Separating Fact from Fiction: 4 Common Injury Lawsuit Myths
We have all seen the funny memes. A set of pictures representing what our family, friends and the public believe a job to entail versus what it really feels like- featuring nurses, doctors, mail carriers, cashiers, customer service representatives, and yes, even paralegals and attorneys.
Here is my personal favorite:
Your case can be a little bit like this. Social media, television, movies, friends and family can skew what a client can expect from a case versus what will actually occur.
No two cases are the same. No lawyer can guarantee results or that one case will be like the next. However, years of experience and thousands of cases can assist your lawyer in setting some realistic expectations.
Let’s talk about some of the common misconceptions:
MYTH #1: YOUR CAR CRASH IS GOING TO BE WORTH (INSERT ANY AMOUNT OF MONEY).
The value of a cases is very fact determinative. A case will not be identical to another case, even in similar fact patterns. Why? First, a case’s value is based upon what is compensable under the state law for where the case would be filed. Most of the time, the largest part of that compensation is for the injuries sustained in a crash or other incident. Then, one person’s injuries may fully heal, other’s may not. Some may miss a lot of work; some may be able to work while they are healing. Finally, if an injury is the result of a car crash, a claim may be limited by the amount of insurance the at-fault party purchased.
MYTH #2: EVERY CASE GOES TO TRIAL.
Jury trials are increasingly rare. Most attorneys try a pre-suit settlement in a majority of cases. There are several reasons for this, including minimizing the time and cost involved for a client in a lawsuit. If it is a case that a pre-suit settlement is not the best course of action or pre-suit negotiations have failed, most cases that are filed still result in a settlement sometime between filing and a jury verdict.
MYTH #3: YOUR DAY IN COURT WILL COME QUICKLY.
If anyone watches Law and Order, it seems a client’s day in court will be right around the corner from when the lawsuit is filed. Unfortunately, that is not the case in almost any venue, particularly in the time of Covid. Even in criminal cases that are constitutionally guaranteed for a speedy trial, it is normal for a year or so to pass before it is time for trial. In civil cases, which involve cases for car and truck crashes and premises liability, it can be two to three years. These time constraints are not due to any delay from the attorney. It depends on how long the courts take to get a case through its docket to trial and the time it takes to then properly work up a case for trial.
MYTH #4: YOUR ATTORNEY CAN MAKE AN INSURANCE COMPANY GIVE YOU MORE MONEY.
Often clients will be displeased with what an insurance company may offer them in settlement pre-lawsuit. Clients will ask if we can “make” the insurance company give them more money. Unfortunately, settlement negotiations are voluntary. Your attorney will do his or her best to negotiate a settlement that is satisfactory and fully compensates a client for their losses. However, there is no mechanism pre-lawsuit to compel an insurance company to offer more money. The only mechanism our legal system allows to compel a party to pay an amount certain is filing a lawsuit, trying a case and obtaining a verdict.
With so many factors at play, the reality of case process can be lengthy and confusing. Let the attorneys and paralegals at Brown & Crouppen assist you! Our background and experiences spanning over forty years can assist you in making the best decisions for you and your case!