Myths About Personal Injury Attorneys
1. All personal injury attorneys are ambulance chasers.
If you have watched any amount of prime-time television, you can identify the sleazy lawyer on sight. He wears expensive suits, and he can turn any small mistake into a multi-million-dollar payout. You had better shovel your driveway, and not drive near him. He seems to create lawsuits out of thin air and win them.
In the real world, personal injury attorneys do not create the situations they litigate. It would be against out ethics rules, not to mention just wrong. Lawyers work personal injury cases because they have seen the kind of legitimate harm that can come from an accident, and they want to help make it right.
2. Personal Injury attorneys are swimming in money; it’s the primary focus of their careers.
Personal Injury attorneys do not do this kind of work for the money. We could earn more on Wall Street working for large corporations. Personal injury attorneys work with individuals. We listen to each individual story and try to help every single person the best way we know how.
3. Personal Injury Attorneys will do anything to win a case.
There are a lot of stereotypes about lawyers. Including that we are all slimy liars, who can wiggle out of every situation. I admit that I am good in an argument, but every skill has limits. I will not lie for a case. I will not steal. I will not break the law. I will not even break the state bar’s ethics rules for a case. It is not worth being disbarred, and it is definitely not worth my integrity.
4. Real bulldogs get the job done best.
Everyone wants a lawyer who will intimidate the other side and win the case. That tenacious personality and take-no-prisoners attitude will work best for you. Not really. The truth is that most people care more about getting a fair settlement than hiring a drama queen.
While good lawyers can often be tenacious and intimidating, we do have other tricks up our sleeves. Negotiation settlement and navigating the autocracy of the insurance world and the court system is complicated, and it requires more of a scalpel than a hammer.
Attorney’s use all sorts of techniques to deal with insurance adjusters, doctors, opposing parties and other lawyers including being nice. I find in my practice that it is amazing what people will do for if you simply ask nicely.
If you see your attorney talking to opposing counsel or acting friendly with someone you see as an adversary, do not feel mad or betrayed. Your attorney is just working the system.