There are lots of false ideas out there about hiring a lawyer. Television, movies, and even the evening news have created a perception of how car accidents happen and how the legal process of handling a claim functions. Some people are under the impression that personal injury lawyers are characterized by the ambulance-chasing lawyer in a cheap suit. Others seem to think that attorneys and insurance companies work together to make as much money as possible through a haze of greed and cigar smoke. These are generally incorrect and unfair stereotypes and are detrimental to the process of law; it also creates situations in which settling a car accident claim becomes more difficult. In this article, we would like to dispel some of these stereotypes and unfair characterizations of car accident lawyers by illustrating the way the process works and the many ways a car accident lawyer in Miami can improve the chances of a positive outcome with your car accident claim.
An Attorneys Day in a Nutshell
Chances are that most people will see far more attorneys on TV shows and movies than they will in real life. These fictional, dramatized versions of life as a lawyer are responsible for many of the most offensive stereotypes that cast lawyers as lazy and greedy. The real irony of the situation is that most of the “attorneys” portrayed in entertainment would be ran out of town in seconds for engaging in the tactics shown on screen.
The reality of life as a lawyer is far from the $30,000 suits and $250,000 luxury cars driven by immaculately groomed chauffeurs whisking the attorney to a private lunch meeting on a multi-million dollar yacht so many TV programs put out there. The vast majority of attorneys don’t spend any time on a high-dollar yacht- or in chauffeured cars for that matter. In fact, working as an attorney is long days, late nights, and no downtime. It is not uncommon for attorneys to work 80 hours per week and to be on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Attorneys are expected to be available on holidays, weekends, and even in the middle of the night. There is no glamor to the job, and the vast majority of days are spent digging through complex law, taking depositions, gathering evidence, and writing legal briefs.
Working as an attorney is grueling work with great frustration and risk, particularly as a car accident lawyer in Miami. There are no guaranteed cases, and there is no guaranteed money in it, either. You see, car accident attorneys only get paid if they settle your claim to your benefit. Even then, the amount of compensation is fixed, so there is no guarantee that an attorney will recover money for even half of the time they spend on a case.
Unlike most professions that receive payment for services upfront or at the time of service, an attorney may spend months or years working on a case before any payment comes in. All the while, the attorney is responsible for ensuring employees are paid, office expenses are covered, and taxes are settled. It’s a lot of risks to undertake just for fame and glory. In fact, many attorneys practice law because they are called to ensure a free, just, and responsible society and take on the stress and risk to see to it that the law is upheld.
Advice for Hiring a Miami Car Accident Lawyer
The first bit of advice we can give you is to suspend what you think you know about attorneys and the law when you are involved in a car accident in Miami. The job of an attorney is to understand the law and apply it to protect the interests of their clients. You should try and remember that your attorney is there to help you. When you realize your attorney is on your side, it will be easier to build trust between the lawyer and client. Gaining a client’s trust is often one of the most important elements to obtaining a successful outcome in a case, because without knowing all the facts, a car accident lawyer can’t properly do his or her job. A client is generally better off ignoring the stereotypes and characterizations of lawyers who are just in it for the money and be totally open and honest with your legal representative. It’s the only way a Miami car accident lawyer can do the monumental task of representing your interests well.
The Only Reason to Hire a Lawyer is for a Big Pay Day
This stereotype runs hand-in-hand with the greedy attorney, only this time it negatively creates the image of individuals involved in a car accident claiming frivolous injuries for a big settlement. It has even become a sarcastic joke- as in, “oh, my back and my neck!” Many people reach out to our office after spending weeks or months trying to settle an injury claim on their own. By the time they contact us, they have a mountain of medical bills, they’ve run out of time off at work, and they aren’t physically able to return to life as usual. In many of these cases, an insurance adjuster has made a settlement offer that doesn’t begin to cover the expense of the injury, but has informed the person the offer is “final”, so like it or lump it.
The Reason You Should Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
An important reason you should hire a Miami car accident lawyer is to make sure you get the appropriate remedy to resolve the damages you suffered. Depending on the type of claim, the remedy may not necessarily be financial. The fact is that most attorneys are motivated by the notion of upholding the law and defending the rights of the clients they serve. Do we want you to get a huge settlement? Of course, but that’s not why we do this job, and it shouldn’t be a focus of yours going into a case. In the vast majority of Miami car accident claims, without a good car accident lawyer, you stand a good chance of shouldering significant financial debt and physical pain that you shouldn’t have to burden.
Advice on Why You Should Hire a Lawyer in Miami
When you are injured in an accident, your motivation needs to be getting your life back as close to how it was before as possible. There is no amount of money that will make the actions of a negligent person right, and you should get over the idea that you’ll get rich by filing a claim. A properly litigated case ends with the injured person seeing medical bills paid, lost time at work compensated, and future costs provided for through the settlement.
Injury Law Focuses on Accountability
An aspect of litigation that is holding responsible parties accountable for their actions. Regardless of the money involved in any type of injury claim, your car accident lawyer is focused on ensuring the law is applied fairly and correctly in your specific case. It isn’t about money, it’s about responsibility. In that regard, financial settlements are intended to give responsible persons cause to reevaluate the actions that put them on the losing end and make a change. Chances are, you aren’t going to get rich from a rear-end accident that wasn’t your fault. But, you don’t have to face the task of recovering your losses alone; our car accident attorney in Miami is here to help.
I’m Not the Kind of Person Who Calls a Lawyer
This is another of those unfortunate stereotypes that gets batted around all too often. In some regard, it makes sense. Americans are, by nature seek ways to do it for ourselves and reduce reliance on others. Self-reliance is a way of life for many people, and the idea of hiring an attorney to handle a car accident claim, even one with significant and serious injuries, just seems wrong to many people.
When you file a claim against a responsible person for damages arising out of a car accident, you are exercising your legal rights. The concept that hiring an attorney is selfish, bad, or unnecessary is the primary reason thousands of injured people each year choose not to pursue action and instead accept a lifetime of pain and suffering.
The people pedaling the concept that you are bad for knowing your rights and holding people accountable for their actions have a motivation far from freedom and justice. The law exists to protect you; refusing to use the law doesn’t create virtue, it creates victims and enables abusers of the law.
Advice if You are Uncomfortable Hiring a Lawyer
We understand that initiating a lawsuit is stressful, threatening, and is a process filled with doubt and risk. There are thousands of motivations to not file claims, but there is only one really good bit of advice we can offer you. Simply put, filing a lawsuit doesn’t change who you are as a person, what you believe, or how you should be viewed by others. If you are injured by the actions of another person, you should not be responsible for the costs of the accident.
Most car accident lawyers in Miami will handle your case in such a way so that the process upsets your life as little as possible. We want you to focus on recovering from your injuries, not dwelling on the process. Unfortunately, the stereotype that only greedy, bad people file lawsuits means that some people will judge you harshly for demanding that your rights are honored. There are ways a claim can be handled by your car accident lawyer to protect you from backlash by people who don’t fully understand personal injury law in Florida.
My Car Insurance Company is More Trustworthy than a Lawyer
Sometimes, popular media can be a source of confusion, and here is one of the classic situations. How many TV commercials do you see every time you watch a show from an insurance company talking about how they will protect you, drop what they are doing to make sure you are safe, and jump through all kinds of hoops to help you- all for a low, monthly rate.
What those commercials don’t include is that selling insurance is a business, and a big one too. The business only makes money if it doesn’t pay money out. The insurance company is always looking for ways to reduce the amount of money they pay in a claim. Whether that money goes to you or to someone else is irrelevant, all that matters is it’s no longer in the company coffers.
We already pointed out that your car accident lawyer only gets paid if you win your claim, but consider that your insurance company only stays in business if they pay out less than what they collect. How motivated do you think your adjuster is going to be to get you the maximum settlement for your accident when paying you reduces their profit? We see an unfortunately high number of people reach out to our office only after realizing that their car insurance company is only too happy to collect that monthly payment until something happens and they have to file a claim.
Advice for Dealing with Insurance Companies
Dealing with insurance companies starts with the understanding that the car accident lawyer you hire to handle your claim is there for you. They will do whatever it takes, regardless of personal profit, to get the fair and reasonable result you deserve.
Don’t talk to insurance adjusters after a car accident until you speak to a lawyer. You should file a claim with your insurance as soon as possible to get the ball rolling, but don’t allow your discussion to be recorded without proper representation. Almost all insurance companies, even those representing you, will happily use a recorded conversation they make in which you say something that can reduce the amount of compensation they have to give you. It is against the law for the insurance company to record you without permission.
The Last Bit of Advice on Hiring a Miami Car Accident Lawyer for your Claim
These days, it can be very challenging to separate fact from fiction when it comes to the law. We are exposed to dozens of popular TV shows, movies, and even video games that portray attorneys and the practice of law in a negative, shameful light. It’s unfortunate that the impression most people get about attorneys is based on fictional drama. When you are involved in a car accident in Miami-Dade or anywhere else in Florida, hiring an attorney to handle your claim is one of the smartest decisions you can make.
Personal injury law is a highly complex area of law practice. Florida has many unique and nuanced laws that affect who, when, and how a clam for injuries can be filed with the Florida courts. The system caters to those of us who are trained in legal practice, making handling a claim by the average person significantly more challenging. There is no safety net, either. If you handle your claim on your own and agree to an unfair settlement, there is nothing a lawyer can do to help.
The best advice we could possibly give you is to reach out to a car accident lawyer in Miami as soon as possible after an accident. You will stand a better chance of getting the life you had back quickly by trusting an attorney and ignoring the false, misleading, and derogatory characterizations popular in today’s media.