It’s not always easy to separate fact from fiction after a crash. Because car accidents are so sudden, jarring, and painful, many people struggle to remember exactly what happened. To make matters worse, trying to file an injury claim is also often filled with uncertainty due to pervasive myths about car accident claims.
If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident, it’s important to know what’s truth and what’s myth. In this blog, we clear up five of the most common myths about car accident claims.
Myth 1: You Don’t Need a Lawyer if You Have Insurance
Reality: While having auto insurance is required for all drivers in Oklahoma, it’s not uncommon for insurance companies to prioritize their interests over their customers. They often reduce payouts to their customers or even deny their claims altogether.
In addition, it’s likely that the other driver’s insurance will be even less likely to pay you fair compensation than yours. There’s also a good chance that the other driver will have too little insurance to cover your bills or even no insurance at all.
Having a lawyer on your side is one of the best ways to force the insurance companies to play fair after a crash. When injured victims have experienced legal representation, insurance companies know they can’t use their normal tactics and, instead, they need to come to the negotiation table.
Myth 2: Quick Settlements Are Always the Best Option
Reality: Fast settlements may seem appealing, but they can be detrimental in the long run. Rushing into an agreement without assessing the full extent of your injuries and damages can leave you undercompensated. Patience is key—a lawyer can help you evaluate the true worth of your claim.
Furthermore, an experienced and client-focused lawyer will never pressure you to accept a settlement that is less than you deserve. There’s nothing more disheartening for injured crash victims than to accept a settlement only to later realize they need more money.
Because car accident settlements are “one-and-done” and victims lose the right to ask for more money later after accepting, it’s always better to wait longer for a bigger and more fair settlement.
Myth 3: Minor Injuries Don’t Require Treatment or Legal Action
Reality: Even seemingly minor injuries can have lasting effects on your life. Some injuries manifest days or weeks after the accident. Consulting with a doctor and a lawyer ensures that you’re aware of all potential medical repercussions and receive proper compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The shock of a crash and the ensuing release of adrenaline can hide things like severe pain caused by injuries that can make working difficult or impossible. It’s common for victims to try and “tough it out” after crashes that didn’t seem bad at first, only to later realize they’re in excruciating pain or even have internal organ damage.
It’s important to see a doctor right away after a crash. After getting treatment, the next step should be consulting an experienced law firm. The longer you wait to talk to a lawyer, the longer your wait to get compensation.
Myth 4: The Legal Process Is Lengthy and Exhausting
Reality: While legal proceedings can take time, experienced attorneys streamline the process. They handle the paperwork, negotiations, and court appearances, taking much of the stress of your claim off your shoulders.
If you’re worried about going to trial, you aren’t alone. Many injured victims forgo filing car accident claims because they’re afraid they’ll end up in court. However, very few car accident claims go to trial. That’s because it’s advantageous for both parties to settle before trial.
And if your case goes to trial, you don’t have a thing to worry about. Your lawyer will prepare you for everything you’ll encounter in and out of the courtroom.
Myth 5: You Can’t File a Claim if You’re Partially at Fault
Reality: In Oklahoma, you can pursue a car accident claim even if you are partially at fault due to the state’s comparative negligence rule. This means you can seek compensation for your injuries and damages as long as you are not found to be more than 49% at fault for the accident.
Sometimes, fault isn’t correctly assigned. That means it’s still a good idea to speak with a lawyer if you are ruled as being 50% or more at fault for a crash.
The police officer may have wrongfully assigned fault to you at the scene based on misleading statements from witnesses or the other driver. And if you’re less than 51% at fault, your lawyer may be able to reduce your level of fault, which can increase the amount of compensation you can receive.
Our Oklahoma Car Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
At Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, we know there’s no shortage of myths surrounding car accidents and car accident claims. These five myths are some of the most common we hear, but they’re by no means all of them!
If you have questions or concerns after a crash, or if you already know you need legal representation, our Oklahoma City auto accident attorneys are ready to hear your story. Contact us anytime for a free case review.