There are some common misconceptions about personal injury law. David Greene from Greene and Phillips Law Firm joined us on Studio10 to discuss this topic.
The first misconception is that all Personal Injury Lawyers are Ambulance Chasers. That’s a funny quip about Personal Injury Attorneys, but in most cases it’s not true. The Alabama Bar has very strict rules about when it’s appropriate to contact people who have been injured. For the larger law-firms we rely on advertising and our reputation to get cases, so we really don’t need to chase ambulances to get new cases.
Second misconception about personal injury law is that you’ll settle your case before you finish your medical case. The truth is, before you settle your case, you’ll often need to reach your MMI (maximum medical improvement). That’s a medical term referring to if you need more surgeries or medical care to make you better. This is important, because a significant part of your final settlement will be based on the total cost of your medical expenses. If you were to settle your claim before having a surgery that costs tens of thousands of dollars, you could miss out on a very large part of your settlement value. A personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process, and give you important information about how certain medical decisions could affect the final value of your claim.
Another misconception is that hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer means you’re committing yourself to a long drawn-out court battle. Very rarely does hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer mean you’ll have a long drawn out court case. There are occasions where the other driver’s insurance doesn’t do the right thing, and in to make sure we get the maximum value we have to file suit and occasionally go to trial. But many times our clients cases are settled out of court not long after they finish their medical treatment.
Another misconception is that you don’t really need a personal injury lawyer on minor injuries. No matter what size case you have, you’ll end up with more money if you get a lawyer involved. Settling a personal injury case can be very complex, and if you don’t have someone who knows what the rules are you can get seriously taken advantage of by the insurance company.
Are their misconceptions about the cost of hiring a personal injury lawyer?
Well there is this idea that lawyers can be expensive. With personal injury law, you don’t pay anything until your case settles and the lawyer is paid from the settlement. So there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire a personal injury lawyer. Also, Consultations are always free.