03 Mar 7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Try to Work Your Own Accident Case
In difficult or stressful situations, it’s natural to want to avoid conflict and keep things simple. And in the chaotic aftermath of an accident, accepting quick settlement without getting lawyers involved sounds and feels like a simple route to take. However, when you’re dealing with a serious injury, handling an injury claim yourself could mean you are leaving thousands of dollars, or much more, on the table. In today’s article, we will discuss 7 reasons why you shouldn’t try to work your own accident case:
#1 You don’t know the true cost of your injuries.
Insurance adjusters are quick to recognize a serious injury and will try to settle as quickly as possible, promising to make it easy and hassle-free. There is very little calculation involved because they know that the true cost of your injuries will be far higher. Any amount offered in hours or days following an accident cannot fully account for how your injuries may affect you in months or years. If you hire a lawyer, they will use medical records and expert reports to calculate your medical care resulting from your accident, and future needs going forward. If your injuries are permanent, damages will be calculated for the rest of your expected life.
#2 You won’t necessarily be saving money.
A primary reason people opt to handle a claim themselves is the belief that they will save money by avoiding attorney’s fees. However, a good attorney can often recover far more compensation for an insurance claim, even after fees are paid. Although every case is unique and different with its own set of facts, across the board, insurance claims settle for higher amounts when a lawyer is involved. The quick, fast, and low settlement offer will be easily identified and quickly rejected, and the insurance company will be forced to be fair or risk going to trial.
#3 The insurance company is not looking out for you.
Insurance companies train their adjusters to develop an immediate rapport with policyholders and gain their trust. They offer empathy, compassion, and many people believe that their insurance adjuster cares. Do not make the mistake of forgetting that the adjuster is looking out for the insurance company’s bottom line. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will care about the outcome of your case and will look out for you. Because they are paid for legal services contingent on the outcome of your claim, they have a vested interest in the outcome.
#4 Your lawyer can help you prevent critical mistakes.
Once you have a lawyer, your attorney will handle communications with your insurance company, and help you understand your important roles (like completing your medical care) and what not to do (like post or comment about your accident or health state on social media).
#5 You risk your entire claim.
If you don’t accept the initial lowball settlement offer, you will now be going into negotiations with a corporate giant insurance company and their well-trained adjusters. The empathy and compassion the insurance adjustor showed you initially will quickly fade as they refuse to negotiate, or worse, try to blame you for your injuries. It is possible that they could present new evidence (such as information relayed in your recorded statement), and deny your claim entirely.
#6 You don’t have years of experience handling similar claims.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer who has handled many similar cases, they will know the exact steps to take to gather evidence, draft a demand letter, and file a claim. While it is possible to research procedures and do them yourself, it is possible that you might miss a critical step. You will also have no understanding of what similar claims typically settle for.
#7 You’re not a lawyer.
If you do not reach a settlement, you will have to file a lawsuit. It is possible to file a lawsuit and represent yourself without a lawyer, you will have to follow procedural rules and may very quickly become overwhelmed with the court system. You will get no sympathy or pass from the judge for being unfamiliar with court rules or procedures. You may get to a point where you need a lawyer but may find it difficult to find an attorney willing to take your case, because the insurance company is now denying your claim.
Get a Free Consultation with a Polk County Car Accident Lawyer
The Polk County car accident lawyers at Jones Law, P.A. offer a free consultation to discuss your legal rights to compensation and answer your questions. Call us at (863) 455-4811 to set up a free phone or video consultation. If we represent you in your claim, we will not be paid unless we recover money for you.