Do I Need An Attorney, or Can I Handle My Personal Injury Case on My Own?
What is a personal injury case?
Victims of personal injury as the result of someone else’s negligence face uncertainty and confusion. Not only have they endured physical harm as the result of someone else’s liability, but the law is not clear to the layperson. If you or your loved ones have suffered an injury as a result of someone else’s wrongdoing, you don’t have to traverse the confusing path of personal injury claims on your own.
After suffering an accident, whether a dog bite, automobile accident, or any other incident at the hands of a negligent party, the insurance company is generally focused on one thing, and that is the protection of their policyholder. As a claimant, it is often difficult to find an advocate willing to both explain your rights, and protect them at the same time.
Is it worth the fees to hire an attorney?
If you have been involved in an accident, consider your injuries. Was this a low impact accident with minor soft tissue injuries? Soft tissue injuries are those subjective injuries that cannot be seen by another individual, i.e. a physician. In a minor impact collision, insurance companies will argue causality. That is to say, they will argue that with minimal damages, the average person should not, and could not have injuries. You may have prior injuries, however, that could have been aggravated in the collision. Fear and anxiety are difficult to quantitate for the average person as well.
If you sustained serious injuries, the act of going to the doctor alone can be painful and difficult. You may not have alternate transportation or the means to traveling to and from your providers. It is not common knowledge, either, that most insurance carriers do not typically consider time lost from work to go to these appointments, thereby impacting your quality of life and your financial deficits even further. These matters can greatly influence your pain and suffering, otherwise referred to as “general damages”.
Isn’t it the insurance company’s responsibility to indemnify me, or put me back to where I was before the accident?
Many insurance carriers will inundate you with an lowball offers and convoluted conversations about the economics of hiring an attorney. The adjuster may convince you that you can sign with a personal injury attorney at any time and ask that you give them an opportunity to work with you directly. Add this confusing conversation to your physical pain and suffering and you may find your mind is spinning, which is the last thing you need during this difficult time. Bear in mind, also, that waiting to hire an attorney can greatly impact the factors driving your personal injury settlement.
Can’t I do this on my own?
You can handle a personal injury case on your own. You may sign a medical authorization form and go through the red tape of securing your own medical records, medical bills, lost wage information, employer verification, and additional supports to show the pain, suffering, and financial loss you have endured. You can submit this information to the insurance company and follow their timeline to await an offer, wherein, the adjuster will contact you with an offer and may or may not go over a breakdown so that you can comprehend the method at which they arrived at this settlement offer. Or, you can avoid the hassle, frustration, and disappointment of dealing directly with the insurance carrier and hire a personal injury attorney with your best interest in mind.
Can I afford an attorney?
Most personal injury attorneys do not get paid unless they collect for you. Legal assistants, case managers, and trained negotiators will join the attorney for a dream team to fight the insurance company on your behalf for every penny you deserve. While it may seem a difficult choice in the beginning with the details of your loss and injury are your main focus, the attorney and his or her team will be working for you to serve as your advocate throughout the process. So, why not let someone else fight your battle while you work on the very important task of healing and putting your life back together? You can handle a personal injury case on your own, but in a world where you don’t have to, the pros and cons of hiring an attorney far outweigh those of pursuing the at-fault carrier on your own.