Seven Misconceptions About Injury Cases
MISCONCEPTION #1: I can settle my case without hiring a lawyer.
If you're happy with the amount of money the insurance company offers for your car - and if you're happy to have your medical bills paid - then you're right. You don't need to hire a lawyer.
Still, it's important that you understand what you're entitled to. In most cases, you are entitled to more than merely payment to cover your medical bills and repairs to your car. That's why I urge you to talk with a lawyer over the telephone before you accept an insurance company's offer.
When you speak with a lawyer, you'll learn that a lawyer can help you in a number of ways. First, he can help you get your car repaired. Second, he can help you get the fair value for your car. Third, he can help you get a fast settlement on your car.
Your lawyer takes the hassle out of dealing with the insurance company. And, in our office, we provide all these services for our clients at NO CHARGE. In other' words, we don't take one penny of the money we collect for damage to your car. Our fee is limited to a percentage of what we recover for your injuries and damages - nothing more.
MISCONCEPTION #2: An attorney requires a down payment to accept your injury claim.
No. In our office, we accept most accident cases for a contingency fee. This means we get paid out of the money we recover for you. If you collect nothing, you pay nothing for our services. To start, you can talk with us for free. And if you hire our services, you pay nothing until your case settles and we recover money for you.
MISCONCEPTION #3: I'll have to go to court to get what my case is worth.
Usually not. Most injury cases are settled before your case goes to court. When the insurance company realizes you and your lawyer are ready and willing to go to court, usually the insurance company starts making reasonable offers for your injury claim. If we don't like the first offer, we make a counteroffer. Then we go back and forth until both sides agree on a certain amount. In most cases, injury claims don't require a court trial.
MISCONCEPTION #4: You have to accept what your lawyer tells you.
Certainly not. Anytime you feel confused - anytime you don't understand what's going on anytime you don't feel right about something - you're entitled to get a second opinion. In the field of medicine, if your doctor suggests major surgery, you know it's wise to get a second opinion. Likewise, anytime you speak with one lawyer, you're perfectly free to confirm his advice by seeking a second opinion from another lawyer. In our office, we offer second opinions without cost or obligation of any kind.
MISCONCEPTION #5: Once you settle your claim, you can get more money in the future if you have additional medical bills.
Not true. Usually, once your claim is settled, it is over forever!
MISCONCEPTION #6: You have only one year to file a lawsuit.
No. You have three years from the date of the accident and, maybe, even longer if you were under 21 years of age at the time. Even so, the evidence you need to prove your case may disappear over time, so the sooner you contact an attorney, the better.
MISCONCEPTION #7: If you are partly at fault for causing the accident, you are not entitled to any money.
No. Both sides may contribute to an accident and you are still entitled to recover money.