How many personal injury lawyers does it take to change a light bulb?
Three – one to turn the bulb, one to shake him off the ladder, and the third to sue the ladder company!
Lawyer jokes–everyone has their favorite! The above one was recently told to us by a client. It gave us a good laugh and we thought it deserved a special place on the Boulton Law Group blog.
Good-natured jokes about personal injury lawyers are never in short supply, however, there is also an endless trail of misconceptions, wild myths, and outright lies that often dog accident attorneys.
We decided to examine some of the more persistent rumors to clear up any confusion for victims that need help but might be hesitant about contacting an Indianapolis personal injury firm.
The 7 BIGGEST myths about personal injury lawyers
1) “Lawyers make people ‘sue-happy,’ just like the lady who spilled McDonald’s hot coffee on herself!”
It could easily be referred to as “the spill that was heard around the world.”
Most people are familiar with a version of Stella Liebeck’s story. She was the 79-year-old grandmother who was severely burned and disfigured by McDonald’s hot coffee.
Unfortunately, many are unaware of the actual facts surrounding this case and simply believe Stella and her lawyers were looking for a quick payday. The reality is much different, and if you wish to learn more about what truly happened, we linked to an article that explains the facts surrounding the McDonald’s ‘hot coffee’ case.
It is safe to say that sensational news headlines and exaggerated claims are sometimes to blame for the belief that lawyers have made Americans sue-happy.
Boulton Law Group rarely receives a call from someone who is not truly and/or seriously injured. However, when we do hear from a caller whose claims are suspect, we simply let this person know that we do not believe we can help them.
In fact, frivolous lawsuits rarely see the light of day because they simply do not make sense. Additionally, most victims are honest people who simply want to be justly compensated for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, similar to Stella Liebeck’s wishes.
2) “To win your case and get the best results, you should hire a fighting, snarling, bulldog of a lawyer!”
Unfortunately, we sometimes see this sentiment expressed in attorney advertising.
Overly aggressive people often attack without a strategy or plan in mind, and this type of approach never proves advantageous in a personal injury claim. Every personal injury claim, no matter the details or size of the case, will require finesse, strategy, and a meticulous plan.
Boulton Law Group makes it clear to the insurance company from the onset that our clients’ interests are our only concern, without exception. However, we also ensure that each interaction we have with the insurance company is conducted professionally and with proven tactics in mind.
Unless the aim is to have an insurance company tune you out, hiring a “bulldog” may not be the best decision.
3) “A personal injury lawyer will care more about the person with the ‘big case’ because it means a larger fee for them.”
Word travels fast in today’s world of online reviews, and few businesses can ever be successful if they do not truly care about the people they serve. For lawyers, this means giving every client’s story and circumstances equal attention and energy, no matter the size of their case.
Each person’s suffering is unique to that individual and should never be compared to someone else’s as more or less.
Attorney Boulton and his staff recognize the human factor attached to every personal injury case in our office. We witness how each person is affected by their incident and that is why we take great pride in developing close personal relationships with all of our clients. It is also the reason we chose “Get treated like family” as our firm’s motto.
4) “A really good lawyer does not have time to explain things and should not be bothered.”
This should never be believed! In fact, at our office, we like to say that there is a reason we are born with two ears and only one mouth.
The successful lawyer understands that the key to winning cases is listening closely to their clients’ questions and concerns. Communication is key to every personal injury case.
For example, Boulton Law Group advises all of its clients to keep us informed regarding any changes in their health and or medical treatment. We want to be able to document the unique challenges a person faces post-accident. And sometimes a client simply needs someone to listen to them.
The details contained in a personal injury claim are what ultimately strengthen the case that we build on a client’s behalf.
5) “Personal injury lawyers will try to lengthen the time it takes to settle a case to get more money.”
There are 3 key factors that will affect the amount of time it takes to settle a personal injury claim:
- The amount of time a client spends in treatment before the doctor releases them.
A successful personal injury lawyer will never try to settle a client’s case until they have been released from their doctor’s care.
Any attempt to do so otherwise means that they will be settling the claim without a full understanding of the injuries and their impact on a person’s health, as well as a final accounting of the client’s medical bills.
- Whether or not the severity of a client’s injuries constitutes a “policy limits demand.”
If a person’s injuries are especially traumatic, such as a brain injury, the attorney may determine that the entire amount of the policy should be tendered by the insurance company.
For example, if a victim is hit by an Indiana driver who is carrying an insurance policy with the state minimum for bodily injury of $25,000/person and $50,000/accident, but their medical bills exceed these numbers, the attorney may immediately demand payment equaling the entire policy amount.
In these instances, a personal injury claim has the potential to settle much more quickly than a case that does not involve policy limits.
- The insurance company will not agree to settle the case for an appropriate amount of money.
Boulton Law Group is able to settle the vast majority of our clients’ cases without the need for a trial. However, if we believe the insurance company is undervaluing a client’s claim, we inform our client of this and advise that filing a lawsuit may be to our advantage.
Before the client gives us permission to file a lawsuit, we explain that this process can mean it will take several more months before their case is resolved. In Indiana, the reason for this is largely due to the number of cases that are currently backlogged throughout our city courts.
In each of the three scenarios above, purposefully stalling or lengthening the timeline has no impact on the final value of a personal injury claim and/or case.
6) “Personal injury lawyers are ambulance chasers!”
A number of sources are responsible for reinforcing this myth, including popular television shows such as Better Call Saul.
Every state, including Indiana, has very strict laws that largely prohibit personal injury lawyers from initiating contact with victims following their accident.
For example, a lawyer is not permitted to visit a victim in a hospital unless the injured person (or a family representative) is lucid and sound of mind, contacts the attorney first, and explicitly invites them to appear for a consultation.
Lawyers who do not abide by Indiana’s solicitation laws face the possibility of losing their license to practice. This is not something an ethical and successful attorney would risk.
Boulton Law Group’s clients largely come to us by way of referral or having been found through a search for information on the internet.
7) “It costs a lot to hire a great Indianapolis personal injury lawyer.”
Some people assume they cannot afford top-rated legal representation because the personal injury lawyer will ask for money upfront. For anyone who considers hiring Boulton Law Group, this is simply untrue.
Boulton Law Group works on a contingency fee basis, which we refer to as our Zero Fee Guarantee. It means that our personal injury consultations are always free and the only way our firm is paid is after we win a client’s case. In other words, No Win, No Fee.
We offer this type of arrangement to our clients to ensure everyone has access to award-winning legal representation, no matter their financial circumstance.
Do your homework before hiring a personal injury lawyer
Having just countered a lot of popular myths, we are also under no illusion that every law firm is perfect: Bad lawyers do exist. Examples of attorneys who crossed over to the wrong side of the law can be found with a simple Google search.
However, we also hear stories about an unethical doctor; see videos showing an act of police misconduct; watch breaking news about professional sporting scandals, and are shocked by an instance of a seemingly honest people embezzling from their employer.
The reality is that the business of being a lawyer is not unlike any other profession in the world. There will always be unfortunate instances that might make us question our faith in certain individuals.
For this reason, Boulton Law Group always recommends that accident victims and their families conduct research before hiring a personal injury lawyer, such as:
- Checking out the law firm and/or attorney’s online reviews.
- Asking friends and family for a personal recommendation.
- Visiting the lawyer’s website and look for examples of professional memberships and credentials.
- Preparing a list of questions to ask the attorney during your initial consultation.
Ultimately, we believe that the vast majority of Indiana’s personal injury attorneys are honest, hard-working people who enjoy practicing law and helping victims even the playing field against large insurance companies.
Do you have questions about your personal injury accident?
Do not let untrue rumors and myths stop you from contacting an experienced Indiana personal injury lawyer.
For more than 20 years, attorney Matt Boulton has dedicated himself to successfully helping Indiana’s injured and their families. He and his staff are sought after by victims who desire a law firm whose reputation for winning is matched by its promise of delivering exceptional client service.
No matter the type or size of your accident and injury, you can expect a kind voice to greet you at the Boulton Law Group.
To speak with attorney Boulton about your potential claim, you can reach him by calling 317-350-2680. Or if you wish to write to us with your questions, simply fill out our confidential contact form for an immediate online review.
We look forward to hearing your story and going to work for you!
Attorney Matt Boulton is an award-winning personal injury attorney with more than 20 years of experience helping seriously injured people throughout Indiana reclaim what was taken from them. His firm was created for for the client who expects exceptional service and passionate, successful legal representation.