Myth Busters: Personal Injury Law Edition

Even people who have never used a personal injury lawyer, or who don’t know anyone who has, may already have an opinion about them. Unfortunately, it’s usually a negative one. That’s because decades of unfair media coverage and aggressive tort reform have created the idea of personal injury attorneys as “ambulance chasers,” and people who file personal injury lawsuits as simply out to make a quick buck.

Nothing could be further than the truth.

Let’s look at the stats. According to the CDC, roughly three million people are injured in car accidents every year in the U.S. Another million Americans are injured in slips and falls. Three million are injured by defective products, including prescription medications that cause more harm than good.

While these millions of people think their insurance will handle everything for them if they get injured, they often find their claims rejected, or failing to cover all their medical bills, leaving them hundreds or even thousands of dollars in debt.

That’s where personal injury lawyers come in. Firms like ours exist to help people who have been harmed through no fault of their own get their life back to normal by getting compensation for the bills they never would have had if not for someone else’s negligence.

Are you going over your options after you or someone you love was injured in accident? Don’t discount hiring a personal injury attorney just yet. The reasons you had to not do so may not be as valid as you think.

5 Misconceptions About Personal Injury Lawsuits

  1. I can’t afford to hire a lawyer. Unlike other types of lawyers, most personal injury lawyers work on contingency. That means you don’t need to pay huge hourly fees. Instead, you don’t pay a dime at all unless you win your case, and at Catalano Law, you’ll never have to pay for your initial consultation, either.
  2. I’m getting an insurance payment, so I don’t need a lawyer. The insurance company doesn’t always reject insurance claims outright. In fact, sometimes they make an offer for a settlement right away! However, this payment is usually not enough to cover your expenses, especially if you are still undergoing treatment when the offer is made. And once you accept an offer, you have no legal claim to request more money later. An experienced injury attorney will know how to calculate a fair offer and negotiate for the full amount you will need in compensation.
  3. My case will be dragged out for years in court before I see any money. While it’s true that some personal injury trials may take over a year to finally wrap up, the other party wants a dragged out trial as much as you do (which is to say, they want to avoid it). That means the vast majority of the time, our lawyers are about to successfully negotiate a fair settlement out of court.
  4. I can just use my usual lawyer; I don’t need a personal injury lawyer. Going through the process of finding a lawyer can be stressful, so if you’ve had to use a lawyer for something else in the past, you may want to skip the whole process and hire the same person. But the U.S. legal code is incredibly complicated, which is why lawyers typically specialize in only a specific area. Real estate lawyers, traffic court lawyers, divorce lawyers, and so on likely won’t have the specific knowledge needed to navigate personal injury law. 
  5. I don’t want to ruin the other person’s life. This is an especially common worry when people are injured by someone they know. However, if this is what is keeping you from filing a claim for the money you desperately need after a serious injury, it shouldn’t. The money you need to pay your medical bills is not coming directly out of the bank account of the person at fault – instead, the check is almost always coming from the at-fault person’s insurance company.

Interested in Talking to a Lawyer About a Potential Case? Get a Free Consultation

At Catalano Law, our Syracuse personal injury lawyers have helped victims of all kinds of accidents, including victims of car accidents, truck accidents, workplace accidents, and even cases involving wrongful death. We will never charge you to speak to a lawyer if you have questions about whether you have a valid claim to compensation, and you are under no obligation to hire us after speaking to a member of our team.

Contact us today to get started.

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