We are all familiar with the words ‘personal injury’, having seen or heard at least one advert asking us if we’ve been in an accident that wasn’t our fault. Some of us, unfortunately, are unlucky enough to answer ‘yes’ to that question.
Personal injury claims are an important legal process for seeking reparations after undue and unfair injury – but there are some prevailing myths about the process that many believe to this day. Here we will dispel three of the most common myths surrounding personal injury.
Myth #1: You Will Go to Court
The first, and perhaps most commonly-believed myth about personal injury is that every case will result in a protected court session – or at least a court date. It is in fact highly uncommon for a case to reach the courts, with a significant majority of personal injury claims settled before reaching a court date or otherwise outside of court.
Concern about having to argue your case in a court of law is only natural, though, and there is always the outside chance that the defendant refuses to respond or accept liability. Whatever the case for your individual case, personal injury claims solicitors will guide you through the process from start to finish.
During your claim, you will never be in the dark about the next steps – and, more often than not, your solicitors will be able to negotiate outside of court on your behalf.
Myth #2: You Have Lots of Time to Claim
Secondly, it is often assumed that you can make a personal injury claim whenever it is convenient – or, at least, whenever you come to understand that you may have been a victim. However, there is a time limit for entering a personal injury claim against a defendant. You have three years from the date of the injury, or from the date of diagnosis, in which to file your claim – if you wait longer, you will be ineligible to file.
There are different rules for certain circumstances, though. For example, if you suffered a personal injury as a child, you have three years from your 18th birthday to file a claim for yourself. If you are making a claim on behalf of someone with diminished mental capacity, who is unable to communicate for themselves, the time limit is lifted.
Myth #3: Personal Injury Claims are a Money-Grab
This is the most insidious of myths surrounding personal injury law and individual claims. There are those that believe personal injury claims to be little more than money-grabs, citing apocryphal stories such as that of the infamous Mcdonald’s coffee lawsuit – the reality of which is much more harrowing than such stories would lead you to believe.
There are also those that see minor injuries as inconsequential, especially those involving muscle injury from lifting or carrying in the workplace. In truth, personal injury claims – however large, or small – are more than the seeking of compensation for injury and suffering, important as that is when considering lost wages and reduced capacity.
The cases also set an important legal precedent for businesses, enforcing conformity to health and safety law and proving a punitive measure that keeps spaces and environments safe for people.