The Top 6 Misconceptions About Personal Injury Lawsuits
Personal injury lawsuits constantly make the front pages of news outlets, and that has led to distortion of the facts behind them. Here are some common misconceptions about personal injury suits, and the truth behind them.
- It’s a large time commitment. The time commitment is mostly on our end. By hiring Levinson Axelrod, you are hiring an experienced team of personal injury lawyers who will work to build you the strongest case possible in order to fight for the compensation you deserve. You may need to appear at a deposition, attend medical examinations, or in some cases even go to court, but you can rest assured that you have a team of dedicated attorneys supporting you. The actual amount of time the client spends attending case-related appointments is typically not substantial, thus our clients can focus on getting better instead of the day-to-day litigation.
- I cannot afford a lawyer. Here at Levinson Axelrod, we typically cover the costs of your case until the trial or negotiations are concluded. We also operate on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t pay any attorney’s fee unless you receive a settlement or jury award. The attorney’s fee percentages are set by the New Jersey Court Rules.
- The insurance companies will treat me fairly if I bring my own claim. Honestly, if they did, we wouldn’t be necessary. Allstate Insurance did a study that found on average claimants represented by counsel obtained 3x more money than those whose did not have lawyers. (That’s why they try to keep you from a lawyer!) Without the assistance of a good personal injury attorney, the insurance company may attempt to take advantage of you in order to pay less on your case. It’s in their best interest to keep your settlement low, even when you deserve exponentially more than whatever they may offer. Hiring the right personal injury lawyer to assist you in negotiations can help you get the most out of your settlement.
- People who bring lawsuits are just trying to get money for nothing. People are injured all the time by the negligence of others. Bringing a claim is not “money for nothing,” but seeking just compensation for the injuries suffered. The insurance industry and media have focused on the rare case where someone attempts to blame others inappropriately or make a claim for spurious injuries. Cases that are not legitimate will never make it past the legal standards necessary in order to proceed to a jury trial. Any claims that cannot be settled thru agreement of the parties will result in a trial, where a jury of one’s peers gets to determine the validity of any claims asserted.
- Every case is worth millions of dollars. While some cases are in fact worth millions of dollars, that doesn’t mean that every incident is of such a substantial value. The media tends to only report on the largest cases, which has driven the perception that every injury could net you a multi-million-dollar verdict or settlement. Every case is treated as its own event, and will be assessed accordingly. Moreover, the value of a case is based not only on the damages, but also on the likelihood of recovery in that particular case.
- The cases take too long. Justice does take time. In order to investigate, document and prove liability and damages, it does take time. Any case filed in Superior Court takes more than a year to reach trial, so the key is making sure the claim is filed as soon as there is adequate documentation to establish the claim. The reality is that while cases may take years from start to finish, you wouldn’t want to settle your claim until you know your final prognosis from your doctors. The amount of damages in a case often depends on what treatments were rendered, so a premature settlement may be leaving compensation that you deserve on the table. Since the Court Rules in New Jersey do set time limits, we work within those rules to bring your case to a conclusion as soon as possible.
At Levinson Axelrod, our New Jersey personal injury attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured individuals for over 75 years. If you or a loved one has been injured and are seeking legal assistance, contact us today for a free case evaluation, or call us at (732) 440-3089.