Common Myths About Car Accident Claims:
What Car Injury Lawyers Would Like You To Know About Legal Misconceptions


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You've been in a car accident. Your vehicle is totaled, you have injuries, and the at-fault driver's insurance company is giving you the runaround. Now you're left wondering - what are your rights in this situation? Can you make an injury claim? What steps should you take to protect yourself?

If this sounds familiar, you're not alone. Many accident victims are unclear about the claims process and hold common misconceptions about injury laws. Here are some of the biggest myths about car accident claims.


Myth #1: I Can't File a Claim Without a Police Report

One of the most common car accident myths is that you must have a police report to make an injury claim.

Here are the key facts you should know:

  • A police report is not mandatory - many minor fender benders don't necessitate calling the police to the scene. You can still successfully pursue compensation even without an official report.
  • The insurance adjuster will conduct their own investigation regardless of whether a police report exists. They will interview parties, examine damage, and review evidence to make a liability determination.
  • An experienced injury attorney knows how to gather evidence and build a strong case even without a report. Car injury lawyers can obtain witness statements, crash scene photos, vehicle damage estimates, and other documentation to prove your case.
  • Police reports often contain errors or omissions since officers are not trained accident reconstructionists. Car injury lawyers work with qualified experts who can piece together what really happened.
  • If the other driver was issued a traffic citation, this helps confirm fault but is also not required. Many clear liability cases result in no citation being issued.


Myth #2: I Need to Be Treated by a Doctor Immediately After the Accident

Another common myth car injury lawyers hear is that accident victims must go to the emergency room or visit their doctor immediately after the crash if they want to file an injury claim. Many worry that waiting even a few days will ruin their chances of compensation.

Here's what you need to know:

  • Adrenaline often masks pain immediately following an accident. You'll likely get a more accurate diagnosis if you wait until this adrenaline surge has worn off.
  • Rushing to the ER can result in false positives on diagnostic tests as the body is still in shock. ER doctors will run tests just to be safe, even if injuries appear minor.
  • Minor sprains and strains don't require emergency treatment. Seeing your primary care doctor within 1-2 days is reasonable.
  • Missed work is not necessary for minor injuries either. You can still claim lost wages down the road even if you go to work the next day.
  • Some accident-related symptoms like headaches or dizziness may not manifest until days later. This doesn't impact your claim if properly documented.
  • Don't let gaps in treatment occur. Continuous medical care makes causation easier to prove. But spacing out initial treatment is fine.

The key is making sure you get evaluated by a doctor within a reasonable timeframe - most reputable car injury lawyers recommend within 2 days. This allows adrenaline to subside while still linking symptoms to the collision. Just explain any treatment delays to your attorney.

With proper medical records and evidence, moderate gaps before you seek a doctor will not ruin your injury claim. Working with an attorney ensures you take the right steps to protect your right to compensation.


Myth #3: I Should Always Accept the Insurance Company's Initial Settlement Offer

One of the most damaging car accident myths car injury lawyers regularly encounter is that you should take the initial settlement offer made by the insurance company after a crash.

Adjusters are smart - they know accident victims are often in vulnerable positions financially and emotionally following a collision. By making a quick, low-ball offer, they take advantage of victims in order to save the insurance company money.

Here are some tactics adjusters use:

  • They pressure unrepresented victims to accept an offer before they understand the full extent of the damages. Quick payouts benefit the insurer.
  • They claim the initial offer is the best or final offer the victim will receive. This is almost never true - offers increase substantially once a lawyer gets involved.
  • They assure victims the offer is fair and covers all damages. However, only an experienced attorney can properly calculate accident costs.
  • They imply the victim risks getting nothing if they consult with/hire an attorney or reject the offer. Complete myth.

Our advice? Never accept a settlement offer without first consulting with an attorney. An experienced car accident lawyer knows how to properly value injury claims and will almost always substantially increase the settlement. While quick cash may be tempting, you'll ultimately end up with far more compensation by hiring a lawyer.


Myth #4: Contributory Negligence Means I Get Nothing

Contributory negligence is one of the biggest areas of confusion car injury lawyers see. This legal principle dictates that accident victims who share any percentage of fault cannot recover any damages from the primary at-fault party.

Many clients wrongly believe this is the law everywhere. In reality, only five states - Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia, and Washington D.C. - still follow the traditional contributory negligence doctrine.

Most states follow comparative negligence rules, under which victims who share partial fault can still recover compensation. Their damages are simply reduced by their percentage of responsibility.

For example, if you were found 30% at fault for an accident, you could still potentially recover 70% of damages from the primarily negligent driver.

An experienced attorney will work to minimize your fault percentage while maximizing the other driver's responsibility. Even if you partially contributed to the accident, you are still entitled to substantial compensation in most states.

Don't wrongly assume you can't recover anything just because you share some degree of fault. Our legal team knows how to navigate comparative negligence laws to protect your rights. A free case evaluation with us will assess your options.


Myth #5: I'll Have to Go to Court for My Car Accident Claim

Another common myth accident victims believe is that they will need to go to court before a judge and jury to settle their injury claims. This leads many people to avoid pursuing compensation entirely out of fear of court proceedings.

Here is the reality - over 90% of personal injury claims settle out of court prior to trial. An experienced attorney starts by seeking to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company through demand letters, evidence retention, expert analysis, and other leverage strategies.

Only if the insurer refuses to make a satisfactory offer would a lawsuit potentially be filed. Even then, the majority of cases are resolved via settlement before ever stepping foot in a courtroom.

While trials happen on occasion when insurers won't be reasonable, they are a small minority of car accident claims. Don't let fear of legal proceedings prevent you from seeking fair compensation. With an attorney negotiating aggressively on your behalf, most claims are resolved quickly and smoothly outside court.


Myth #6: There's a Standard Time Limit to Settle My Claim

Many people wrongly believe that injury claims must be settled within a certain timeframe after an accident - usually 1-2 years. They feel pressured to resolve their case quickly based on this myth.

In reality, every claim is unique and there are no standard time limits to reach a fair out-of-court legal settlement. Some factors that impact the timeline include:

  • The severity and persistence of injuries sustained - more serious damages often take longer to fully quantify.
  • Delays in obtaining medical records from all providers. Doctors often lag in producing full files.
  • Disputes with insurance companies over liability and negotiating appropriate damages. Lengthy negotiations drag out cases.
  • Identifying and retaining qualified expert witnesses to assess things like accident reconstruction, economic losses, etc. This takes time.
  • Complex legal arguments made by defense attorneys to minimize liability and dispute damages.
  • Backlogs in the court system if litigation is ultimately necessary.

The bottom line? Rushing to settle prematurely often results in accident victims leaving compensation on the table. Experienced car injury lawyers take the necessary time to thoroughly investigate liability, fully quantify long-term damages, and fight for maximum compensation through assertive negotiation tactics.

Don't feel pressured by mythic time limits. Your car injury lawyers will provide reasonable updates on case progress while working as quickly as circumstances permit. Focus on recovery and let your attorneys handle the legal process.


Myth #7: My Insurance Rates Will Skyrocket if I File an Injury Claim

One of the most pervasive myths car injury lawyers hear from car crash victims is that submitting an injury claim will cause their own insurance rates to spike significantly. Many choose not to pursue rightful compensation out of fear of increased premiums.

Here are the facts:

  • Rate increases after an at-fault accident are generally minor - often just a few percentage points. It usually amounts to a few extra dollars per month.
  • Rates are primarily based on other factors like age, driving history, location, type of vehicle insured, etc. One claim may not impact your premium much.
  • Payouts from your own insurer under uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage typically don't affect premiums at all. This protects your right to compensation.
  • Any potential rate impacts are small potatoes compared to what you recover in damages - often tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • If you were not at fault for the accident, rates are unlikely to increase. The at-fault driver pays, not you or your insurer.
  • Insurers are prohibited from drastically hiking premiums or dropping coverage solely because you filed a claim. This is illegal.

The bottom line? Don't let myths about insurance rate hikes stop you from seeking fair compensation after a crash. The ultimate payout is well worth the unlikely scenario of a minor premium increase. Your attorney can provide specific guidance based on your policy.


Myth #8: I Can't Sue the At-Fault Driver Directly

Here is another significant misunderstanding car injury lawyers often encounter - that car accident victims can or must directly sue the at-fault driver personally after a crash.

In reality, this is not how injury claims work in most cases.

  • You don't personally sue the other driver. You make a liability claim directly against their insurance company, which provides coverage.
  • Only if their insurer denies the claim would a lawsuit potentially be filed. Even then, you'd name their insurance provider as the defendant for failing to compensate.
  • The only exception is if the at-fault motorist was completely uninsured. Even then, you'd still name their insurance company as the defendant for not providing mandatory coverage.
  • If damages exceed the at-fault driver's policy limits, you can pursue additional compensation from your own insurer via underinsured motorist coverage.
  • Drivers don't pay out of pocket. That's what insurance is for. The insurer covers damages up to policy limits.

The attorney's job is to deal directly with insurance companies, not personally sue individual drivers. Car injury lawyers send demand letters, negotiate claim settlements, and file suit against insurers as necessary. Don't hesitate to pursue rightful compensation over misconceptions about how the underlying liabilities work.


Myth #9: Hiring an Attorney is Too Expensive

Perhaps the biggest myth of all that car injury lawyers hear from car crash victims is that hiring an attorney will be prohibitively expensive. Many choose not to seek counsel out of misconceptions about legal fees and expenses.

In reality, retaining an experienced car accident lawyer is not financially risky thanks to standard contingency fee agreements. Here's how they work to protect clients:

  • Attorney fees are only deducted if you receive a settlement or award. If no recovery is obtained, you pay nothing for our services.
  • Fees are deducted as a fixed percentage of your total compensation, typically 30-40%. This standard rate gives us an incentive to maximize your payout.
  • All costs like court filing fees, expert witness fees, case expenses, etc. are covered by the law firm. These are not deducted from client compensation.
  • Hiring an attorney usually results in a significantly larger settlement that more than covers any deducted fees. Victims ultimately end up with more money in their pockets.
  • Initial consultations are always free. There is never any charge or obligation just to discuss your case.

Don't let myths about expensive attorneys prevent you from seeking experienced legal help after an accident. Our firm provides strong financial incentives to maximize compensation for clients. With us in your corner, you ultimately end up with the largest possible recovery in your pocket.


How an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Unlike insurance companies, car injury lawyers like Husain Law + Associates — Accident Attorneys, P.C.fully protect the interests of injured victims. With extensive knowledge of injury laws, legal processes, and court proceedings, they level the playing field against big insurers.

Here are some of the key benefits car injury lawyers provide:

  • Performing a full investigation to establish fault beyond dispute
  • Identifying all potential sources of compensation under the law
  • Handling negotiations directly with insurance adjusters
  • Determining the full scope of damages related to medical bills, property damage, lost income, pain/suffering, and other costs
  • Retaining qualified medical and accident experts to prove both liability and damages
  • Sending aggressive demand letters and skillfully negotiating for maximum settlements
  • Filing a lawsuit against insurers if necessary to compel fair compensation
  • Keeping clients regularly updated on case progress and outcomes
  • Answering all legal questions and explaining litigation processes/options
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Having car injury lawyers fully handle your injury claim removes the stress of dealing with insurers, calculating losses, negotiating settlements, and navigating the court system if needed.