Is it difficult for lawyer to increase the amount of compensation by at least 40% in the personal injury auto accident claim?
Sorry. I got in on the tail-end of this discussion. I have some points to add.
You say no "hard injuries"? (Broken bones?) I saw another post which mentioned MRI's and doctors' visits, I believe. The most-significant injuries in car-wrecks are NEVE "hard injuries) unless your pelvis is broken or your skull cracked. Let me illsustrate this for you.
What are some significant "soft-tissue" injuries that are fully compensible?
How about: Your eyeball? Your nose? You tongue? A bodily organ? (Skin is the largest organ, at some 27 sqaure feet, if you are on the thin side) How about scars anywhere on your body? Or, how about deep-tissue bruises which may take years' to resolve, if ever? How about your brain? The size of two clenched fists, about 3 pounds average, the consistency of thick Jello pudding? A concussion is a "bruise" of the brain. How about a compromised, bulging or ruptured disc in your neck or back? How about more than one compromised disc? They never heal on their own, and surgery is like putting a band-aide on a gaping wound. Disc injuries will result in a lifetime of pain, lack of mobility, certain osteoarthritis, lots of aggravation and outright suffering. Eventually, anhedonia.
No personal injury claim is certain of the outcome you might expect. That's life. Lawyers can't fly, and they don't have a magic wand. Although, some (many) clients think the lawyer should have both the ability and the wand.
More treatment, and the right kinds' of treatment ALWAYS equals better bargaining leverage; providing the coverage is there, or you are hit by a doctor or his or her spouse.
Most clients have no idea what types of doctors to see for their injuries. Witness the proliferation of "Chiropratic Medicine" (an oxymoron, to be sure). Chiropractic is quackery at its pinnacle, yet many really hurt people flock to these useless "practitioners" of the "Magic Arts."
I have had two cases in which the chiropractor ruptured a patient's discs; one in the neck, the other in the low back; by doing his "adjustments". NOBODY has a straight spine! If you did, you could not move. Duh!
Think i'm kidding? Chiropractic literature claims chiropractic can CURE some cancers. I mention chiropractors to illsutrate how poorly-suited most injured claimants are in treating with the proper (and legitimate) physicians in an auto-wreck case. (90% of all car-wreck injuries are orthopaedic.)
You question should have been, "can I afford NOT to have a qualified personal injury attorney on my side, from start to finish"? Let me illsustrate with a case I had many years' ago.
My client was driving his VW bug when another car rear-ended him, damaging the little car, but barely leaving my muscular client with a two-day "pinched nerve". He had one doctor's visit and a plain X-ray of his neck. The bills were a few hundred dollars. So, I made a written demand for $1,000.00.
The State Farm (the red-colored politician's best cash-cow) adjuster said the best he could offer was only $500.00, because my client wasn't really hurt.
I suggested that my client make one trip to see a neurologist, get a CT-scan, and do a few physical therapy sessions. He did. The bills were now a few thousand dollars.
When I went back with a letter-demand to State Farm for $5,000.00 (Five times more than the first demand and 90% more than the first offer). The offer was immediately accepted. My client was happy. I got a larger fee. And State Farm was what is always is--really stupid.
In addition, my client had medical payments coverage and so, paid no medical costs out-of-pocket.
Another issue is "loss of consortium". This claim has a 4-yer statute of limitations duration. And, in some cases, can exponentially increase a settlement or more likely, the jury verdict.
How would you even know about this claim on your own?
Moral? Now you KNOW what your question should have been, and that the answer was right in front of your "soft-tissue" nose, the entire time.
Lay on, MacDuff!
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No one can guarantee the result in a particular case. However, insurance adjusters are paid salary and bonuses based on how effective they are ripping off unrpresented people. If an adjuster has offered you that much, they have done so only because they would have offered more to an attorney who would be willing to sue, and they fear a larger judgment. I have seen different numbers, but it has been suggested unrepresented people get offers on average that are maybe 20% of what lawyers win in similar cases. You have likely harmed your case already by talking to the adjuster and not doing things to maximize your claim. Show your file to a lawyer to see if the damage you already did is small enough where the lawyer expects he probably can do better.
A good personal injury lawyer will usually get a highers settlement a non represented party, of course i agree with counsel that no one can ever guarantee an amount. Also the best time to hire an attorney is immediately after the accident. The longer you wait the more mistakes you are likely to make.
Honestly some clients make mistakes from the first words to the police officer. They adjuster will review everything from starting with impact, including all statements, date and type of first treatment, dates of follow up treatment, gaps in treatments, number of visits to doctor, lost wages. You mention 5000,00 in medical. was that all from one ER visit, From chiropractor visits. Diagnostic testing? It all matters. Did you give recorded statement? Have you had prior accidents or injury claims? This just the beginning of my firm's check list.
Most firm's charge 33 .3 for out of court settlements, some at low as 25%. Litigation will normally be in the 40% range. Take your case file to an attorney and have him or her review it . If it is late in the game most attorneys will not want get involved in a soft tissue case but it is worth taking the time to speak to someone.
No lawyer can guarantee he or she can get you at least 40% more. Are you asking this as a hypothetical question or are the numbers you cited numbers on a real claim? All I can tell you is that studies have shown that victims that are represented net more money than those who are not, even after the lawyer has been paid.
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The bottom line is unrepresented parties aren't taken seriously, so best to get a personal injury lawyer to get maximum compensation and to negotiate your liens down. Avvo has a great "find a lawyer" tool to locate a local lawyer. Good luck.
It sounds like you are trying to figure out if it is worth it to hire a lawyer to help you with your accident claim and the answer is yes. There is an inherent value in hiring a lawyer for many reasons. Some if which are making sure you are fully compensated for your injuries and making sure your rights are protected. If you do not have a lawyer the insurance adjuster will delay, devalue and maybe even deny your claim. Obviously the insurance adjuster is not on your side and his/her job is to pay you as little money as possible. Without a skilled and experienced lawyer the adjuster will try to take advantage of you and may not pay you, which will then require you to try to hire a lawyer to file a law suit. Take the time and consult with a few personal injury lawyers. Let them tell you why they bring value to your case in making sure you get paid, making sure your bills get paid and protecting your rights.
While the lawyer may not increase the value by 40%, more than likely the unrepresented will lose more than 40% of the value.
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
I see my job as getting my client more money than they could get on their own; otherwise, obviously it would make no sense to hire a lawyer. I have in a situation like yours told a potential client I probably could increase the settlement offer by Xdollars but after taking out my fee you are basically getting the same. I recommended demanding a few more dollars and taking the settlement offer. I warned this potential client that I obviously had not had a chance to fully review the claim and I could only give advice based on what he was telling me.
Now, I will tell you that studies show--studies done by insurance companies themselves--that injured folks with lawyers always net more with an attorney. I recommend you retain a lawyer.
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You will never know until you hire a lawyer and find out.
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Several years ago number of the insurance companies would contact parties injured in accidents in an effort to settle their cases quickly and cheaply. They would tell The injured person that the lawyer was just going to get part of their money. It was later learned that these tactics were prompted by insurance industry studies which showed that injured parties typically did twice as well even after the lawyer was paid where the injured party had a lawyer vs an unrepresented party. While a lawyer may not increase the value by 40% it is almost certain an experienced personal injury attorney will increase the recovery on a case.
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