Common Myths about Personal Injury Claims
Injuries caused by someone else can be extremely frustrating. Large medical bills often follow injuries sustained in an accident, and the victim will unfortunately be left to pay them unless the responsible party is held accountable. With serious injuries, the financial impact can be catastrophic. Fortunately, the law allows the injured victim to sue the responsible party for reimbursement of the losses he/she recovered, but pursuing these claims without the guidance of an experienced Miami personal injury attorney is unlikely to the results the victim wants or needs to feel vindicated. Nevertheless, as with any legal action, a lot of misinformation exists.
Negligence is the legal theory used to pursue the majority of personal injury matters. Negligence theory holds that a person may be held liable for injuries caused by his/her actions or inactions if that person fails to conduct himself/herself in a reasonably safe manner expected to not cause injury to other individuals. Accordingly, in order to prove negligence, an injured plaintiff must provide evidence of the following:
- That the defendant had a duty to act in accordance with a reasonable standard of care not to injure another;
- That the defendant to do so;
- That the failure directly led to the plaintiff’s injuries; and
- That the injuries can be reduced to quantifiable damages.
As with all legal actions, there is a specific time period a victim has to take legal action – known as the statute of limitations. In personal injury actions, in Florida, all negligence actions must be brought within four years of the date of the injury.
As mentioned above, with most interactions with the law and attorneys, misperceptions exist. This is because most individuals involved in lawsuits have different experiences, and when these experiences are shared with others, whether good or bad, the listener tends to take everything stated as fact and applicable to every legal case ever filed. Of course, every case is different, but this attitude has led to a lot of misperceptions among the general public. Some of the more common misperceptions of personal injury lawsuits include:
- Insurance policies will address all costs. This is, factually, not true, as insurance policies will only pay out according to the limits of the policy.
- All personal injury claims must be for substantial injuries. In actuality, there is no minimum damage requirement. If another individual is at fault for an injury, the injured person has the ability to have all of his/her expenses reimbursed, regardless of how big or small the amount.
- Personal injury cases take forever. While going to trial can take some time, most cases (approximately 95% of all lawsuits) settle before trial.
- The responsible party must pay out of pocket. In reality, most individuals have an insurance policy that pays any judgment or settlement.
- The insurance company’s attorney is on your side. As with all dealings with an insurance company, they have their own interests at heart.
- Partial responsibility will cause the matter to be dismissed. In reality, even a person deemed partially responsible can recover for damages he/she did not cause.
Seek Legal Advice
If you were injured as a result of the negligence of another individual, and you are curious about your legal options, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Pita Weber Del Prado as soon as possible. We have years of experience in personal injury matters and will use this to your advantage. Personal injury claims can quickly become complicated, especially if multiple parties are involved, and to recover the maximum amount of compensation, you need a personal injury attorney on your side. Contact our Miami office today for an initial analysis of your case.