If you suffer a personal injury, especially a severe one, the first cause of action after getting treatment, of course, will probably be to file a personal injury lawsuit against the guilty party. And seeing how medicare is expensive, chances are that your bank account will be running on the red by the time you start considering litigation. In that case, you may decide to save on legal fees and try to settle the case by yourself.
But is this the right course of action?
It is an open secret that insurance companies like to play dirty, particularly when the claimants are not well versed in legal affairs. They will use a myriad of tactics to frustrate and derail your case until you either give up or your resources get exhausted, which consequently forces you to accept a significantly reduced payout, or withdraw the claim altogether.
For this reason, accident victims are strongly advised to not proceed with a personal injury claim without involving a personal injury attorney. And here’s why:
Lack of Legal Know-How
When you file a personal injury claim, chances are that the defendant will be represented by their insurance company, who will in turn try as much as they can to discredit you. Seeing as they have a larger pool of resources, the insurance company will probably hire a vastly experienced and knowledgeable attorney who will put in a better defense than your inexperienced and under-resourced self. Matter of fact, a large majority of people who represent themselves in personal injury settlement procedures end up with a much lower settlement or no settlement at all.
Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney will increase your chances of winning the claim as the attorney will:
- Help you determine the exact amount of damages to seek, depending on the extent of injury or property loss you suffered.
- Identify the dirty tactics used by the insurance agency to deny or delay your claim and craft a strategy to neutralize them.
- Help you comply with all the necessary legal requirements, guidelines, and statutes of limitations to ensure your claim is not thrown out on technicalities.
Lack of Time & Organization Skills
Compensation claims require a lot of paperwork gathering and organization, not to mention back and forth communications with different people, and potential settlement negotiations. All these are time-intensive tasks that may interfere with your daily life, especially if you’re still recovering from the injury.
When you engage an attorney, however, you will get more time to rest and recover as they will do all the document identification, collation, record-keeping, negotiation, and filing for you. In fact, they will do a much better job as they know from experience which documents are needed where, and how every document should be handled and processed.
As a layman, you may be too slow to note and react to the insurance company’s approach and distracting tactics and also falter at the negotiating table, which in turn affects your case. A typical personal injury attorney, on the other hand, has been through it all and is in a good position to anticipate bad tactics and deal with them.
Further, and most importantly, insurance companies know that lawyers are well versed in gathering and presenting facts, building decent arguments, and are aware of what a reasonable settlement looks like. As a result, they will be more cautious in their defense, and be more willing to reach an amicable settlement to avoid a lengthy and potentially costly court battle.