by Tim O’Hare
Personal injury lawyers exist for one reason: to make quick cash (and give you a cut when all is said and done). Is that what you think of when you think of a personal injury attorney? It’s certainly the impression “TV” personal injury attorneys with self-given nicknames designed to show you how intelligent or tough they are make you believe.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, give one of them a call, and they’ll help you get rich through a quick settlement, right?
The truth is that’s not the way it works. Personal injury attorneys who advertise on TV are the leading cause of the general misconception and distrust the public has for injury lawyers who are working for the right reasons. TV lawyers give the impression that personal injury lawyers are “ambulance chasers.” Many of them regularly accept questionable cases and frequently settle cases for quick cash rather than acting in the best interests of the client.
If you question the value of hiring a personal injury lawyer after seeing one of the many commercials on TV, we feel the same way you do. But, we also want to dispel the myth that all personal injury attorneys are out for quick, undeserved cash and not for the well-being of the clients. Hire a personal injury attorney with solid references for his or her integrity, and you’ll have someone who can protect you from being taken advantage of by insurance companies, keep you from dealing with the hassle insurance companies often put you through and make sure you are treated fairly.
Our firm once took the case of a young mother of three whose husband was hit and killed by a commercial truck. The brakes on the truck’s trailer had not been working prior to the company putting the truck out on the road. When the truck began to turn left into this young father, the brakes didn’t work, and as a result, our client’s husband died a horrific death.
He was the sole breadwinner for his family. Their life’s dream was for her to be a stay-at-home mom. Because of this, she had no college degree and no job. When her husband was killed, leaving her with three children under the age of 6, including a six-month old, she would have had to give up the family dream, been forced to get, in all likelihood, a minimum wage job and be forced into poverty if she didn’t hire a personal injury attorney who really had the best interests of his clients in mind.
When we took over her case, we were able to stop the insurance company from trying to get a mourning widow from signing over her rights for a quick, massively undervalued settlement, remove the worry of dealing with the insurance company from her mind, and hold the company responsible for their negligence that led to her husband’s death. In the end, she and her children were able to stay in their modest Texas home, she didn’t have to leave them with a nanny, and her children’s college educations are paid for.
These are the kinds of cases we take on a regular basis. If this young mother had called a personal injury attorney she saw in a TV commercial, she likely would have been encouraged to take a quick cash settlement or had her case referred to a lawyer she never chose on her own, and probably would not have received enough to allow her to keep her family’s home and provide for her kids’ college educations.
TV lawyers give our profession a bad name. If you are looking for a personal injury attorney, do your homework. Know that the attorney you hire has integrity and will work with your best interests in mind. Look for an attorney who is involved in your community.
Did you know all lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare are involved in community organizations? Tim O’Hare is President of the Dallas Chapter of the Christian Legal Society and a volunteer mentor for Lincoln High School in South Dallas. David Ragsdale is a District Award of Merit recipient and a Silver Beaver recipient of Boy Scouts of America for all of the time he has spent volunteering with that organization. Hunt Bonneau has coached youth sports for years and has taught Sunday School.