The public perception of personal injury attorneys is, unfortunately, not very good. Many people mistakenly believe that a personal injury lawyer is an “ambulance chaser” and is only out for themselves.
Nothing could be further from the truth. And that’s only the beginning. There are many myths and misconceptions about Norfolk personal injury lawyers. That is why I decided to publish this blog. I want to set the record straight.
Myth No. 1
Norfolk Personal Injury Lawyers are Merely Ambulance Chasers Out to Make a Quick Buck.
“Chasing” ambulances is both morally wrong and prohibited under the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct (specifically Rule 7.3). Yet, this myth continues to be the most prominent in the profession. The fact that personal injury attorneys advertise on television, radio and other media probably contributes to the false stereotype. I will tell you that I take my job seriously and emphasize ethical and effective representation.
Myth No. 2
A Personal Injury Lawyer Takes a Huge Chunk of Any Settlement or Jury Verdict.
Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingency fee basis. Basically, this means that the lawyer does not get paid unless and until they get money for their client, either through a settlement, judgment, or jury verdict. Typically, a contingency fee will result in your lawyer receiving roughly 33.3 percent of the total amount of money recovered (though this percentage may go up or down depending on the type of case and whether it had to be resolved at trial).
The contingency fee system is designed to benefit clients, not lawyers. How? Well, if you hire a lawyer on a contingency fee basis, you do not have to pay them anything up front. You are not paying the lawyer by the hour. Instead, your lawyer is incentivized to work for your best interests and get an amount of money that you will be happy with (because your lawyer only gets paid when you get paid).
But be rest assured, your Norfolk personal injury attorney is not going to take a “huge chunk” of your settlement, judgment, or verdict and leave you with nothing. The objective is to get you, the client, maximum compensation.
Myth No. 3
The Defendant Will Be Destitute and Forced to File for Bankruptcy Because of Your Lawsuit.
In most personal injury cases, especially car accident cases, the defendant (i.e. the party that is alleged to have harmed you) has their insurance company handling their case. If a judgment is entered in your favor, the insurance company is going to pay, not the individual defendant.
I hope this blog helps debunk some common myths surrounding personal injury attorneys and the injury claim process. If you or a loved one was seriously hurt in an accident and are debating whether to hire a lawyer, take the time to call a lawyer and talk to them about your case. Most personal injury attorneys offer free, completely confidential consultations.