Common Misconceptions About Personal Injury Law

Common Misconceptions About Personal Injury Law
Calendar icon April 20, 2024

When dealing with the complexities of New York personal injury law, it can be easy to fall for the many misconceptions that circulate both online and in day-to-day conversations. These myths often create unnecessary doubt and can prevent injured parties from seeking the compensation they deserve. 

By debunking these common misunderstandings, we aim to provide clarity and empower individuals to make informed decisions after suffering a personal injury. If at any point you find yourself seeking clarity or require legal assistance, remember that Cellino Law is here for you. Now, let’s unpack these myths and set the record straight about personal injury law.

Myth 1: You Can Easily Handle Personal Injury Claims Without a Lawyer

Navigating a personal injury case alone may seem appealing to some because they believe it will save them money on legal fees. However, personal injury law is intricate, and claims can be full of complications that require a seasoned legal professional’s knowledge. Insurance companies will often attempt to minimize your claim; facing them without legal assistance could significantly reduce your chances of receiving fair compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate effectively and can substantially increase the potential settlement amount.

Myth 2: Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit Always Leads to Court

Many people hesitate to pursue a personal injury claim out of fear that they will have to endure a long and stressful court battle. The reality is, the vast majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court. Attorneys typically work to negotiate a fair settlement without the need for a trial, saving time and stress for all parties involved. Settlements are often reached through mediation or arbitration, providing a resolution that’s acceptable to you and the other party.

Myth 3: Minor Injuries Don’t Warrant a Personal Injury Claim

Some individuals mistakenly believe that their injuries are too minor in nature to justify a personal injury case. Regardless of the perceived severity, if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation. Even minor injuries can result in significant medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Consulting with a trusted medical professional and personal injury attorney can help you determine the full extent of your injuries and ensure that none of your rights are overlooked by the insurance company.

Myth 4: You Must File a Personal Injury Claim Immediately

While prompt action is important when it comes to personal injury cases, the myth that you must file immediately or lose your right to compensation is false. However, it is important to understand the statute of limitations in the state where your accident occurred. In New York, most personal injury cases must be filed within three years from the date of the accident, or you may forfeit your right to pursue damages. Although there are exceptions to these rules in certain circumstances, it is still wise to file your claim as close as possible to when your accident, as witness statements, evidence, and memories about the accident itself may fade as time lapses.

Myth 5: Personal Injury Claims Always Result in Large Payouts

Television and movies often depict personal injury cases ending with the plaintiff receiving a massive settlement check. The reality is that every case is unique, and compensation will vary based on the specific circumstances. Factors such as the extent of the injury, the clarity of fault, and the amount of available insurance coverage all play a role in determining the settlement amount. A qualified personal injury lawyer will help evaluate your case and provide a realistic expectation of what you can achieve.

Myth 6: Any Lawyer Can Handle a Personal Injury Case

Personal injury law is a unique field of practice, and not all attorneys have the knowledge or resources to handle such claims effectively. Just as you wouldn’t see a podiatrist for a heart issue, entrusting your personal injury case to an attorney without the appropriate experience could be detrimental to your claim. Selecting a lawyer whose primary focus is in personal injury law ensures you have someone with the knowledge and resources needed to represent your interests successfully.

Myth 7: Workers’ Compensation is Your Only Option for Workplace Injuries

While workers’ compensation is a common remedy for workplace injuries, it’s not always the only path to compensation. While it’s true that you are unable to sue your employer over a workplace injury, if a third party, such as a contractor or equipment manufacturer, contributed to your injury, you might have grounds for a personal injury claim outside of the workers’ compensation system. These claims can provide additional damages for pain and suffering that workers’ comp does not cover.

Myth 8: Personal Injury Cases are Always Long and Drawn-Out

The duration of a personal injury case can vary widely based on its complexity and the willingness of parties to reach a settlement. While some cases do take time to achieve a fair resolution, many are settled in a relatively short time frame. An attorney’s skill in negotiation and understanding of case value can often expedite the process, bringing about a quicker resolution than anticipated.

Myth 9: The Court Decides All Aspects of a Personal Injury Claim

In reality, very few cases make it all the way to the courtroom. In fact, the claimant and their attorney have considerable influence over many decisions in a personal injury claim. The injured party can decide whether to accept a settlement offer made by the insurance company or proceed to file suit with the courts in an attempt to secure higher compensation. With sound legal counsel, claimants can make informed decisions that align with their best interests without involving a judge or jury. 

Myth 10: If You Are Partially at Fault, You Can’t Get Compensation

The idea that you cannot recover damages if you are partly at fault for your injury is misleading. New York operates under comparative fault law, meaning that you may still be compensated for your injuries, although the amount may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Based on the information provided in the incident or police report, the insurance companies determine fault percentages for your accident. If you believe the percentage you were found to be at fault is incorrect, a legal professional can work to investigate your claim further. 

Cellino Law Is Here To Help Personal Injury Victims

Myths and misinformation can significantly impact a person’s decision to pursue a personal injury claim. Understanding the facts is essential to ensuring you do not miss out on the opportunity to recover compensation that is rightfully yours. If you recognize any of these myths as concerns you’ve had, it’s wise to seek professional guidance.

If you’ve sustained a personal injury, you have a partner in Cellino Law. With our experienced team of legal professionals, you can trust that we will work tirelessly to secure the best outcome possible for your situation. Do not let misconceptions influence your legal decisions — reach out to us at 888-888-8888 for a consultation and find out how we can assist you.

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Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.



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