5 Myths About Personal Injury Claims
Being injured in an accident caused by someone or something else can entitle you to a variety of different types of damages. However, you must first file a personal injury (PI) claim or lawsuit and achieve a positive outcome that covers the total cost and damages to which you are entitled.
To help frame your expectations on what might be possible in your case, you are encouraged to speak with a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer from the Grife Law Firm. Your initial case review is risk-free and cost-free, and during that review, we will be happy to explain how a PI claim works. In this article, we discuss five main myths about PI claim so you know what to expect.
Myth #1: We Take Every Case
While you might think that personal injury lawyers take any case that comes their way, that is not how it works. Only certain personal injury cases qualify for settlements or lawsuits such that an attorney will take the case. Your initial consultation is when your potential attorney will determine if your case is a fit with the firm, so it is helpful to bring as much information as you can about the accident, medical costs, and other evidence to your initial consultation.
Generally, your initial consultation is free, and if your PI case is taken, you pay nothing out-of-pocket as your attorney only gets paid if they win your case. Their payment comes out of a portion of the compensation they are able to produce for you, which naturally means that PI attorneys are only able to take cases that could lead to a favorable settlement or case outcome.
For a PI attorney to take your case, generally the case will need to involve:
- Injuries that have long-term and/or life-altering consequences and symptoms
- The accident or incident that caused your injuries was caused by someone or something else
- The party responsible for the accident, or their insurance company, is capable of paying the compensation you deserve
The initial consultation will help determine if you have a case and how your attorney can help. If we cannot take your case, we will do our best to provide you with a referral to another lawyer who may be able to assist. At this point, you may be wondering how much this will cost.
Myth #2: Hiring a Lawyer Will Drain My Finances Right Away
One of the most common misconceptions about PI attorneys is that the cost that you will have to pay is prohibitive. You might worry that you cannot afford the hourly rate of a PI attorney, and accordingly, you decide not to reach out to one. This can lead to a substantial decrease in the amount of compensation that you are able to collect, as your attorney knows how to gather evidence to support the best possible outcome in your case.
To be clear, a Boca Raton PI attorney will oftentimes cost you nothing out-of-pocket, meaning that no money leaves your personal account or household budget in order to pay for your legal representation. Your initial consultation is cost-free and risk-free, during which time we’ll gather information about your injuries and the accident to determine if we can take your case.
If we can take your case, we’ll explain how our contingency fee agreement works. Basically, we only get paid if we win out of a portion of the earnings that we secure on your behalf. The percentage is something that we will agree on before getting started, and our rates are standard for the PI industry.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident caused by a drunk driver and experienced a broken leg that will lead to permanent mobility issues, you likely have a PI claim. Your initial consultation to review the evidence is free, and if we take your case, we only get paid if we win. If we happen to agree on a 30% contingency fee arrangement, if we obtain $1 million for you, you are awarded $700,000 and our fee is $300,000. You never pay us anything out of your own pocket, either for the consultation or for the cost of the many hours we put into advocating for you throughout the process.
Myth #3: Free Consultations are a Scam
There is the old saying that you only get what you pay for, and in many cases, this is absolutely true. When it comes to your free initial consultation, however, there is real value in the time that you will spend with your potential lawyer during your visit. The time will often be very limited, so it is important to come prepared with as much information as possible about the accident and your injuries.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to review the evidence related to your injuries to determine if there is a party responsible with the capacity to cover your damages and determine what the process will look like to collect upon your damages. While it would be ideal if you received the full amount in damages that you were entitled to automatically after your injury, this is not the case. Instead, you must gather evidence to prove the liability of the responsible party and accurately and completely measure your damages.
The process of collecting on your PI claim begins with your free consultation, but the process does not stop there. At that point, your attorney will then move through the claims process and potentially into a lawsuit depending on how the responsible party reacts to your demands.
Myth #4: These Cases Take Too Long To Be Worth Pursuing
The unique facts and circumstances of your injuries and the accident or incident that caused them will oftentimes determine whether your PI lawyer can achieve a fast pretrial settlement or will need to file a lawsuit to collect your damages. When the evidence clearly proves the fault of the other party and the costs associated with your life-altering and long-term injuries, then it is more likely that a settlement offer will be presented.
The party responsible for the accident and their insurance company will have their own lawyers and risk analysts advising them on what to do. Their goal is to deny your claim if possible or to pay as little as they can. However, when the evidence is in your favor, it is in their best interests to settle for a fair amount as soon as possible, as the time and resulting cost it takes to go to trial can be substantial.
Additionally, there is always the risk that the judge or jury will award you far more than your initial costs through additional damages like pain and suffering. Due to this, the opposing party is often motivated to settle sooner rather than later when you have the benefit of an experienced and persuasive PI lawyer.
Not all PI cases lead to a quick settlement, however, and not all responsible parties are willing to pay what they owe even when the evidence clearly proves it. This is when a lawsuit is necessary, and your PI lawyer will file it on your behalf and argue in court to pursue the best possible outcome. Court cases can take time to process, and timelines are often difficult to clearly determine given ongoing delays in the court system. If a lawsuit is necessary, however, you can trust your PI attorney’s ongoing commitment to supporting the best outcome in your case.
Myth #5: You Always Have To Go To Court
Television dramas and PI lawyer ads might lead you to believe that you will always have to go to court in order to collect what you may be owed. As noted above, this is not the case, and your effective Boca Raton personal injury lawyer may be able to negotiate a complete and fair settlement without having to go to court. In the event that court is essential, you are not obligated to attend the trial in person if you are not interested or comfortable doing so. Your PI lawyer will take into account your preferences and help you navigate the claims process in a way that you are comfortable with while also supporting the best outcome possible.
The process of filing a lawsuit requires that you timely file your complaint in line with the deadlines allowed under Florida law. Your attorney ensures that deadlines are met, the proper evidence is collected, and the best outcome on your behalf is secured.
Speak with a Boca Raton Personal Injury Lawyer from The Grife Law Firm Today
For help determining if you have a case that may fit with our firm, reach out as soon as possible after you have sought emergency medical care for your accident. To learn how The Grife Law Firm can help put together the strongest claim or case to collect compensation for your injuries, give us a call at 561-998-0770, or visit our site to schedule a consultation.