Common myths about Personal Injury Cases

When you’re injured in an accident, the last thing you want to do is deal with insurance companies, paperwork, and the following medical bills. You are entitled to compensation without complications, and the right personal injury attorney can make that happen. Here are some of the most common personal injury myths debunked.

1. Attorneys Cost a Lot of Money

Most personal injury lawyers get paid based on a contingency contract.  The Attorney only gets paid if the case settles or reaches a verdict.   Contingency fees in Alabama must be in writing and state what percentage of the money recovered goes to the attorney. Some contracts might stipulate varied rates depending on if the case goes to trial or is settled or appealed. Whatever the case, it should cost you nothing out of pocket.  At Carey & Hamner, PC, we handle all our injury cases on a contingency fee basis, so you never have to worry about paying attorney fees out of pocket.  We also will meet with you for free with no obligation to discuss your case.

2. Your Insurance Company Will Cover Your Injury Costs

Depending on the type of coverage you have purchased, you may have some benefits available to you under your own auto policy.  When your insurance company pays benefits on your behalf, your insurance company will go after the at-fault entity’s insurance company.   However, this coverage is generally limited to actual costs of medical treatment and property damages.  If the other party is uninsured, you  may be able to recover additional benefits which can include compensation for things like pain, suffering, scarring, and lost income under your own uninsured motorist coverage.

When your insurance (including health insurance) pays benefits on your behalf, they will seek to be repaid out of any settlement.   This is called subrogation.  Be aware that when you settle with an insurance company, you may have to pay back your own insurance company.   This can be a nightmare if you don’t know what you are doing, especially if you are dealing with healthcare provided by the government.   At Carey & Hamner, we have been dealing with subrogation claims for years and know what to look for to prevent unexpected surprises or delays.

3. You Have Plenty of Time

Alabama’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years, but there are always exceptions; for example, claims against a municipality must be filed within six months, and claims against the county must be within a year. You also have two years if you’re filing against the federal government, but if your claim is denied, then you only have another six months from the date of denial to file a lawsuit. Contact a personal injury lawyer immediately to find out what the statute of limitations is in your case.

4. You Only Have Minor Injuries

No matter how minor your injuries are, there is always the chance they could become worse a couple of weeks following an accident. You are entitled to compensation for medical bills and any other financial or mental anguish you receive from an accident.   We recommend that you seek treatment as soon as possible following a wreck.   This can help speed your recovery, but it also documents injuries.   When there are significant gaps in your medical care, it can give an insurer an unfair advantage, as they can (and probably will) suggest that some other cause other than your accident caused your injuries.   Therefore, we recommend getting a medical evaluation as soon as you notice any physical complaints. 

You should contact a personal injury attorney immediately after an accident. Every case is different, and only an experienced professional will know the best route for you to take. Carey & Hammer, P.C. is a respected personal injury and auto accident firm with years of experience handling car wrecks and other personal injury cases.   We offer personalized legal representation to Dothan, Enterprise, and Ozark, AL. If you need help, call us at 334-673-1800 to set up a free, no obligation consultation about your injury.


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