There are some common misconceptions about personal injury law and personal injury lawyers. These “misconceptions” are mostly created from rumor and flat out lies. Insurance company driven? Likely. Let’s discuss a few:
All Personal Injury Lawyers are Ambulance Chasers
What does this really mean? The phrase invokes the thought of a man in a suit literally running after an ambulance, or hanging out in hospital emergency rooms, or listening to police scanners to be the first one on an accident site.
No doubt this may have occurred in the past, but no more. In Arizona, it is a misdemeanor to solicit a victim at an accident scene or have another do it for you, and an absolute prohibition to seek out and solicit a person “known to be in need of legal services”.
TV advertising is okay, and without doubt some of the ads do not do well regarding the good work of the men and women who work very hard to seek justice for people who have been injured and whose lives and been impacted or destroyed by the carelessness of another. “Ambulance chaser” is a term invented by insurance companies to place a bad light on these otherwise honest and hardworking lawyers.
In a personal injury case, you’ll settle your case before you finish your medical care.
Ok, what? This does not even make sense. If you have an attorney who suggests this, don’t walk—run.
Now, there are some who have suffered injuries that will require medical care for the rest of their life. Obviously, their case will be concluded before their care is concluded. But for most others, this is just not the case. Don’t believe it, and if your lawyer suggests otherwise, look elsewhere.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer means you’re committing yourself to a long drawn-out court battle.
Not even close. The statistics show that 97% of all cases settle before going to court. This one is not worth the space it takes on the page.
Indeed, hiring a “trial lawyer” absolutely increases your odds of NOT going to court. Why? Because in truth, the insurance companies and their lawyers don’t want to go to court either. If they know your lawyer is a trial lawyer who has a reputation for fighting for his/her clients and taking cases to court, then they will know he/she is serious. The settlement offer will go up, and the case has a much better chance of settling. No trial.
You don’t really need a personal injury lawyer on minor injuries.
Perhaps as much as any case, you NEED an experienced personal injury lawyer for minor injuries. Why? Because this is exactly what the insurance company will argue—that your injuries were “minor”. Guess what? “Minor injuries” mean “minor settlement”. Often, the offer is less than your medical bills.
Experienced personal injury lawyers know that even minor injuries can last a long time—even a lifetime, and are in the best position to present the true facts and the true effect of the injuries on you to the insurance company or a judge or a jury. We hear all the time, the Plaintiff only had “soft tissue injuries”, not serious. Not serious? Did you know that everything in the body that is not “bone” is “soft tissue”? The brain, the heart, spinal cord and discs, etc… Not serious? No one really believes this, but this is what the insurance companies and their attorneys will argue.
Any more myths, partial truths, misconceptions or questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I will respond directly and by posting.