Huge Mistake #1: Taking the Advice of Friends or Family
If you broke your arm, would you go to your friends and family to see if they could make you a cast? Or, would you go to a hospital? Would you ask your brother to help you take out your appendix? Or course not. Likewise, if you have a legal problem, trust a professional for help.
Your family and friends have your best interest at heart. No one knows you better than they do. You probably trust them more than anyone in the world. But, they don’t have the legal expertise to know what decisions you should make with your personal injury case. Even if someone in your family or one of your friends have had a personal injury case that seems exactly like yours, they do not have the training to help you.
Personal injury law is very complex. On the other side of the fight, people are actively working against you. Even worse, the other side has experience in fighting to give you little or no money. They’re good at it. Nothing pleases them more than to go up against someone who has no experience.
When you take the advice of anyone who isn’t a lawyer, you are like a little league baseball team going against the New York Yankees. Well, even little league teams know the rules of baseball. It’s more like this–you are someone who doesn’t have a full baseball team, doesn’t know the rules of the game, and you are physically injured trying to play against the New York Yankees. The other side knows the rules. They know the mistakes in this book, and they will try to trick you into making them so they don’t have to pay you a dime. Do not count on them making mistakes. Do not gamble on the off chance you will be fairly compensated.
I had a client once who took the advice of her family instead of my legal advice. We’ll call her Shelly. Shelly was a nice lady who wanted only one thing–fair compensation for her personal injury. She made the responsible choice to get a lawyer on her side in order to fight against the insurance company.
But, Shelly made a huge mistake. She also asked her father-in-law for advice about her case. She relied on his advice very heavily. In fact, she took his advice over mine. Even though her father-in-law meant well, he had no legal experience or training. He owned a heating and cooling business. Needless to say, the heating and cooling business did not prepare him to handle personal injury law.
He gave her very bad advice. The decisions she made based on his advice were completely wrong. Actually, his advice ended up working against her. She lost her case completely. She then came back to me and asked me for help. It was too late.