Is an attorney worth the cost? Can I handle my own case? When do I NEED a lawyer?
The biggest and most important question is “were you injured?” If you were not injured, you most likely do NOT need an attorney. Property damage claims are pretty well-regulated, and disputes can usually be solved through an administrative process.
The real need for an attorney presents itself when you have been injured (or a family member has been killed). Personal injury claims are not scheduled or standardized, and tend to be worth much more than most property damage claims. You can be 100% certain that if you do not have a car accident attorney working on your case, the insurance company will take advantage of you one way or another.
I was injured, but I want to settle out of court without hiring a lawyer.
If you were injured, you’ve likely already heard from the insurance company. You have no obligation to talk to them. Do not even entertain the idea of a settlement offer until your injuries have been FULLY treated. The insurance company always wants to settle quickly because once you settle, it’s over. You cannot sue them after signing such an agreement. A month later, you find out that your shoulder will require surgery or a lifetime of physical therapy and guess what? You have to pay for it yourself.
Even discussing a settlement is a bad idea. The insurance company may offer you $2,000 up front. If you then throw out ANY amount, you’ve already hurt your case. Say you tell them that you’d settle for $10,000 – now no matter what, even if you find out later that you need a $30,000 surgery, you can be certain they will never offer you any more than the $10,000.
I understand the mentality of people who want to handle their own claims, but you must understand that this is never a good idea. You wouldn’t perform your own surgery, would you? Lawyers don’t even represent themselves when they’re hurt in an accident. Car accident and personal injury law is very complex. Insurance companies are not afraid to take your case to court. They have ZERO incentive to offer you a fair settlement because they know they will always win in court. They do this every day. They know all the tricks in the book, and will use every single one of them to damage your case or have it tossed. Trust me – we get call from people almost daily hoping that we can salvage their case. Unfortunately, when you’re that far in and you’ve already spoken to the insurance company that much, no attorney can do much to help.
Do you know what to do if you’re sent a list of admissions by the insurance company’s defense attorneys? Do you know how to get evidence accepted into court? Personal injury attorneys exist for a reason. We’re here to fight on your side against the insurance companies.
You must understand that no matter how friendly the insurance adjuster sounds, or how helpful he or she seems, they are working against you. Insurance companies exist to make a profit. When they avoid paying for claims (or settle for far less than the claim may be worth), they make more money.
I still have questions about my situation.
Have questions about your particular case? Call me at 1-877-405-4313. We’re available 24/7 to take your call and we wont charge you a dime. Even if you do hire us, you never pay us anything unless we win your case for you.