The media and the internet are very useful for sharing information – but they are also used for spreading disinformation. This is why so many people think twice about hiring a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.
Unfortunately, these legal professionals have got a bad reputation, mostly from unverified information or even blatant lies. So, it is time to set the matters straight and debunk the most common myths about personal injury attorneys.
1. You Don’t Need a Lawyer If You Are Not at Fault
This would be true in an ideal world, where insurance companies honor their obligation to pay for damages caused by their clients. In the real world, insurers are trying to maximize their profits by denying or devaluing claims they have to pay.
Since Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state where you have to be less than 51% at fault to file a claim, insurers will start by doubting your story. They will start by saying that you were more at fault than their client, thus you don’t have the right to file a claim
Or, if they admit your claim, they will cast doubt on the severity of your injuries and the need for medical care. It takes an experienced lawyer to find and use the relevant evidence to prove your case.
2. Lawyers Will Take More than Half of Your Settlement in Fees
Personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis. This means that they will retain a portion of the settlement amount they managed to negotiate with the insurer. However, this portion is never larger than 35% to 45% of the total amount.
Still, you will be left with more money compared with what you would have managed to negotiate on your own. A study conducted by the Insurance Research Council indicated that people with lawyers obtained 3.5 times more in settlements than people who represented themselves. The average settlements they identified for car accidents were:
- $10,000 without a lawyer
- $35,000 with a lawyer.
Even considering the highest contingency fee – 45% – the person with the lawyer will still retain more money than the accident victim without a lawyer: $19,250.
3. Personal Injury Attorneys Are Ambulance Chasers
Any Philadelphia personal injury lawyer has heard this statement many times: the lawyer reaches the hospital faster than the ambulance. This is what insurance adjusters usually do. They hope to get to see the injured person while still vulnerable and confused to obtain their signature on a lowball settlement offer.
Reputable lawyers at our law firm do not have to chase clients. Our experience and reputation bring us clients, who schedule appointments of their own free will.
4. Involving a Lawyer Will Make Your Case Draw Out for Years
Many people believe that lawyers try to prolong a case in order to make more money. As explained above, personal injury attorneys are not paid by the hour, but as a percentage of the settlement amount.
Also, a lawyer involved in your claim will actually shorten the process. Insurance adjusters often try to delay the final decision if they notice that the claimant does not have a lawyer.
Since the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit in Pennsylvania is two years after the date of your accident, the adjuster will take advantage of it to hit you with a very small settlement offer. With no time left to file a lawsuit, you are left with no legal recourse.
A lawyer will never permit the insurer to delay the decision so much. They will urge the adjuster to reach a fair settlement or threaten them with a lawsuit.
5. If You Hire a Lawyer, You’ll Have to Go to Court
This is the absolute opposite of the true state of things. Experienced lawyers do everything to reach a fair out-of-court settlement. They know that you want to get your compensation as soon as possible and move on with your life.
Statistical data support this assertion. Less than 4% of all personal injury cases go to trial – the vast majority being settlement through negotiations.
Call an Experienced Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyer!
If you suffered injuries and economic damages through someone’s negligence, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim and demand compensation. An experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyer from our firm won’t let the insurance company pressure you into accepting less than you deserve.
We offer all new clients a free case review, so call us at 267-314-8024 today to schedule yours!