If you or a loved one has been injured and plan on settling with an insurance company, you are certainly entitled to do it on your own and without an attorney. However, before you do, consider the ultimate goal of an insurance company is to pay out as little as possible. While you can certainly settle your claim without the assistance of a personal injury attorney, many people regret their decision for several reasons.
Communication with the insurance company can be a hassle. You often must take or return phone calls at work. Usually, when you call the adjuster, he/she is not available. Often, your claim gets reassigned to someone else. The adjuster will want copies of all medical records, medical bills, prescription receipts, wage loss ation, and many other s. These s must be mailed or faxed to the adjuster. If you obtain the services of an attorney, he/she will take care of all of this for you.
One of the key components of making a personal injury insurance claim is determining the full value of the claim. What is my case worth? Many factors are reviewed to determine the dollar value of a claim, including the severity of the crash, speed of the vehicles, aggravating factors such as a DUI, type of injury sustained, number of medical treatments required to heal, amount of medical bills incurred, length of time it took to heal, whether there are any permanent injuries, amount of lost wages if any, and many others. Insurance adjusters are trained to evaluate cases, and then settle them for as little as possible. Having a good personal injury attorney to represent you evens out the sides in the negotiations.
Many people start out with a good claim, but make mistakes along the way that diminish the amount of their settlement. It is important to get the proper medical treatment, submit medical bills to the proper entity, gather evidence such as photographs and eyewitness names and contact information, keeping a diary of what activities you could not do because of your injuries, being careful not to sign the wrong s or say the wrong thing in a recorded phone conversation, etc. A good personal injury lawyer will guide you through the process, so your good claim does not turn into an average claim.
Settling an injury claim requires negotiation skills that most people do not possess. A personal injury attorney knows what is admissible in court, how a jury would likely react to certain pieces of evidence, which insurance companies tend to pay more than others, how to negotiate with your medical providers regarding any outstanding bills, etc. Without an attorney, you have no threat of a law suit when talking to the adjuster. All these things are necessary in order to receive a settlement that matches the suffering you experienced. Because your claim could go as far as a formal lawsuit, it is best to hire an attorney with experience in these matters