Myth 1: I will need to go to court
It’s not always essential for personal injury claims to go to court. In many instances, where blame is not contested, the third party responsible may make an offer of compensation. If this offer is acceptable to the injured person or persons, they may accept this offer outside of court.
Claims may go to court under certain circumstances which include:
- An offer of compensation has been made, but it is not deemed to be adequate
- The third party is unresponsive or does not accept liability
The myth that says all personal injury claims must go to court simply isn’t true. However, there are some cases where this is necessary. In all instances, your personal injury lawyer can advise on your best course of action and they will represent you if the process does go to court.
Myth 2: Making a claim will be too expensive
A personal injury claim should not involve any outlay for the individual. It’s about recovering costs while aiming to achieve some compensation from the third-party responsible for the incident.
Your solicitor will incur upfront costs, but these should not be passed on to the individual. In cases where the claim is successful, those legal fees will be deducted from the final settlement. If the case is not successful, your solicitor should not pass those costs on.
At McGinley Solicitors LLP, we do not make any charges when pursuing personal injury claims. Therefore, the suggestion that making a claim will be too expensive is simply another myth.
Myth 3: I will be taxed on my personal injury compensation
This is simply not true: under current laws, no tax will be paid in the event of compensation being paid out following a successful personal injury claim. The key word here is compensation and the sums involved are not income. The law applies irrespective of whether the claim was settled inside or outside of court. In summary, you will not pay tax on any personal injury compensation.
Myth 4: Making a claim against my employer could result in losing my job
There are laws in place to prevent this and your employer could be in serious trouble if they unfairly dismissed you following a personal injury claim. Remember that any claim compensation should be met by the employer’s liability insurance and, aside from any possible increase in future premiums, there would be no outlay on the part of that employer.
If, however, they were to transgress those laws relating to unfair dismissal, the financial implications would be severe. In short, it simply isn’t worth the risk of breaking the laws that are in place to protect you. They cannot dismiss you and they cannot make your life difficult following the settlement. If either of these scenarios occurs, you have the right to pursue an unfair dismissal or a constructive dismissal claim.
Myth 5: People who claim are just after free money
This is a common misconception and it’s an unfortunate one. The vast majority of people who make personal injury claims do so with the best intentions. They will have been injured, through no fault of their own, and they may well be suffering from ongoing physical and, on occasion, mental difficulties.
Under those circumstances, it’s extremely harsh to suggest that claimants are simply after ‘free money’. A personal injury claim should also look to reimburse anyone who is out of pocket following an incident that wasn’t their fault. The injured party can possibly claim for:
- Loss of earnings
- Initial medical bills
- Cost of ongoing medical treatment, where this is applicable
The intention is to put the individual back in the position that they found themselves in, prior to the accident. An experienced personal injury solicitor should not be looking to represent anyone who they feel is simply looking to ‘cash in’ without a valid claim.
Myth 6: I can’t bring a claim because I no longer work for the employer responsible for my injuries or they are no longer in business
All personal injury claims have a two-year time limit from the date of knowledge. In regard to incidents in the workplace, this piece of legislation applies, irrespective of whether the injured party is still working with the specific employer.
Note that the date of knowledge, in this case, relates to the point in time when the claimant became aware of their injuries. This is usually, but not always, the same as the date of the incident.
In cases where the employer has gone out of business, a settlement can still be achieved. By law, an employer’s liability insurance policy should have been in place to deal with personal injury claims. When a policy covers the date of the incident, it’s still possible to proceed.
Myth 7: Minor injuries don’t warrant a personal injury lawyer
When an accident occurs, the extent of the injuries suffered may not be evident at first. What may seem relatively minor may soon escalate. Minor injuries may also lead to a period away from work where the loss of earnings can impact the individual.
Even if the symptoms do not worsen, it’s worth speaking to a lawyer with experience in the personal injury claim process. The legal procedure can be a complex one at times and claims are more likely to succeed when they are in the hands of the professionals.
Myth 8: People with insurance don’t need personal injury lawyers
Even when there is insurance in place, it’s worth discussing your personal injury claim with an independent solicitor. Insurance companies, in general, need to keep their costs down, and it may often be the case that the injured party is offered the minimum settlement sum.
In cases where the responsible third-party disputes the claim, a legal process is required. Insurance companies may not have the expertise required to move this forward. In short, even when insurance is in place, it’s advisable to speak to McGinley Solicitors LLP to give yourself a greater chance of achieving the best possible outcome.