The insurance industry likes nothing more than discrediting the notion that a personal injury case can provide real justice to injured parties. They’ll mock legitimate cases in the media, back restrictive “tort reform” measures, and basically do anything else in their power to swing the pendulum of power as far toward big business as they possibly can.
They’ve been wildly successful at spreading disinformation about personal injury cases to the point where some injury victims are reluctant to pursue them. Even those who might like to file a claim often don’t because they don’t realize they can.
Myth: You Can’t File a Claim if You Were Partially Responsible
In New York, you can file a claim even if you were 99% responsible. It doesn’t always make sense to do so, as the same amount would reduce your injury claim, but nothing stops you.
The assignment of comparative negligence is negotiable right up until a case goes to trial, which means your personal injury attorney might be able to negotiate the adjuster’s determination of fault in a more favorable direction.
You should always check with an attorney before you write off your case.
Myth: The Insurance Company Will Make a Fair Offer Without a Lawyer’s Help
It is true that insurance companies often make an initial offer before you go to a lawyer. Unfortunately, these offers are far lower than your actual losses and expenses. You always want to get a personal injury lawyer to look at your case before expecting any offer.
Many victims don’t get offers at all. Insurance companies deny claims just as often. They don’t want to pay you, and if they can find any excuse to deny your claim, they will make it.
Myth: Only Greedy People File Personal Injury Claims
This is perhaps the insurance industry’s favorite myth. Here’s the truth: few people get rich on a personal injury settlement. People who walk away with million-dollar settlements tend to have catastrophic injuries requiring lifelong care. Some can’t ever walk again, some are paralyzed from the neck down, and some have been mutilated and have lost their ability to live a normal life.
Remember, medical bills are skyrocketing; few people can afford to be out of work for even a week, and the settlement is based on your actual financial losses. The goal is to make the victim “whole” again.
Myth: Lawyers Take All the Money
Here in New York, lawyers may take up to 33 ⅓% as a contingency fee. While this sounds like a lot, remember you’re far more likely to win a settlement at all with a lawyer’s help, and the settlement is likely to be three to ten times larger.
The math checks out: you will come out ahead.
If you have any questions about our fee structure, you can
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Meet Mr. Richman
SCOTT B. RICHMAN, ESQ.
Mr. Richman is the Managing Member and Founder of Richman Law Firm PLLC. In his role as Managing Member, Mr. Richman oversees the day-to-day operations of the firm and handles the litigation of the most complex legal matters across a vast array of practice areas and disciplines.