I am looking to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company adjuster after an auto accident. BEFORE you tell me to talk with an attorney, know this...I have. I am going forward pro se. I would like to try my hand at settling with the adjuster before going to trial...if I can not reach a reasonable sum, I will get an attorney for trial.
Mostly, I don't want to ruin my chances at trial.
Personal Injury Lawyer
If you want to take out your own appendix, it is your funeral. But as far as the photos go, pictures you took of your injuries are protected work product and they may not have to be disclosed, unless the other party shows substantial need and undue hardship. For example, if a bruise was there at the time of the accident and now there is no bruise, your photo may be the only evidence. Photos taken right at or near the scene of an accident will probably have to be produced. That being said, if the photos are good, you will want to use them, so there is no harm in showing the insurance adjuster your proof of damages. It might get you more in settlement. If the photos do not help you, do not turn them over.
And I will conclude with our compulsory attorney answer: Do not handle your own personal injury case. Hire an attorney in your area. As Abraham Lincoln said, "A person who acts as his own counsel has a fool for a client."
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Car / Auto Accident Lawyer
If you do not want to ruin your chances at trial, why are you trying to handle this yourself? Anything that you say or do can potentially hurt the value of your case. No attorney wants to take over a case after the client has messed up discovery opportunities, given unfavorable testimony and has failed to properly preserve evidence for use at trial. Without a complete familiarity with discovery rules and procedures this is a distinct possibility. The problem is that you have no idea what you don't know. The nature of your questions reflects that fact. So, in short, I am sorry to tell you what you do not want to hear, but you should get an experienced personal injury attorney immediately, if you still can find one that wants your case, before you potentially further damage your ability to be fairly compensated.
In seeking an attorney on this site, beware of limiting your search to attorneys with a 10 rating, and carefully read the AVVO disclaimer regarding their rating system. There are certain factors that are given great weight which do not necessarily have any bearing on an attorney's experience, abilities, and results with certain types of cases. Accordingly, the rating numbers can be misleading. Also beware of basing your choice on the fee charged, as a low fee, depending on the skill, experience and determination of the specific attorney handling your case, could actually have an inverse relationship to the amount actually put in your pocket.
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Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are serious in your post, then get thee to a local and qualified attorney asap. Hopefully, what you have done thus far can be cured; or at least minimized. Good luck.
Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff
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