As any Atlanta personal injury lawyer can tell you, a lot of information you find on the internet is incomplete or downright false. Unfortunately, anyone can create a blog or a social media account and start publishing articles. Nobody checks or prevents them from posting false or misleading content, including personal injury myths.
On one hand, this means that freedom of speech is applicable to all. On another hand, it means that many people who read this content make mistakes that cost them the ability to recover damages after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
The only reliable source of information is an Atlanta personal injury lawyer who analyzes the circumstances of your case. However, we know that false information determines a lot of injured persons to not retain legal representation or even consider filing an insurance claim.
This is why we decided to prepare a list of the most common personal injury myths and debunk them. We hope that, armed with reliable information, all accident victims make the right choice – to bring their case to an experienced lawyer and protect their legal rights.
Myth 1: You Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit Anytime in Georgia
This is one of the most dangerous personal injury myths because it leaves injured persons with no legal options for recovery. Each US state has a deadline for filing a lawsuit – it is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is 2 years from the date of your accident.
Why is there a time limit for getting justice? On one hand, legislators know that the longer it takes after an event happened, the more difficult it is to find reliable evidence. Witnesses forget what they saw, CCTV footage is deleted, and so on. On the other hand, potential defendants have the right to live without the constant fear of getting sued.
Imagine being named as a defendant in a lawsuit for an incident that happened six years ago, and which you’ve nearly forgotten about. Just as it is hard for the plaintiff to get evidence to prove their case, it is also difficult for the other party to defend themselves.
Myth 2: It Is Not Worth the Effort to File a Claim If You Suffered Minor Damages
An Atlanta personal injury lawyer knows that no one likes the hassle of filing insurance claims or even going to court if they were lucky to escape with minor injuries and economic damages from a car accident or slip and fall.
Yet, this is another instance of personal injury myths that hurt people’s chances of recovering eligible damages. Claims for small to moderate amounts almost never get to court. Insurance companies fight large claims – valued at tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the case of a small claim, your lawyer will be able to win a favorable settlement in a short time.
Myth 3: There Is No Need to Hire a Lawyer in a Clear Personal Injury Case
There is no such thing as a clear personal injury case – at least, not after an insurance adjuster intervenes. These are experienced professionals who know how to twist your words, persuade you to accept a quick settlement or even make you believe that you don’t have a case.
This is one of the most common personal injury myths, perpetuated by insurance companies that want you to start negotiations on your own. In such a case, your chances of winning a fair settlement are very small. People who got their claim’s worth were truly lucky – something you should never rely on. Instead, hire an Atlanta personal injury lawyer, no matter how simple and clear-cut your case may seem.
Myth 4: You Cannot File a Claim If You Were Partly at Fault
A few US states have very strict rules for personal injury cases. Even if the victim was just 1% at fault, they do not have the right to recover their damages. Fortunately, Georgia is not one of these states. Here, personal injury law uses a modified comparative negligence principle. This principle sets the bar for recovery at 50%.
So, here is another of the many personal injury myths debunked. As long as you were not more than 50% at fault for your accident, you are fully entitled to file an insurance claim or a lawsuit – no matter what the insurance adjuster says. Adjusters frequently lie to accident victims. This is why your only response to any claims they make is to wait until your Atlanta personal injury lawyer gets in touch with them.
Myth 5: The Negligent Party Can’t Afford to Pay for My Damages
Many people are confused about how personal injury cases work – especially when they reach the court phase. You look at your total damages and they are in the range of tens of thousands of dollars. How can you possibly hope to get that kind of money from the other person?
In reality, when you file a lawsuit, the insurance company is obliged to defend its client. In the end, they will pay for your damages. It is true that when the insurance coverage is not sufficient, you may have to personally sue the negligent party for the rest of the amount.
The fact is that you cannot be discouraged from the start. You will get in debt if you do not recover these financial losses from the at-fault party. Even if you manage to recover just a part of all damages, it is still worthwhile pursuing your legal rights.
Myth 6: It Is Pointless to Pursue an Uninsured Driver
While this may be true under specific circumstances, we still add it to the list of personal injury myths. The general idea is that someone who cannot afford to pay insurance premiums also cannot afford to pay your damages.
However, an Atlanta personal injury lawyer knows that this is not always true. Some drivers forget to renew their policy – and there is no grace period, not even for 24 hours. Others simply do not care to obey the law, believing that they will not be caught.
There are also cases when, even though the driver is uninsured for economic reasons, the accident victim can still recover damages from:
- The driver’s employer if they were on the job when the accident happened.
- A third-party driver who was also involved in the accident.
- A car parts manufacturing company if the cause of the accident was a malfunction.
- Local authorities if poor road conditions caused the crash.
Our Atlanta Personal Injury Law Firm Offers Each New Client a Free Case Review
Why seek legal advice when you are already in debt? Will this not cost you more? And here is yet one of those common personal injury myths that insurance companies keep alive. At H Groves Law, every new client benefits from a free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer.
And, if your case has merits, we will not charge you any advance fees. We work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that we collect our fees after we win your case. Thus, you should stop believing any myths and schedule your free case review as soon as possible!