Personal Injury Law Myths & Facts
If you are reading this, you are probably searching the internet for information on personal injury cases. We are glad you have arrived at our website. Unfortunately, there is a lot of personal injury myths floating around on the web, much of it written by non-lawyers. This misinformation, if repeated enough, becomes things that far too many people believe.
At Surasky Law, we believe in empowering our clients to make sensible decisions for themselves following an accident. To further that goal, we provide clear, accurate legal information on important legal topics. In this article, we look at some of the most common personal injury law myths and give you the facts. Please reach out to our firm if you would like to speak with an attorney.
1. Myth: You have as much time as you need to sue.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Under South Carolina law, an accident victim has three years to file a lawsuit in court. Waiting too long results in a case being dismissed—permanently. Fortunately, you can reach out to Surasky Law, and we will help get your case filed in the right court before the deadline.
2. Myth: You must go to court to receive fair compensation.
Probably 90% of personal injury lawsuits settle and usually for very fair compensation. You probably won't go to court unless you and the defendant cannot agree on liability or where in the case that you and the defendant have radically different views on the seriousness of your injuries.
3. Myth: The person who hit you in a car accident is always to blame.
The law is more complicated than that. You can obtain compensation if you show another person is “at fault.” Our legal team carefully reviews the facts of each case to determine fault.
4. Myth: You don’t need a lawyer for minor injuries.
It is always helpful to meet with a lawyer, at least for a consultation, to discuss your case. In South Carolina, you can receive compensation for a variety of losses, such as medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Sometimes, a person might have suffered a minor injury—like a laceration on their face—which doesn’t cost a lot of money to treat. However, the injury causes intense embarrassment or emotional distress, so they deserve compensation. Never assume an injury is too “minor” to actually support a lawsuit. We will discuss the likelihood of you receiving a settlement.
5. Myth: You will financially ruin the person you sue.
In reality, the compensation you receive will be paid from the person’s insurance policy. For example, a motorist should have liability insurance as required by the state. A homeowner should have a homeowner’s insurance policy to cover injuries sustained on their property. This is why people have insurance—to pay compensation to someone injured.
6. Myth: You can’t afford a lawyer.
At Surasky Law, we represent personal injury clients using contingency fee agreements. Simply put, we agree to represent a client with no upfront legal fees paid. Instead, we agree to accept a chunk of any settlement or (if your case goes to trial) court award. In essence, we only get paid if you get paid. This type of agreement has numerous benefits for our clients, who receive legal help from the get-go at no cost to them.
7. Myth: You will wait years before your case settles.
This simply isn’t the case—in most situations. We typically wait to see how much our clients have lost by paying medical care for an injury. However, in only a narrow range of cases must we wait longer than a year before seeking a settlement. If your case ends up going to trial, then we might need to wait a couple years—that’s how the legal system works.
8. Myth: A settlement covers all your losses.
Some of our clients will have uncompensated losses. That’s the way it goes, and there are a couple of sensible reasons for that.
For one, South Carolina law recognizes the legal doctrine of comparative fault. This means your own negligence could contribute to an accident. Think of a distracted driver who gets hit by a speeding driver. Both are a little at fault. Provided you were not more than 50% to blame, you can sue—but your compensation is reduced by your percentage of fault. Which we won’t know until the case is over.
For another, the defendant might not have the assets to pay full compensation. They could be broke and have only an insurance policy. In this situation, the policy sets the ceiling for how much compensation you can receive.
9. Myth: A concussion is a minor injury that doesn’t deserve compensation.
Concussions are serious injuries. The only real treatment is rest, which means people can miss weeks or months of work. The symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, and mood changes, can cause distress in a family. We encourage anyone who suffered a concussion in an accident or fall to contact us.
10. Myth: You can sue for “near miss” accidents.
Generally, you can’t. Imagine you are driving through an intersection when someone runs a red light and just misses your car. The experience is frightening. However, unless you actually suffered bodily injuries in a crash, you can’t sue for compensation.
Get the Truth—Contact Surasky Law Today
Our Aiken, South Carolina personal injury lawyer will gladly meet for a consultation to discuss your case. Because our case evaluations are free, there is no risk for reaching out to us.