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.
Following graduation from Loyola Law School in New Orleans in 1990, Price McNamara served as a Federal Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable John M Shaw, Chief Judge, United States District Court Western District of Louisiana.
Mr. McNamara founded the Law Offices of J. Price McNamara, and began putting his past experience to work for the injured and disabled clients he now represents against the insurance companies in personal injury and long term disability and other insurance disputes in both federal and state courts