Common misconceptions about lawyers (and why they’re not true)

Lawyers on television create an untrue stereotype as a whole. The drama of a courtroom as depicted on TV is almost never seen in reality. Additionally, most legal shows don’t ever cover the part of the conversation where fees are discussed and paid.

Lawyers, especially personal injury lawyers, also have a negative reputation thanks to the stereotype of “ambulance chasers.” Your personal injury lawyer (and lawyers in general) should never make you feel like they’re trying to benefit from your injuries in any way.

Common misconceptions about lawyers can make you hesitate to hire one when you really need somebody in your corner who understands what to do after an accident or personal injury. You need a personal injury lawyer who will fight for you: to make sure you get better and get the compensation you deserve. This service does come with a cost, but the fee isn’t what a good lawyer is about — they’re about helping you.

Misconception #1 — personal injury lawyer fees are huge

Yes, those lawyers you see with firms that spread across the country are pretty wealthy. That’s mostly due to the volume of clients their firm sees. Smaller, local firms, with a firm understanding of local and state laws, and a strong presence within the community, can defy the stereotypes that lawyers are just about the big bucks. Smaller firms tend to focus on quality over quantity.

Most lawyers in this position can provide a more personal connection throughout your case because they’re not overwhelmed with a ton of clients. They can serve you better because their bottom line isn’t what’s the most important: your recovery and bottom line is. Regardless though, you always want to have a lawyer who’s upfront about any costs you might incur during the process and after you’ve reached a settlement.

Misconception #2 — you lose your settlement when you win paying your lawyer

It’s a real fear. You win your case and get stuck saying, “the lawyer took my settlement.” That money was supposed to be for your expenses and hardships, but in the end you have to pay up, and that, in your mind, can mean it’s not worth having a lawyer at all.

This is one of the most devastating misconceptions. The last thing you should fear is that your personal injury lawyer is working toward a payout that won’t benefit you at all.

Most personal injury lawyers take 33 percent of what they recover for you. This percentage  should be taken into consideration when your lawyer asks for a specific amount in compensation, or when you make decisions about resolving your case. Your lawyer should explain to you what the numbers mean: The total settlement amount isn’t as important to you as knowing how much is owed to the attorney, to medical providers, and how much will be left over for you.

This is also something you can discuss with your lawyer upfront so you understand what a payout from a settlement will really look like rather than feeling as if you’ll have to battle excessive attorney fees at some point down the road.

Misconception #3 — lawyers just have aggressive attitudes

You may ask yourself, How do I know if my lawyer is good? after that initial consultation. While it’s the right question, many people often look for the wrong markers to find their answer. The personality of your lawyer doesn’t have to be aggressive or rude to work through your case. They don’t have to convince you they’ll do anything (whether legal or not) to win.

A lawyer has the right attitude when they’re a good person, who understands that their job is to uphold the law and seek justice on your behalf. Their behavior doesn’t feel disruptive, but rather personable. If they had to enter court, you want a lawyer who’s going to get on everyone’s good side rather than start yelling and making a scene.

Misconception #4 — lawyers want to win so bad, they’ll argue until the end

Protecting a client’s interests and continuing to argue just to be ‘right’ are two very different things. A good lawyer will focus on the first. Working toward your best interests, enabling you to see the biggest settlement possible, may very well mean stopping an “argument” before you think it’s over.  This could mean your case never evolves to filing a lawsuit, and never goes to court. Yet, in the end, you may still receive a settlement that covers your needs.

A lawyer’s level of expertise in this area is what makes them the perfect advocate for you since knowing when to show restraint can bring in more compensation. A lawyer who behaves like the stereotype may accidentally anger the other side to a point where they pull back on cooperating.

Misconception #5 — a good lawyer is one that always wins

It’s impossible to win them all, but it’s not impossible for a good lawyer to do their best working for you. Will every case get a huge payout? Probably not, but then not every case requires that level of compensation. It’s also important to note that not every case has the same level of difficulty, which makes it hard to lump them all in together and get a straight winning ratio.

A good lawyer wins a lot of their cases, but they lose some too. While the outcome of your case can never be certain, if you’re confident your lawyer will work as hard as they can to support your claim for compensation and has some experience and positive testimonials — you’re in good hands.

How to find a good lawyer

Stop wondering how to find a good lawyer and contact a legal team with a proven track record for caring for and supporting clients. At Nicholson, Silverbach & Watson, we customize our approach to the specifics of your case, working hard to take the stress off of fighting for the compensation you deserve so you can focus on healing. Trust us to never prove these common misconceptions true. We’re here for you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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We want to connect with you and help you during this challenging time. If it’s more convenient to communicate via email, please reach out to us at info@nsw.law.