Even if you have never had to use a Florida personal injury attorney, there’s a good chance that you have an opinion about this area of the law – and that your opinion isn’t a positive one.
After all, the media inundates us with stories about “frivolous” personal injury law suits. It may lead you to believe that people are getting rich by faking injuries and basically being scam artists. And we’ve all heard the stereotype of the “ambulance chasing” car accident lawyer.
But while fraud is a very real problem, it only makes up a small percentage of overall claims. And even those numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, because they tend to be put out there by the insurance companies themselves or organizations closely affiliated with them.
Of course, that’s not the only misconception that people tend to have about personal injuries and this branch of the law. Below, we’re going to dispel several common myths.
My insurance company will cover everything. You got insurance because you wanted to make sure you would be taken care of if something bad ever happened to you. But far too many people are shocked to discover their insurance doesn’t even come close to covering the cost of their medical bills – let alone money they lost out on due to missing work and other problems. Unfortunately, if they put all of their faith in their insurer, they may discover they have waited too long to file a claim in court. All too often, a client comes into my office and proudly tells me that they have “full coverage.” All that means to me is that you basically have the minimum amount of insurance legally required to drive. This does not mean you are fully protected.
My injuries are too minor to necessitate a lawsuit. The truth is you never know how serious your injuries really are until you get a doctor to check you out – and even then there may be something they miss that can bother you later. Plus, as mentioned above, people are often surprised by how little their insurance ends up covering. You never want to be in a situation where you end up having to pay because you underestimated the extent – or cost – of your injuries. I tell all my potential clients: if you are not in pain, you do not need a personal injury lawyer. But if you are in pain, even minor pain, you are likely entitled to compensation.
My injury isn’t worth spending years in court. People often assume that personal injury lawsuits are long, grueling affairs, but often, this isn’t true. In fact, many of them never even go to trial. An experienced injury attorney will do whatever it takes to get you fair and just compensation, but frequently it is possible to hammer out a favorable deal reasonably quick and with minimal interruption to your daily life.
My injury isn’t worth having to deal with an “ambulance chaser.” No arguments here! If a lawyer shows up in your hospital room with promises of making you rich, you should absolutely stay away. If a hospital staff member or volunteer hands you a lawyer’s card, you can bet they are being paid to do so (this is highly illegal). Skilled, successful personal injury lawyers don’t do this though. We rely on our reputation to bring in new clients, and we carefully vet people before taking on cases to ensure the claim is valid and justified. Our goal is to make sure you don’t have suffer financially because someone causes you physical or emotional harm. And, of course, to shine light on these kinds of issues so they are less likely to happen to someone else.
If I get into a car accident, I automatically get $10,000.00. This one has been perpetuated by a variety of TV and radio jingles. This is not how the law works. You can click here to read more about PIP insurance. But, essentially, your PIP / no-fault coverage provides up to $10,000 that will pay 80% of your medical bills or 60% of your lost wages, up to $10,000. This means that most of the 10K you have heard so much about really winds up going to your doctors (certainly for your benefit, but not in your pocket).
Personal injury lawyers have gotten a bad rap. Like any profession, there are good personal injury lawyers and bad ones. But if you or someone you love has been injured, don’t suffer unnecessarily because you’re afraid/hesitant to ask for help. This is why we only charge if we are successful. Plus, why should you have to pay for someone else’s mistake.