4 Common Misconceptions About Personal Injury Cases

Pursuing a personal injury claim is a process that many folks don't quite fully understand until they've been through it. There are a lot of misconceptions about how it works, but let's take a look at four of the more pervasive ones.

You're Going to Get Your Day in Court

As a matter of probability, the fact you most likely will never see the inside of the courtroom while pressing your injury case. The majority of personal injury claims are settled or dismissed without going to trial. In fact, the bulk of the process most of the time involves your personal injury attorney trading communications and paperwork with a claims adjuster from an insurance company.

The threat of a lawsuit still matters though. Judgments in cases have been on the rise in recent years. The main incentive for a defendant to settle a case is to avoid facing jurors, who might hand down a sizable judgment.

It's All About the Money

One of the biggest misconceptions about personal injury cases is that they're basically meant to cash in on misfortune. People often press injury suits in order to send a message that terrible misconduct will be met with justice. For example, a Missouri case involving a pharmacist who watered down chemotherapy drugs ended up with the jury awarding a $2.2 billion judgment against a pharmacist who will be in jail for decades and cannot ever be reasonably expected to actually pay billions. While the pharmacist had $12 million in assets that were seized to pay a victim's fund, those proceeds had to be divided up among thousands of patients.

There's Massive Money to Be Made

Big settlements make headlines, but the reality is somewhat different. In a survey conducted by Martindale-Nolo, the average settlement or judgment was found to be about $60,000. The normal range was between $3,000 and $75,000. Notably, folks who handled their cases with the support of a personal injury lawyer receive, on average, $60,000 more than who went without counsel.

You Can Sue Everyone

Generally, the system encourages juries to apportion blame in a single incident and to treat it as one case. Most states require that one person or a single entity has to be found at least 51% responsible for what lead to an incident for there to be a payout in a personal injury case.