Many misconceptions exist about personal injury lawyers and the personal injury claims process. Sadly, these false assumptions can stop those who have been injured from reaching out to a lawyer. This leads to more people accepting lowball settlement offers from insurance companies and falling for other tactics insurance companies use to take advantage of people who don’t have a lawyer on their team.

With this article, we hope to debunk and provide clarity around some of the common misconceptions about personal injury lawyers and the personal injury claims process so that you or a loved one can confidently seek the legal help you may need now or down the line.

Myth 1: The insurance company’s first offer is the best and final offer, so I should accept it.

After an accident, many people believe that the insurance company’s first offer is the best and final offer, but that’s not true. Insurance companies often offer accident victims much less than the true value of their case. A personal injury lawyer will be able to provide you much more insight into what you may be entitled to based on your particular situation using their experience inside and outside of the courtroom. 

After getting an initial offer from your insurance company, you need to take into account all past, current, and future medical bills. Many people don’t think about how much their future care is going to cost them when reviewing the offer. On top of that, there are many forms of compensation you may be entitled to including lost wages if you miss work due to your injuries, property damage, pain and suffering, and more. 

Time and time again, our attorneys are able to secure our clients much higher settlements than the initial offer. Don’t fall for the insurance company’s tricks. Instead, get an experienced attorney on your side to protect yourself or at least to review the offer to ensure you’re not selling your case short.

Myth 2: I can’t afford a personal injury attorney – they’re too expensive.

Understandably, many people hesitate to talk to a personal injury attorney after an accident. A lot of times before coming to us our clients have expensive medical bills, varying property damage to their vehicles, and other expenses piling up. They don’t want to contact an attorney, as they fear it will be yet another thing they have to pay for out of pocket. This is a common misconception about personal injury lawyers that is incorrect.

With Cavanaugh & Thickens and most other personal injury law firms, you can speak to an attorney, even before hiring us, at no charge. This may be referred to as a “free case evaluation” or “free consultation.” During your free consultation we’ll discuss your case, explain the legal process, and give you all the information you need to make an informed decision. 

In addition, most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. This means that at the end of your case, your lawyer earns a percentage of the total settlement won on your behalf. If for some reason there is no recovery, you do not owe your lawyer anything.

With our law firm, there are NO upfront fees or charges, and if we do not recover any money for you, then you owe our team nothing. 

Myth 3: I have insurance, so I don’t need a personal injury lawyer.

Many people assume that because they have insurance, they don’t need to hire a personal injury lawyer after an accident. However, even if you have insurance, there are many benefits to hiring an attorney. For example, a personal injury lawyer can help with various aspects of your case such as:

  • Make sure you’re getting all the compensation you deserve. This includes compensation for medical bills, time missed from work, property damage, pain and suffering, funeral costs if the accident resulted in loss of life, and much more.
  • Negotiate with the insurance company to make sure you’re getting the full amount you’re owed. 
  • Gather critical evidence for your case, including photos, videos, witness statements, and more.
  • Work to prove liability.
  • Manage important communication with the parties involved so you don’t have to worry about being tricked into anything by anyone.
  • Regularly update you on the status of your case. You’ll always know where we’re at and what to expect next.
  • Obtain and analyze police reports.
  • Obtain and organize your medical documents to present them to the insurance company.
  • Prove and value all of your past, current, and future damages, expenses, and losses.
  • Give you guidance on important decisions.
  • Strategically present your case to get you the maximum of what you’re owed under SC law, and more.

Myth 4: Personal injury lawsuits only cover physical damages.

Many people assume that personal injury lawsuits only cover physical damages, but that’s not true. 

There are a few different forms of compensation an attorney will help you recover:

  • Medical Bills
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Lost Wages
  • Property Damage 
  • Transportation 

You and your attorney will work together to optimize your personal injury claim, ensuring the insurance company gives you everything you’re entitled to under the law for ALL damages and losses caused by the accident.

Myth 5: I only have minor injuries, so I don’t need a lawyer.

Many people think that because they only have minor injuries, they don’t need to hire an attorney. That may be true, but most often it is in your best interest to at least talk to a personal injury attorney about your case. One of the common pitfalls we see is someone who rushes to settle their case days after an accident, only to find that their pain does not go away as expected. 

Unfortunately, if you end up needing a referral to a specialist like an orthopedist or neurologist, or further treatment like physical therapy, you could be left paying out of pocket if you settled your claim with the insurance company prematurely. 

Again, many personal injury law firms offer completely free consultations, so there is nothing to lose by calling and scheduling a consultation.

Myth 6: The at-fault party will have to pay out of pocket, so I’m going to ruin their life.

Many people are reluctant to file a personal injury claim because they are worried the other party will have to pay everything out of pocket, thus causing a huge financial strain for them and their family. This is a common and generally false assumption about personal injury lawsuits.

Under South Carolina law, every motorist is required to have minimum liability insurance covering injuries caused to other people and property in the amount of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. Often, the amount of coverage may be higher. In most cases, it is the at-fault party’s insurance company that handles the payout and settlement, not the individual. Furthermore, you may have access to additional coverage under your own insurance policy or other available policies that can sometimes provide additional compensation.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

We take great pride in the fact that we are able to take on the legal side of cases for our clients so they can focus on what matters most: healing. Our law firm is dedicated to helping our clients recover as best as possible physically, financially, and emotionally following an accident. 

If you’re considering hiring a personal injury attorney for an accident that occurred in South Carolina, let an experienced personal injury lawyer help you through the process and get you what you’re owed. 

Our law firm is currently accepting new clients. To schedule a free consultation with our award-winning legal team, please contact our office by calling (803) 888-2200, emailing, or filling out our website form. Our law firm is available 24/7 via phone.