Personal Injury Settlements: Myths vs. Reality

Personal Injury Settlements: Myths vs. Reality

Navigating the personal injury claim process can be tricky. There are also several myths and misunderstandings about personal injury settlements and cases. 

It is essential to have a better idea of what to expect if you’ve been the victim of a personal injury accident. 

To discuss your case in more detail, consult an experienced Philadelphia personal injury attorney.  

Myth #1: I Can’t File a Car Accident Claim Because Pennsylvania is a No-Fault State

This is a myth. Depending on your insurance coverage and your injuries, you may be able to file a car accident claim.

Pennsylvania is a “choice no-fault” state. This means that it is generally a no-fault state, but it allows consumers to opt out of that system and purchase “full tort coverage.” In a no-fault car insurance state, each party is responsible for seeking compensation for their damages from their own insurance company. This remains true no matter who caused the accident. 

However, you may be able to go beyond the at-fault insurance policies and file a claim against the negligent driver if you suffered serious injuries. Further, if you choose to purchase the “full tort” coverage in Pennsylvania, then you may be able to seek compensation for all of your losses following an accident, including non-economic damages like pain and suffering. 

If you choose “limited tort” coverage, you will follow the no-fault system, and the compensation you can seek will be limited. Either way, you should speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer to see what options are available to you in your case. 

Myth #2: If I Was Partially At Fault, I Can’t Recover Compensation

In most cases, this is a myth, and you can still recover compensation if you were partially at fault.

Pennsylvania follows the “modified comparative negligence” approach. Under this approach, an injured party is not barred from seeking compensation as long as their own negligence was not greater than 50%.

However, your compensation may be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. For example, if you were 30% at fault in an accident and suffered $10,000 in damages, you may be able to collect up to $7,000 or 70% of your damages.

Myth #3: Personal Injury Lawyers Are Expensive

Because of the way personal injury lawyers get paid, anyone should be able to hire a personal injury lawyer.  Personal injury lawyers accept cases on a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee is collected at the end of the case as a percentage of your overall financial recovery, typically between 33% and 40%. 

You don’t have to pay the attorney’s fees out-of-pocket. This allows anyone to hire a personal injury lawyer, regardless of their financial situation. Moreover, if you don’t win, the attorney doesn’t get paid.

Myth #4: If My Case Is Strong, It Will Settle Quickly

This is not always true. Sometimes, if a case is very strong, then it will settle quickly. However, many factors influence how long a case will take to settle or resolve. The strength of a claim is just one of them.

Other factors may include the extent of your injuries, how long it takes for you to complete medical treatment, delays in collecting evidence, whether there are multiple at-fault parties and more. 

Myth #5: Most Personal Injury Cases Go To Trial

Wrong. Most personal injury cases never go to trial. The great majority of them are settled between the parties. An injured party will often file a lawsuit, but the case will still settle long before trial occurs. There are strategic reasons for filing a lawsuit, even if your lawyer doesn’t think the case will ever go to trial.

Myth #6: There Are Limits On How Much Compensation I Can Recover in Pennsylvania

In most cases, this is not true. A few states cap the compensatory damages an injured party can recover in a personal injury case, but Pennsylvania is not one of them. 

Pennsylvania does limit the amount of damages you can recover against a government entity. One can only recover up to $250,000 against the Commonwealth and up to $500,000 against local governments. 

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Philadelphia Today To Get Help With Your Case

If you’ve been injured in an accident and are contemplating a personal injury claim, reach out to an attorney to discuss your case. A Philadelphia personal injury lawyer can review your case and clear up any other misconceptions you may have about settlements and the claim process.

To learn more and get the help you deserve, call Zavodnick & Lasky Personal Injury Lawyers at (215) 875-7030 or contact us online.
You can also visit our law firm at 123 S Broad St #1220, Philadelphia, PA 19109.