During my time as a personal injury lawyer here in Paducah, KY, I’ve come across a great deal of misinformation that clients come to me regarding. The legal profession is one that often seems shrouded in a curtain of mystery. Legal information tends to be difficult to come across– especially information that isn’t hard to digest and/or full of legal speak or what is commonly referred to as “legalese”.
As such, I’ve realized that there are a few common myths we see at our law office. Many of these myths are shared by friends and family members of our clients who come to us seeking legal assistance. Other times, myths come to life on television or in a movie and are consequently believed to be true.
Either way, there’s a reason they’re called myths. They’re simply not true. Here are 10 common car accident myths and the truths behind them:
- If you write the insurance company a letter and are reasonable, you will get a reasonable settlement proposal.
This is a myth often spread by insurance companies who want your business. The fact of the matter is that car accidents are often a battle between insurers. Both have the interests of their clients in mind and not the other victim of the accident. If you’re a victim of a crash that wasn’t your fault, your settlement offers will usually be anything but reasonable.
- When you are in an accident and the insurance company calls you to ask for a recorded statement, you have to give them a recorded statement or they won’t settle with you.
This is false. Insurance companies try and tell you this myth to scare you. You are not obligated to offer a recorded statement at any point. If you do, you may jeopardize your full settlement amount if you say the wrong thing or speak before you’re fully aware of the whole situation. It’s always best to speak to a personal injury lawyer before settling or agreeing to anything.
- All lawyers who advertise that they handle accident cases have the same ability, tools, and experience to handle your case.
Think about this one for a second. Is a fast food cook on the same level as a chef of a classy, downtown restaurant? Not usually. The same can be said for lawyers. Not all lawyers are equally skilled or experienced in fighting for a car accident victim’s rights, and most do not have access to the same resources and/or investigative tools. Do your research before hiring a lawyer. You’ll be thankful you waited.
- The insurance company for the person who hit you is obligated to pay your medical bills as they become due.
After a car wreck, no one is obligated to pay for anything unless their insurance settlement dictates they must do so. This is why insurance battles are often very difficult to fight and lead to piles of unpaid bills. In order to pay for your medical bills as quickly as possible, you need to ensure your legal rights are protected.
- All lawyers charge the same fees in injury cases.
Personal injury cases are paid for by contingency fees. What this means is that a personal injury lawyer won’t charge you any fees upfront. All lawyer’s fees come out of your settlement amount if you win your case. If you don’t win your case, many lawyers will not require a payment to be made. At Daryl T. Dixon law, this is how we handle fees. If your case doesn’t succeed, you don’t owe us anything.
- The court system is some sort of lottery that will help you get rich.
This is absolutely false. The U.S. court system exists to protect our civil rights as U.S. citizens. When wrongdoings are committed and someone is found guilty of negligence after causing an accident, we have a legal right to bring that person to court. The judge and/or jury will then weigh both sides of the case and decide on an outcome. There’s nothing random at all about our court system. Lawsuits are complicated, difficult matters and should be taken seriously. They take a great deal of time to settle and are never guaranteed.
- Just because there has been an accident and it wasn’t your fault, there must be some insurance company that will pay for your bills, lost wages, and injuries.
False. As mentioned above, you are owed nothing after an accident occurs unless your issuance agency and the other driver’s insurance agency are able to reach an agreement that is in your favor. If the agreement isn’t in your favor due to the other driver’s insurer offering an unfair settlement, you may need the help of a auto accident lawyer to receive the benefits you deserve.
- If a lawyer refers you to a doctor, that is a good idea.
A lawyer isn’t a medical professional. After an accident occurs, you should always follow the recommendations of your doctor and/or the doctor who treated you in the E.R.
- Juries in Kentucky are generous.
Juries are only as generous as every individual person serving on that jury. No state has juries that are more generous than the next.
- There is a formula for determining settlement value.
If you spend a little time browsing the websites of other lawyers, you’ll run into many sites that offer settlement value calculators and tools. These have no value. There is no true way to determine a settlement amount before a lawyer is able to fully investigate your case.
If you have any more questions or would like to speak to our lawyers about a possible car accident claim, don’t hesitate to get in touch today. At Daryl T. Dixon Law, we can pair you with a Paducah, KY personal injury lawyer who’s on your side and has the expertise your case requires.