There’s a great deal of misinformation that circulates around the world of personal injury law. Thanks to the media, many people consider themselves on what goes on during an injury case. Dispelling these falsehoods is not only a good way to keep the public more educated, but also to help those who need to bring a personal injury suit but are scared away by what they think they know. Below are nine of those common misconceptions.
1- They’re All Fake
Thanks to television, there’s a certain assumption that people who bring personal injury cases to court are probably faking. They play up their injuries in order to get the sympathy of the court and then walk away happy after their big pay-off. In reality, people who bring personal injury suits usually do so because they’re looking for a way to get their lives back. There’s nothing pleasant about the process, and most plaintiffs would avoid it if they could.
2- Settlements Are Always the Best Choice
There’s nothing wrong with taking a settlement. In fact, many lawyers make it their job to help you get a settlement without going to court. Unfortunately, though, settling is not always a possibility. From insurance companies that won’t pay out to people who refuse to work collaboratively, there are many good reasons to go to court.
3- All Winners Get Big Checks
According to The Law Firm of Wampler & Souder, LLC, bringing a personal injury suit isn’t a guarantee of winning. It’s also not a guarantee of getting a big payday. In reality, most pay-offs are quite modest when and if they happen. Bringing a personal injury suit is an attempt to get one’s life back to normal, not to get rich quickly. Most settlements and awards help victims to get back on their feet.
4- Predatory Lawyers Make Up Cases
Lawyers get a bad rap, and in some cases for a good reason. It should only follow, then, that many people think that lawyers make up personal injury cases for fun and profit. In the real world, lawyers who bring false claims can be censured by the bar, stripped of their licenses, and even arrested.
5- Suing Someone is Greedy
Lawsuits happen because people get greedy, or so the common misconception goes. All it takes is one stupid mistake, and people start suing – and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Look at the famous “hot coffee” case to see how people react when they don’t have all the facts. Unfortunately, the truth is usually that a personal injury lawsuit follows a serious injury.
6- Lawyers Get All the Money
Another misconception is that an attorney will end up with all the money if you do bring a case to court. The truth is that most states limit the amount of money a lawyer can charge on contingency, and the hourly billing rates are clearly discussed between the client and the lawyer. Yes, a lawyer will definitely want to be paid – but that doesn’t mean the person who has been harmed won’t get what he or she deserves.
7- You Don’t Need a Lawyer
While it’s nice to think that a personal injury case can be handled one on one, the truth is that lawyers work as a kind of insurance against being taken advantage of. If you don’t have an attorney, you will be at a disadvantage when the other party has a lawyer. Good attorneys are important tools in the process of reclaiming one’s life after an injury.
8- Anyone Can Handle an Injury Case
It takes a special kind of lawyer to deal with a personal injury suit. Just like any other type of law, it takes a great deal of experience to master the area of personal injury. If you work with a lawyer who isn’t skilled in the field, you might end up hurting your own case.
9- Insurance Will Take Care of Everything
Finally, many people believe that personal injury cases are unnecessary if you have insurance – especially when the injury occurs in a car accident. Anyone who has ever dealt with any kind of insurance, though, already knows insurance companies have a vested interest in paying out as little as possible. Often, a personal injury case is more about getting the insurance company to do the right thing than working against another person.