Insurance companies make money by settling claims for less than they are worth and for taking longer than it should to do this.
This seems obvious, but so often many people think they are "saving" money that they would pay a lawyer by trying to negotiate a case on their own.
The problem with this strategy is that insurance companies all deliberately lowball you if you are unrepresented.
Let's face it; if you are a heart surgeon, you are good at heart surgery, and bricklayers are skilled at brick laying.
Just as you wouldn't want me to fix your plumbing, you don't want to negotiate your own injury case WHEN THE INSURANCE COMPANY IS AN EXPERT AT ITS BUSINESS AND YOU ARE NOT.
Just think for a moment how many factors are at play in a "typical" automobile collision injury case:
- the at fault driver's insurance company
- the at fault driver's policy limits
- the type of liability--comparative negligence on your part does affect how much you are entitled to
- the type of injuries you sustained
- who you received treatment from
- how soon after the collision you received treatment
- whether you have ever injured those body parts previously
- whether you had prior insurance claims
- your criminal history, especially if you had any felony convictions or guilty pleas, or whether you had ever plead guilty to or been found guilty to a misdemeanor involving dishonesty--this goes to how believable you are to a jury
- how much damage to the vehicles there was and what types of vehicles were involved
- whether your medical bills are paid or unpaid
- the amounts of liens or subrogation agreements you must honor out of any settlement if your bills were paid or if bills remain unpaid
- your age, employment history, and station in life
- your physical condition
- whether you've provided a recorded statement to the insurance company
- the adjuster handling your claim
- whether there are photos of any visible injuries or the vehicles
In short, there are so many things that the insurance company knows about you and you (unless you happen to be a personal injury lawyer) do not understand about the claims process.
It would be like someone operating on your broken leg without having x-rays taken so they know where the fracture is and how bad it is.
Is that what you would want?
So having a lawyer really helps your cause because an experienced personal injury lawyer knows all of this and understands how it all interplays. A good case analysis by an experienced professional makes your case that much more valuable.
Lawyers add value to your case far above the amount they earn as a contingent fee.
It may seem you can DIY, but you are only playing right into their hands if you do.
Remember, you owe it to yourself to protect your interests to the utmost.
You don't have to pay your injury lawyer unless he or she collects money on your behalf. You have nothing to lose except your own case.