Those who have been involved in an accident of any kind have a serious decision to make. Should they hire an attorney? Or should they try to handle their situation themselves? To make matters even more complex, there are a number of myths and misconceptions that surround lawyers and legal processes.
Making the decision to hire a lawyer will have a huge impact on your case. To help you make the best decision as to whether or not you should be looking at your choice of lawyers in Glasgow, we have dispelled six of the most common myths related to hiring a personal injury attorney, starting with the first and often most damaging myth of all:
Myth #1: My Insurance Company Will Treat Me Fairly
You have been paying into your insurance for years. You may have developed a friendly relationship with your insurance agent. Surely they will be looking out for your best interests – right?
Sadly, this could not be further from the truth. What injured parties must realise is that insurance companies make money on having you settle for the lowest amount you could possibly agree to. All too often injured individuals accept the very first settlement which comes their way because they are eager, cash-strapped, or simply do not know what they could and should be receiving in order to be fully compensated for their injuries.
To put things in perspective, the Insurance Research Council recently completed a study which revealed that injured parties who hire an attorney receive 3.5 times more money in compensation than those who don’t. This is not because lawyers are great manipulators of the law. It is because they know your rights and have the experience necessary to forecast the amount of funds you will need to fully heal from your injuries today and in the future.
Myth #2: Attorneys Are Just Expert Debaters
An attorney has to convince the judge, the jury or mediator that you deserve the compensation which you are requesting. They must be knowledgeable, engaging, logical and know their facts. What they do not need to be is a great arguer.
Those who have not worked with an attorney before often believe that lawyers are nothing more than professional arguers. The truth is that legal advocacy has very little to do with arguing. Legal advocacy is about creating a persuasive and sound discussion that proves your case based on existing laws.
Myth #3: It Is Easy To Get Personal Injury Compensation
This just simply is not true. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you must be able to back up your claim and prove that you are at a loss. This may include:
- Your medical bills
- Lost wages from work
- Ongoing treatment for pain and rehabilitation
- Pain and suffering
Plaintiffs may think that having receipts or proof of a medical visit will be enough to receive the compensation they deserve, but this is seldom the case. Attorneys who specialise in personal injury understand exactly what it is that a plaintiff is entitled to. They know what the current and future needs of their client are, and will fight to ensure that they are fully financially covered for those needs. In order to be able to do this, one must have a thorough understanding of the complex laws which relate to personal injury, something which a layman would not be able to easily navigate.
Myth #4: Hiring a Lawyer Means Going to Court
This is perhaps the greatest myth of them all. It has been estimated that as few as 80% to as many as 92% of cases are settled before a plaintiff or defendant steps into a courtroom. In fact, research has shown that settling outside of court is even often more financially beneficial for a plaintiff.
When you hire an attorney, you are opening up a line of communication which otherwise may not have been present. Your personal injury attorney will be speaking with the attorney of the defendant or the defendant and be regularly discussing alternatives to going to court. Most of the time, the defendant will agree to settle during the negotiation stage. If they do not, you can still try going through arbitration or mediation before you ever have to set foot in a courtroom.
Myth #5: I Will Have to Wait Forever for Compensation
One thing that insurance agencies are good at is being prompt with sending out a settlement cheque. Many individuals who are injured and agree to a settlement will have a cheque waiting for them in their mailbox within a week or two from the date of their injury.
If you do choose to hire an attorney, obviously the compensation will not be as quickly received. There are negotiations and settlements to discuss, and even then you will need to wait for the cheque to arrive. With that said, it will not take ‘forever’ to receive the compensation you deserve. An experienced personal injury attorney in Glasgow will be able to continually push your case forward and can even expedite the process. Most injured parties receive the compensation they deserve within 6 months of hiring an attorney.
Myth #6: I Should Always Hire a Personal Injury Attorney
There are situations when you will not need to hire a personal injury attorney. For example, if you are receiving the maximum amount you are entitled to through your insurance policy, an attorney may not be able to do much more to help you.
Some minor injuries may not require an attorney, but keep in mind that the minor injury you sustained today may turn into a major injury down the road. Personal injury attorneys will also ensure that you receive damages for your pain and suffering because of the negligence of another party.
If you are not sure if you can benefit from having a personal injury attorney, or if you have questions about your case, contact a personal injury attorney. Many offer free initial consultations and will be able to advise you of your rights, potential outcomes of your claim, and more.