6 Myths About Personal Injury Lawyers

Edited by Admin
6 Myths About Personal Injury Lawyers

6 Myths About Personal Injury Lawyers


Because personal injury lawyers are often portrayed in television and films, and because large settlements in American cases get a lot of attention, people in Canada have many misconceptions about personal injury cases. If you have been injured in an accident, you may be considering engaging a lawyer, but worried unnecessarily because you have a mistaken impression of lawyers who work on these kinds of cases. In fact, personal injury lawyers are some of the hardest working attorneys in the profession, and in the vast majority of cases they provide excellent service to their clients.


Here are Six of the most pernicious myths about personal injury lawyers and cases:

  1. Hiring a lawyer will cost too much, and I’ve already lost income due to my injuries. Personal injury lawyers do not take an up-front retainer, and they are paid on a contingency basis, which means that they do not charge hourly fees, but receive a percentage of any settlement compensation that their client receives. Because a good lawyer almost always negotiates a much higher settlement than the insurance company offers to victims, it only makes sense to get a personal injury lawyer on your side.


  2. Personal injury lawyers will take frivolous cases. Not only is this not true, it doesn’t make sense. Taking on frivolous or unwinnable cases would be a waste of the lawyer’s time, since they work on a contingency basis. When you look a little deeper, you may find that these “frivolous” cases had more substance than was reported in the media. You may have heard, for example, about the two families who sued Disneyland because their children saw Disney characters who were not wearing their heads. While that was a point that was mentioned in the case, in fact, both families were suing because they were treated very badly by Disney security, who in one case detained an entire family for hours after accusing them of shoplifting (they hadn’t) and in the second case, failed to respond when a family was held up at gunpoint in a parking lot. Of course, there are some frivolous suits that occur, but these are extremely rare even in the USA, where litigation is more common. In Canada, they are nearly non-existent.


  3. Personal injury cases are worth millions of dollars. In 1978, the Supreme Court of Canada capped the limit of compensation for pain and suffering at $100,000. The amount gets adjusted every year in order to keep up with inflation, so the amount is now more than $350,000. It’s important to note, however, that the full amount is only ever awarded in cases where the victim suffers severe, life-changing injuries. The cap applies only to “pain and suffering,” so more money can be awarded in areas such as loss of income, medical expenses, or attendant care, but it is still extremely rare for a settlement to exceed $1,000,000. The largest settlement in Canadian history ($17,000,000) went to a young man who was involved in an accident with a furniture delivery truck that made an illegal left turn. The young man was left with severe brain damage that affects every aspect of his life; he is unable to work, maintain relationships, or care for himself, and will require round-the-clock supervision for the rest of his life. In almost every Canadian case where damages exceeded $1,000,000, the important factor was the cost of future care.


  4. I’ll have to go to court if I hire a lawyer. In fact, in Canada more than 90% of personal injury cases are settled out of court. One of the skills that an experienced personal injury lawyer must possess is the ability to negotiate with insurance companies to reach a just settlement for his/her client.


  5. Personal injury lawyers aggressively pursue clients. Because some US firms employ “in-your-face” late-night TV ads, people tend to lump other personal injury firms into the same category. In fact, until recently, Ontario’s law society prevented law firms in this jurisdiction from advertising on television at all. Most Canadian television ads are tasteful and not at all aggressive.


  6. If I hire a lawyer, my case will drag on forever. Although some cases can take time to settle due to the nature of the injuries involved or when liability is in dispute, most personal injury cases are settled within two to four years.

A good personal injury lawyer is knowledgeable about insurance claims and the complex and exacting paperwork that’s required. He or she is usually also knowledgeable about medical issues and can help you to seek out the best care to help you during your recovery. A good lawyer will be as committed to your case as you are, and will work hard to get you what you deserve. In short, there are many reasons why working with a good personal injury lawyer is important for your future and that of your family. Contact a personal injury law firm today, and meet with a lawyer about your case.