Oftentimes in our role as personal injury lawyers, we have to dispel myths and misimpressions that others have about personal injury lawyers and the personal injury process. These myths can be particularly harmful to personal injury victims when they cause an individual to delay talking to a lawyer or to forego legal representation altogether. The following list includes some of the more prevalent myths that we have encountered in our many years of practice:
While it is true that you can reach a settlement with the insurance company or companies involved in your case, this does not mean you necessarily should. Insurance companies will attempt to settle your case for as little money as possible, and any settlement you reach with an insurance company will likely be for far less than you actually deserve. When a person hires a lawyer, it sends a signal that they are more serious about attaining a fair settlement. A personal injury lawyer experienced at handling cases similar to yours will have a broader perspective on what your case is worth. Insurance companies do not want to go to trial. You will generally receive a larger settlement if you have an attorney negotiating on your behalf.
Some people truly do put other people’s concerns before themselves, even when the other person is responsible for causing significant and painful injuries. More than a few personal injury victims hesitate to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault party, fearing that the lawsuit will cause the individual to have financial difficulties or force them into bankruptcy. In most cases, an individual’s insurance company will be the one who pays any settlement or judgment. Only where the individual responsible for your accidents is uninsured or not covered for the specific type of accident that caused your injuries could the individual be personally responsible for your injuries.
Even if you believe you are partially responsible for causing your accident or injuries, you may still be able to recover compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. A Florida court that is presented with evidence that more than one person is responsible for causing an accident will assign a certain percentage of fault to each responsible party. Your compensation award would be reduced by the percentage of fault attributable to your own negligence, according to Florida law. So for example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages but found to be 25 percent at fault in causing the accident, the actual compensation award you would receive would be $75,000.
After any personal injury accident (but especially falls, strikes or blows to the head, car accidents, and any other violent incident) you should seek evaluation and treatment from a qualified medical professional. There are several reasons we recommend this: First, there may be injuries that are not obvious to you and the sooner these injuries are detected and treated, the better your prognosis will be. In addition, you have a responsibility to help minimize the extent and severity of your injuries by taking reasonable action. In most personal injury situations, “reasonable action” includes getting checked out by a doctor or other qualified professional.
The law is complex, and it is impossible for a single lawyer to be knowledgeable in all areas of the law. Most lawyers focus on handling certain types of cases. It is important that you hire an attorney who has experience and knowledge in investigating personal injury accidents similar to your because the substantive and procedural law applicable to your lawsuit will be different from the laws that apply to divorce cases or probate cases. At Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC, our experience is in handling personal injury cases, so you can be assured that your personal injury case will be handled competently and professionally.
Personal injury law firms generally will take a injury cases on a contingency-fee basis. That means that the client does not owe any legal fee for the lawyer’s services unless the attorney is able to obtain compensation for you. A contingent fee arrangement allows victims of personal injury to have access to experienced attorneys who they otherwise might be not able to afford.
Think of hiring an attorney as an investment in your legal and financial recovery.
Fact: While we strive to obtain prompt payment for our clients for their injuries, this is not always possible and depends in large part on how much the other parties are contesting liability. If the insurance company representing the other party maintains that the defendant was not at fault in your accident, or if there is a dispute about the extent of your injuries, your case may take longer to resolve.
Contact Holliday Karatinos Law Firm for Assistance with Your Case
If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident in Florida, contact a law firm with a tradition of providing exceptional legal representation to its clients: Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC. We will handle your case with the care and diligence you deserve and will aggressively pursue compensation for your injuries from the at-fault parties. We will also keep you informed of the progress of your case and help you understand what you can – and should not – expect as your case progresses. Contact us today to discuss your case with us by calling one of our offices or contact our firm through our website.