WHAT ARE THE TOP MISCONCEPTIONS PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEYS?
The biggest misconception that is out there, is that plaintiff’s attorneys are just looking to make money off of somebody’s misfortune when the reality is that, the vast majority of plaintiff’s attorneys that I have worked with are incredibly caring genuine people that really do care about making societies safer. At our firm, one of the things that we like to do is while we are discussing the claim with an opposing party, talking about ways that we can prevent that claim from happening again or that set of circumstances. The biggest misconception is that personal injury lawyers do not really care about what happened to their clients.
Common Misunderstandings Regarding The Personal Injury Recovery Process
There is a misconception from people that think a recovery or a claim, is going to be quick and easy, quite the contrary. The insurance companies are well-funded, trucking companies are well-funded and they hire the best attorneys that they can afford and a lot of these claims are fought tooth and nail because the insurance companies do not make money by paying out on a claims. They make money by not paying out on claims. The primary misconception would be that it is going to be quick and easy when a lot of times it is a longer process and quite complicated.
Dealing With The Other party’s Insurance Carrier In A Personal Injury Claim
I typically tell my clients that they should not give a recorded statement to the opposing investigator or insurance carrier. Even though we are talking about civil claims, it is very much like the criminal context where anything you say can and will be used against you. That is typically the way those recorded statements work. Many times, something that is said is taken out of context or is used against that person when the meaning of what they said was somewhat unclear. I generally discourage my clients from giving a recorded statement certainly until they have had an opportunity to speak with an attorney.
Are There Any Circumstances Where It Is Mandatory For Someone To Share Their Medical Information With The Other Party?
No. There are no such circumstances unless you are in a lawsuit. If you are in a lawsuit, certainly the opposing side has the right to take your deposition, which is a more formal process than just a recorded statement over the phone. But in the claim stage or the investigation stage, you are not required or compelled in any way to give a recorded statement to the opposing side. Many times, insurance companies will say, “Well, we need the statement to understand what happened”, and that is just not the case. I would discourage anybody from giving a recorded statement to an insurance company before speaking with an attorney.
Personal Injury Attorneys Can Typically Negotiate Down Medical Bills or Liens
Typically, you can negotiate down on your medical bills, not always but generally that is something that we do when we are trying to resolve a case is negotiate down the bills. We will work with the healthcare providers to get their bills satisfied and if it takes a reduction on their part, we will encourage them to do so. Both Missouri and Kansas have lien statutes that can assist in negotiating down any medical liens.