4 reasons why you should not try to settle a personal injury claim by yourself
The Insurance Company Will Take Advantage of YouThe insurance company does not stay rich by paying large amounts on claims. The insurance company's objective is to pay as little as possible to resolve claims, whether that means denying a claim, delaying a claim until the injured individual will accept almost any amount just to get it over with, and defendant against a claim even when liability appears clear.
The insurance company will do whatever it can to meet its objective, including telling you that you do not need an attorney, that your injuries cannot be that severe given the property damage, that you should have been able to avoid the accident (even if you could not have), and that you have to give a recorded statement now, or they will close your claim.
Do not let the insurance company use its typical scare tactics to intimidate you into accepting a low ball settlement. Do not allow the insurance company to take advantage of you.
The Insurance Company has Someone Experienced on Their Side & So Should YouInsurance companies hire experienced adjusters that are skilled in minimizing and destroying claims. The adjusters know just what to say to make an injured party such as yourself feel that you may have done something wrong to contribute to the accident, that your injuries are not supported by the medical records, or that you don't need an attorney.
There is a reason insurance adjusters tell you that you don't need an attorney. They do not want someone experienced fighting back, protecting your rights, and standing up to them. An attorney knows the typical arguments that the insurance company will make that would not hold up in front of a jury. You need someone experienced fighting for you. Would you perform your own medical procedures? The same applies with handling personal injury claims. You want someone who knows what they are doing and has been doing it for a while.
Claimants Typically Receive Higher Settlements When RepresentedResearch has shown that represented individuals generally receive higher settlements than those who try to resolve claims on their own. That is because insurance companies cannot take advantage of an attorney because we already know all of their games and have been successful in beating them at those games. In fact, insurance companies typically transfer a claim to a more experienced adjuster once an attorney is involved. The insurance company knows that we will pursue a claim through litigation when needed but an individual is unlikely to proceed with litigation on their own and may accept a lesser settlement to avoid litigation.
An Attorney Can Protect You & Your InterestsInsurance companies will try to use past accidents and pre-existing injuries against you to minimize and destroy your claim. An attorney can protect you from these tactics by showing how the prior injuries/symptoms differ and/or how the injuries are more severe following the most recent motor vehicle collision.
An insurance company will also try to use your own health insurance payments against you to argue that your medical bills are lower than they actually are. An attorney can protect you from this tactic. You should not be penalized for having health insurance and should get credit for the monthly premiums you have been paying for many years.
Without an attorney, if an insurance adjuster receives a hospital or medical provider lien, the insurance company will pay them directly out of the settlement proceeds before you get your recovery. An attorney can typically negotiate those liens down to put more money in your pocket.