It’s bad enough going through a traumatic incident that could figuratively or literally scar you for life. But to have an entity cause harm to you — whether deliberately or by accident — should require legal representation.
It’s a must to get proper legal care and compensation after getting injured through no fault of your own. That’s why the best personal injury lawyers are well-versed in injury law and know when to settle out of court or get the case taken to trial.
So whether it’s a car accident, a slip-and-fall situation in a commercial place, or someone’s dog biting you when you’re just out and about, rest assured that you have the right to pursue a case and be properly compensated for any physical or psychological damage you experience.
The Most Common Myths About Personal Injury (And Why They Should Be Debunked)
Unfortunately, personal injury cases are fraught with myths that can discourage or misinform victims.
Believing these misconceptions can have even more devastating effects than the initial injury that you sustained. Because of them, you could go through needless physical or mental anguish, experience present and future wage losses, and might have to face astronomical medical costs due to injuries that could get progressively worse.
So for today, we’re going to discuss some of the most common myths surrounding personal injury. Beyond that, we’re going to debunk them with proper information that’s based on both legal advice and practical experience.
1. It’s Easy to Fake Injuries
Not all injuries or disabilities caused by trauma are readily obvious or even physically visible. That’s why personal injury cases cover harm done to either your mind or body.
Sure, there have been cases when a claimant fakes an injury in order to get some sort of payback. However, the notion that this is an all-too-common act is a myth.
For starters, the person doing this will be committing insurance fraud as some of the best insurance lawyers will tell you. And since medical reports are part of the claim, it’s going to be pretty hard to fake an injury in the presence of a specialist.
Of course, it’s a slightly trickier situation with claims of PTSD after an accident or mishap. However, witnesses and psychological experts often weigh in on these kinds of claims as they can give additional testimony on behalf of the plaintiff.
2. As The Injured Party, You’re Guaranteed to Receive Compensation
When you’re the injured party, it’s hard to imagine not getting properly compensated for your pain and suffering. The sad thing is, this is not always true with personal injury cases.
It all boils down to providing proof that you were harmed because of someone else’s negligence.
For instance, if you were in a car collision because the other driver was drunk, you’re going to need help from the best DUI lawyers to prove that this was how it really went down. You can also hire some private investigators to do some sleuthing and come up with irrefutable evidence based on surveillance or background checks on the other party.
And when you are finally guaranteed compensation, please don’t think that this is going to be some form of easy cash flow for you.
Instead, you can regard it as a reimbursement for the medical bills, your lawyers’ fees, therapy or rehabilitation bills, and loss of wages that have all added up when you sustained your injury.
3. Minor Injuries Aren’t Worth the Claim
“It’s just whiplash”, “There’s hardly any bruising”, or “No real harm done!” are some common phrases you might hear from insurance companies or the other party.
These statements have the common goal of discouraging you from pursuing a personal injury claim. If you agree with them and decide not to pursue the case, you’ll likely regret it when you end up going through delayed symptoms of trauma or disabilities that affect how you live your life.
The bottom line is, even small injuries have to be compensated for the medical-related expenses you incurred and other inconveniences because of them.
And, as previously stated, some injuries can be psychological in nature such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. These injuries will likely require the expert opinion of some psychologists to diagnose and treat, and you can bet that their bills will definitely add up through the years.
4. It’s Best to Settle Quickly
It’s tempting not to get a personal injury case to court and just go for a private settlement ASAP. After all, nobody in their right mind wants to be inconvenienced with preparations for a legal battle and shell out more money for legal fees and other expenses.
But settling too quickly might mean more trouble and inconvenience for you down the line. Sure, the settlement could cover your initial medical bills, but what about future expenses for delayed (yet obviously related) symptoms?
And it gets more complicated if it’s a work-related injury you sustained, in which case employment lawyers can help you gather long-term evidence of workplace negligence and the injuries resulting from them.
Of course, that doesn’t mean your case has to go to court. But it also doesn’t mean you should immediately agree with the first settlement amount offered to you without weighing all the other present and future factors at play first.
Rushing the process could prove to be an expensive and regrettable mistake. The best possible outcome is when you gather all evidence, get proper medical examinations, and have sound legal advice from trusted lawyers about the specifics of your case.
5. Your Insurance Company Has Your Best Interests at Heart
Insurance companies can use all the flowery, heartstring-tugging copy they can muster to get you to sign up for their products and fork over your hard-earned money to them. But at the end of the day, it’s really all about protecting their profit margins.
As we mentioned in the section on minor injuries, you can expect most insurance companies to emphasize how small the damage done was. They can try to offer a settlement that merely pays for the initial medical expenses, but not for longer-term effects brought on by injury or trauma.
They will not act in your best interests because they are first and foremost a business. No matter how solicitous or caring they may seem in the beginning, personal injury claims are some of an insurance company’s worst nightmares.
So if you aren’t sure about how to navigate around your claim, don’t fret. The best insurance lawyers in Ottawa can guide you through the process of getting properly compensated for any physical or psychological harm that was caused by another entity.
They can help you go through the fine print of your insurance coverage so you won’t have to feel like you’ve been had!
6. You Can Sit on Your Personal Injury Filing
One of the biggest and most devastating myths that personal injury lawyers want to debunk is that you can file a personal injury claim when you feel like it.
While it’s quite understandable that you’d want to make sure that you’re physically, mentally, and financially taken care of first, it’s also good to remember the statute of limitations.
Under Ontario law, there’s a two-year statute of limitations from the date of your accident to be able to file a personal injury claim. This timeframe is based on how long it typically takes a claimant to gather all the evidence to back up the claim that the injury was the other party’s fault.
For most people, two years might seem like a long period to prepare. But in reality, there’s just enough time to come up with an airtight claim that covers all the expected compensations and benefits you think you deserve.
Beyond those two years, your claim could be denied. And that’s probably the biggest and most heartbreaking injury you can experience.