You should take the following personal injury claims advice away from this article: Do not work directly with the insurance company. After a major accident, the best thing that you can do you protect your rights is to consult with an experienced Mississippi personal injury lawyer right away. Your lawyer will take the right steps to protect your rights.
Do You Have a Specific Question? Ask a Lawyer for Personal Injury Advice
Did we miss something that didn’t answer a question? Check out our Frequently Asked Question page. You may find the answer you are looking for there — as our attorneys have addressed many topics and questions on a wide range of personal injury issues.
Of course, every personal injury case is unique. You undoubtedly have some issues that are specific to your claim or your situation. You should never hesitate to reach out to an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney for a free, no obligation initial consultation.
During your consultation, a lawyer will be able to offer personal injury claims advice that is well-tailored for your individual situation, At Harris Law Firm, PLLC, we also take the time to understand the needs of our clients, so that we can answer their most important questions, explain their options, and offer the best personal injury advice.
Get Help From Our Greenville, MS Personal Injury Attorneys Right Away
At Harris Law Firm, PLLC, we have advocated for injury victims for over 30 years, fighting tooth and nail to hold reckless and negligent individuals accountable for their actions and obtain the compensation our clients deserve.
Our legal team’s long history in the legal field has exposed us to nearly every type of personal injury case imaginable and, with this vast experience and knowledge we have accumulated, we are capable of taking on any case, regardless of its complexities.
To get started on your case today, call us at 877-714-4171 to schedule a free consultation. From our law office in Greenville, we serve communities throughout the greater Mississippi Delta region, including in Washington County, Bolivar County, Sunflower County, Humphreys County, Sharkey County, and Issaquena County.