Have you been injured thanks to someone else’s negligence or criminal actions? Have you considered hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim?
When people opt not to hire a personal injury lawyer, it’s usually because they believe one or more myths about these cases and about personal injury lawyers themselves.
All of these myths are untrue, but some are shockingly dangerous. If you act based on one of these mistaken beliefs, there’s a good chance it will harm your interests.
Myth 1): “My Insurance Will Take Care of It”
Sometimes people who have been in accidents, particularly automobile accidents, are under the impression that their insurance will simply pay up for it.
The reality is that no insurance company likes paying up more than it has to. And in any case, if you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence – whether in an automobile accident or because of an accident on their premises – you’ll need to approach their insurance company.
If you’ve experienced significant injuries, a good settlement can help you take time off to rest and recover without having to worry about work. This means dealing with someone else’s insurance.
Myth 2): “It’s Too Expensive”
A lot of people think of lawyers in other areas of practice and assume that since personal injury lawyers are lawyers too, they must charge high fees.
The truth is exactly the opposite. As personal injury law firm Lampert & Walsh explains, firms like theirs offer free consultations to help you decide what your options are (visit https://www.lampertwalsh.com/ for more information).
Then, if you do go forward with them, they work on contingency. This means that you pay no money down up front, and you only have to pay them from a percentage of anything that you are paid.
From a financial point, you have nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain from this arrangement.
Myth 3): “It’s Only A Minor Injury”
Some people fail to file a claim at all because they think their injuries are too minor to bother. The problem with this, and the reason this is such a dangerous myth, is that injuries that seem minor up front can develop into something much worse over a lengthy period of time.
For a bit of context, the 5 most common types of personal injury claims involve motor vehicle accidents, work-related injuries, assault claims, tripping accidents and defective products. A lot of those cases involve injuries that initially present as far, far less serious than they end up turning out to be.
An injury may end up impairing your quality of life, and the long-term impacts may be difficult to fully assess until a fair bit of time has passed. This is another thing a personal injury lawyer can help you with: they’ll handle the gathering of evidence and collecting testimonies.
Myth 4): “This Will Take Too Long”
The idea that hiring a personal injury lawyer to help you file a claim will take too long is probably the most dangerous myth – certainly one of the most dangerous myths – on this list.
The truth is that a personal injury lawyer will help you to save time. Insurance companies are fond of red tape, and there will be a lot of it to cut through – and much of it will involve medical and legal terms, adding to the complexity.
If you think it will take too long to file a claim, compare that to the prospect of not getting a settlement and having to suffer for an extended period of time without compensation for your injuries.
Besides, the truth is that your lawyer will do most of the work for you. And in any case, most of these claims are settled out of court.
Myth 5): The “Ambulance Chaser”
The idea that some people have of personal injury lawyers is that they are ambulance-chasers. This is unfortunate, because it undermines the image of a profession that exists to help people who have been injured, often quite severely, to receive compensation for what has happened to them.
A personal injury lawyer has made it their mission to help these people by providing a much-needed service. It is quite common for these lawyers to genuinely care about what they are doing and the people they are helping.
Myth 6): “People Who File These Claims are Bad/Immoral/Opportunists”
The reason the law allows people to file these claims in the first place is precisely because there is a genuine need. Negligent drivers injure other motorists and pedestrians all the time.
People slip and fall at work, or injure themselves on equipment or in situations that they were not sufficiently prepared for or that were not made sufficiently safe.
While there are no doubt some bad actors, this is far from representative of the vast majority of people who file these claims.
Some people who have been injured and should hire a personal injury lawyer nevertheless opt not to, precisely because they believe one of these myths. Fortunately, the myths are easy to dispel, and the case for hiring a personal injury lawyer is clear: it’s the best way to make sure you get what your claim is worth.