A personal injury lawsuit takes time, often months or years depending on your case’s damages. You need all the information possible to navigate through a lawsuit successfully. This guide details crucial personal injury facts and statistics so you know what you’re getting yourself into with a lawsuit.
Because when the unfortunate occurs, you shouldn’t hesitate to get the support and compensation you need.
Squash the Myths with these Personal Injury Facts
There’s a lot of misinformation swirling around in the personal injury law sector. To the point that many people figure it’s futile to file. Unfortunately, these persistent myths may keep some individuals from getting the money they deserve.
To keep things on the right track, here are some common personal injury myths, and the truths that debunk them.
Myth #1: You Have Plenty of Time to File Your Claim
Many things in life have an expiration date, and personal injury claims are no exception. Known as a statute of limitations, every state sets a limit by which a person must file personal injury claims. The average is typically 2-3 years, but it’s important to ask your lawyer about the rules in your state.
That’s because if you miss the deadline to file in your state, your case will no longer be eligible. Plus, it’s best to file promptly while all the evidence you need is still readily available.
Myth #2: You Don’t Need a Lawyer If You Have Insurance
If you have insurance, you absolutely still need a lawyer. That’s because many people forget insurance is a business. While your insurance claim adjuster may act like they’re in your corner, their job is to get you to settle. And they will try to low-ball you because that means bigger profits for their company.
Just the sheer fact you have a lawyer working for you will likely get you a better settlement. That’s because the insurance companies will assume you mean business and that your attorney knows the laws better than you.
Myth #3: Personal Injury Cases Take a Long Time
The question here really is, do you want compensation faster, or do you want more money? Accepting a lower settlement from your insurance company will result in you getting some money faster. But it may not be all the money you should receive for your specific injury.
And it won’t ensure you get enough money to help you deal with ongoing bills. Fair compensation should cover your injuries in the long-term, not just current medical bills and car repairs.
So yes, a personal injury case may take more time than just settling with your insurance right away. But it may not be that much longer. That’s because many personal injury cases with an attorney negotiating on behalf of a client settle out-of-court. And, the payoff will typically be higher, making it well worth the slight wait.
Myth #4: You Need to Be Hurt to File a Personal Injury Claim
There are many ways a person may experience an injury, and they’re not all physical. The term personal injury often leads people to assume they must have a broken limb or laceration to warrant filling. But the legal definition of personal injury is much more expansive:
“Personal injuries include every variety of injury to a person’s body, emotions, or reputation, as contradistinguished from injury to property rights.”
Personal injuries include every type of injury to a person’s body, emotions, and reputation. So, yes, you must be hurting somehow to file a personal injury claim, but it’s not limited to physical loss.
Myth #5: Most Personal Injury Claims Are People Trying to Get Easy Money
There will always be someone trying to “scam the system” in any situation where money is a possible outcome. But contrary to the media’s frequent portrayal of people filing frivolous lawsuits in personal injury cases, most claims are legit. Don’t let a perceived stigma prevent you from considering a personal injury claim.
Even minor injuries may qualify, making it important to consult with a skilled personal injury attorney. They can advise you on the validity of your claim and the potential it has for remuneration. If an attorney doesn’t feel you have a valid case, they won’t be likely to take it on.
Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. In other words, unless you get a positive settlement, they don’t make anything either. So, they’re unlikely to take on your case if they don’t think you can win.
More Personal Injury Facts You Should Know
Still thinking you’re alone in your personal injury inquiry? Not even close. Personal injury filings surged 97% in 2020, according to United States Courts data.
There are many, many people trying to decide if they should file a personal injury claim on a daily basis. With that in mind, here are more personal injury stats you should be aware of.
- Personal injuries rank 4th among the leading causes of death each year in the U.S. This is just after heart disease, cancer, and Covid-19.
- In 2021, 62 million people sought medical attention for an injury, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). That’s about 1 in 5 people.
- The NSC also finds there were 224,935 preventable injury-related deaths in 2021. The death rate was 67.8 per 100,000 people, an 11.9% increase from 2020.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that injury is the leading cause of death for individuals aged 1-44.
- More than 6.8 million people had accidental falls in 2020, making it the number one cause of nonfatal injuries.
- According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Justice, only 4% of personal injury cases ever make it to court. The rest end in dismissal or settle before trial.
- There are about 400,000 personal injury case filings each year.
- People with lawyers receive personal injury payouts 91% of the time versus 51% for those who proceed on their own.
- Hiring a personal injury lawyer increases settlement amounts by an average of 440% over trying to negotiate solo.
Clarify Your Questions with a Personal Injury Lawyer
The facts and stats all point towards it being prudent to at least consult with a personal injury lawyer. You have nothing to lose because the decision to move forward with a case or not is always yours.
It’s important to find out your options and ensure you aren’t settling too low. Because the last thing you want is to accept a settlement that adds insult to personal injury.
Kimberly Dawn Neumann
Kimberly Dawn Neumann is a multi-published NYC-based magazine and book writer whose work has appeared in a wide variety of publications ranging from Forbes to Cosmopolitan. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Maryland, College of Journalism. For more, visit: www.KDNeumann.com, Instagram @dancerscribe, and Twitter @KimberlyNeumann