Injured accident victims are a magnet for advice from relatives, friends or co-workers, from how to handle a claim without a personal injury lawyer, to who they should hire as an attorney. Some may claim knowledge because they know someone who has been injured in a past accident, or perhaps they have themselves been injured in an accident or know a personal injury attorney. However, to rely upon someone’s advice just because they have been involved in the claims or litigation process as an accident victim themselves is a huge mistake, as every case is different.
While an injured accident victim may be bombarded with lots of well-intentioned, but erroneous, advice and information, below are my “Top Ten Myths” about personal injury claims and attorneys who handle them:
- If you know someone who has received a settlement or judgment for an accident claim involving similar injuries, you can expect to get the same amount.
- An insurance company will always make a reasonable settlement offer if you submit a reasonable settlement demand.
- The defendant always has enough insurance coverage to pay for all medical bills, lost wages and injuries if you get in an accident that was the defendant’s fault.
- If an insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement, you must, and it will not settle with you until you do.
- If an insurance company asks you to sign a medical records authorization form, you must, and it will not settle with you until you do.
- All lawyers who advertise that they handle accident or injury cases have equal ability, resources and experience to handle your case.
- The insurance company for the person at fault in your injury will pay your medical bills and lost earnings as you incur them.
- All attorneys and law firms charge the same fee in personal injury cases.
- The court system can be like a get-rich-quick lottery.
- 1The settlement or judgment value in a personal injury case can be determined by a set formula for a given type of injury.
Contrary to common belief, none of the above are remotely true.