For some, hearing that they should hire a lawyer evokes negative feelings and reluctance since personal injury lawyers have developed a bad reputation. While some people might have their own experiences that contribute to their negative perceptions of lawyers, in most cases, people share this viewpoint whether or not they have worked with a personal injury lawyer.
There are many misconceptions about how personal injury lawyers work, their role in a case, and what benefits they can offer victims of negligence accidents. This post explains how personal injury cases work and what to expect from personal injury lawyers in hopes that it will help you feel more comfortable reaching out to a personal injury lawyer should you ever need help.
What Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Do?
An accident can cause significant injuries, resulting in health problems and financial burdens. When another person negligently or recklessly causes those injuries, victims can pursue compensation for these physical and financial losses. Figuring out how and where a victim can seek this compensation is not always clear, and other parties to a claim can make things difficult for them.
what does a personal injury lawyer do? A personal injury lawyer represents victims against the insurance companies and parties at fault that cause problems during the claims process. The lawyer works tirelessly to hold negligent parties responsible for compensating the victim.
Common Reasons People Have Unfavorable Perceptions of Personal Injury Lawyers
Victims would easily be cast aside and ignored without personal injury lawyers, their injuries and expenses overlooked. Insurance companies would deny claims with no fear of repercussions, and negligent parties would have little motivation to change their behaviors when they are not likely to face the consequences of their actions.
You may get many responses if you ask a person why they think personal injury lawyers are bad. Some people might think they exploit victims; others may think they take advantage of businesses and insurance companies. The truth is that personal injury lawyers exist to help victims who suffer harm at the hands of another.
Insurance Company Smear Campaigns
Insurance companies and potential defendants in a personal injury case do not like it when personal injury lawyers represent victims. Once a victim hires a lawyer, the insurer and other liable parties can no longer use manipulation or intimidation tactics.
Insurance companies, businesses, and other parties that may be at fault are in the business of making money. They will do anything to avoid spending money by paying out claims. To this end, they do everything they can to scare victims away from personal injury lawyers. They even go so far as to create smear campaigns, maligning lawyers and giving them a bad reputation in their local communities.
A personal injury lawyer does not worry about the insurance company’s bottom line. They only care about their clients’ needs. A lawyer representing a negligence victim will fight for each client’s losses, leading to a more comprehensive compensation award paid out by the insurance company or a court in a lawsuit. Do not let big insurance companies scare you away from hiring a local lawyer who can help you seek the justice you deserve from the insurance company.
Believing a Case Can Reach a Resolution Without a Lawyer
People with a negative perception of lawyers have often never worked with one. Most people who hire lawyers following a personal injury accident understand the value that a knowledgeable and experienced legal team will bring to their case.
People who choose not to hire a personal injury lawyer may not be aware of the difference a lawyer will make in their case. They may think receiving a quick settlement offer means that hiring a lawyer is unnecessary but may not realize the offer is inadequate. They may have lost their case by agreeing to the first offer set out by an insurance company.
Believing That Hiring a Lawyer is Expensive
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis in most cases. Contingency fee percentages can seem high to most people. However, unless the case reaches a successful resolution, clients do not pay anything for legal services. Essentially, clients have no risk when taking their personal injury case to a lawyer.
On the other hand, many people do not recognize the enormous risk lawyers face when taking on cases without any guarantee of payment for their services. In addition to advice and guidance from the lawyer themselves, personal injury lawyer services include the work of their staff and upfront expenses and costs for experts, evidence retrieval, and research, which are necessary to prepare to build a claim.
While legal fees may seem expensive, they are proportionate to the cost of representing the case. If the case does not reach a successful resolution, the lawyer will receive no compensation for the weeks, months, or years of work.
Lawyers frequently invest significant resources and money in a case by the time it resolves. Even in light of the added costs of a personal injury lawyer, most victims who hire a lawyer see a significantly better outcome with a lawyer than without one.
Uncertainty in a Personal Injury Claim
There are no guarantees in a personal injury case. Every situation is unique. Although experienced lawyers can give you their opinion on what to expect based on their prior experiences, they cannot make promises. A lawyer can tell you how they will help you seek compensation and represent your interests, but they cannot predict what an insurance company or at-fault party will offer for your losses.
While most cases settle out of court, sometimes a lawsuit might be necessary to pursue fair results for a victim. When a personal injury case goes to court for a resolution, the results are in the hands of a judge or jury. This added level of uncertainty gives some people pause, but a lawyer with trial experience begins preparations from the outset to ensure that clients are well-situated when that time comes.
Miscommunication or Lack of Communication with Legal Professionals
An essential component to success in a personal injury case is an open line of communication between the lawyer and the client. Although a lawyer will get much of the information they need through their initial consultations with the client, developments may occur as the case progresses.
Many delays and complications in personal injury matters are due to a breakdown in communication between clients and their lawyers. In some cases, it can be a matter of a lawyer who cannot manage their caseload effectively or has poor communication protocols. However, in many instances, challenges occur when clients cannot return calls or do not respond to requests for information sought out by the lawyer’s office.
When problems arise with communication, that will cause issues with the case. Lawyers cannot move forward in some instances until they discuss updates, developments, or other matters with their clients.
To avoid this problem, ensure that the legal team you hire has a reputation for promptly communicating with clients. Ask your lawyer how often you should expect updates on your case’s progress, and follow up regularly to ensure you know what is going on with your case.
Some Bad Apples Do Not Represent the Bulk of Personal Injury Lawyers
There are rare instances in which a lawyer may not be a good fit for a client or does not have the level of professionalism and experience needed to resolve a personal injury case. This does not mean that all personal injury lawyers are bad, but that a particular lawyer may not meet expectations. If a client ever feels unhappy with the direction their lawyer takes, they always have an option to find another personal injury lawyer willing to accept their case.
How Can You Find the Right Personal Injury Lawyer for You?
To avoid hiring the wrong lawyer or having to change lawyers while your case is underway, take your time when hiring your lawyer. Getting involved in the process and knowing what to look for can give you a feel for the lawyer and whether or not you are comfortable with their approach, strategies, and expectations.
Take Advantage of the Free Consultation
Fortunately, most personal injury lawyers offer free case consultations. These evaluations allow both the client and the lawyer to get to know one another, understand the case, and discuss what legal options might be available. During this evaluation, a lawyer can review what they think your likelihood of compensation is, and they might let you know whether they can accept your case.
Avoid Complications and Contact a Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Each moment that passes following a personal injury accident where you do not have a lawyer can lead to a potential complication or avoidable delay.
If you speak to insurance representatives, try to negotiate a settlement without a lawyer, or prolong the decision of whether or not to seek compensation, you might accidentally cause conflicts in your case or delay the time it takes to resolve. When you hire a lawyer soon after your injury, you can rest easy knowing your lawyer will help you from making these time-consuming mistakes.
Do Not Hesitate to Ask Questions
Personal injury law is complicated, with many uncertainties. Ask your lawyer if you are unsure about something, have questions, or do not feel like you fully understand a concept brought up in your case. Do not hold back from asking questions. If you ask questions, you will understand what is happening in your case, helping you stay informed and have realistic expectations.
Stay In Communication on the Status of Your Case
Always remain in the loop on your case. If you receive a request for a callback or a message from your lawyer’s office, respond as soon as you can. Do not unintentionally hold back the timeline of your case by missing calls or forgetting to get back to your lawyers. Keep the lines of communication open and accessible to ensure you are abreast of any changes and can discuss developments in your case with your legal team.
While insurance companies give personal injury lawyers a bad reputation, speaking to a legal team will ease your fears and help you start the process of seeking the compensation you need for your injuries. If another person negligently injured you and you need legal help, contact a personal injury lawyer near you for your free consultation.