Ambulance chaser, Bottom Feeders, Sharks – it’s not the first time you’ve likely heard these terms used for Personal Injury (PI) Attorneys and it certainly won’t be the last. But hopefully by the end of this article you’ll think twice before using the term and look at attorneys in a different light.
Unfortunately when a personal injury attorney comes to mind, many people seem to have a negative opinion about them, often stereotyping them as money hungry uncompassionate people and garnering them a bad reputation. These false perceptions can be quite damaging, not only to our profession and the legal system, but to society as a whole. The civil justice system is often the only recourse someone may have after a devastating injury or loss to obtain justice or compensation for a life altering event.
Personal Injury attorneys represent the interest’s and advocate for the rights of individuals against private parties for their negligent acts. This is necessary to ensure large insurance companies and other corporations are held responsible for negligent actions, that those actions are corrected, and the injured or victims are compensated fairly for their injuries. Most personal injury lawyers are genuinely trying to do the right thing by their clients.
So then, where do these negative stereotypes come from?
- The Media - As we know pop culture helps shape the way we think about things and influences our perceptions and decisions we make. TV shows‚ movies, the news… often portray lawyers as greedy and vindictive.
- Attorney Advertisements - We’ve all seen those billboards or TV commercials promising people big money for their accidents. Some ads depict attorneys as aggressive or money hungry often making empty promises to people about their potential claim.
- Bad Experiences – With more than 1.3 licensed lawyers in the U.S. it can be a challenge to select one that is right for you, and unfortunately many folks have been romanced by promises or advertisements only to find themselves with lackluster results. This leaves a sour taste for people when having to search for an attorney again.
Not only do injury lawyers help their clients at one of the most traumatic times of their life‚ but their work ensures that people live in a safe environment. Personal injury claims can help corporations stay in line; being conscious of the consequences should they decide not to behave in a reasonable manner. Attorneys are also to thank for the various safety laws and regulations we have in place. Many of these laws were enacted in response to negligent behavior‚ providing standards with the intention of keeping the public safe.
Although it’s understandable why people have such negative opinions of personal injury attorneys, the truth is that these stereotypes, like most, are largely untrue. The majority of PI attorneys select this career path in order to help people and keep our society balanced and fair. Everyday people are able to pay for the care and treatment of their injuries because of compensation they have received from a legitimate case. Everyday companies are held responsible and sanctioned accordingly so that we as consumers can be kept safe. Everyday, we have children who have tragically lost a parent or a spouse who’s lost their partner but whose futures are financially protected because of the actions of personal injury attorneys.
There may be a time in your life when you are faced with a situation that will require you to hire an accident attorney. Selecting an attorney should require serious consideration. You should always do your homework as with any major life decision. Don’t be afraid to “interview” your attorney to make sure he/she is right for you. Ask for references, check out their website, make sure the attorney has experience in handling similar cases successfully, check for certifications, and like with many decisions – trust your gut.
At The Russo Firm group we believe that the best representation is one that treats each individual or family with the attention they deserve. We recognize that no case is the same and we make it our priority to identify all the needs of our clients and work together to help address those needs in the best way possible.
Should you find yourself in a situation that requires legal representation or aren’t quite sure whether or not you may have a potential claim please feel free to reach out to us. As always, consultations are complementary, and our firm only collects a fee for our services when we successfully obtain a recovery for you.