If you or someone you care about has been injured as the result of someone else’s negligent actions, hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer is critical. That said, there are people in this situation who choose to represent themselves, and they tend to fail for a variety of reasons.
So what are the downsides to representing yourself instead of hiring a personal injury lawyer? Well, a few things, such as:
1. You probably won’t get properly compensated
While there are several factors that determine how much you will be compensated (such as the type and severity of injury, whether the negligent party has insurance, etc.), the biggest factor is whether or not you have legal representation. On average, those who proceed with a lawyer can expect to receive more money than those who represent themselves, and for several reasons.
In the vast majority of personal injury cases, a settlement is reached without ever going to trial. Additionally, the person(s) you are dealing with is most likely either a defense attorney or an insurance representative. In both cases, these are professionals who are trained to drive a hard bargain and make sure you get the smallest settlement possible.
But the benefits don’t end at negotiation, a personal injury lawyer is also in a much better position to file or threaten a personal injury lawsuit. As we mentioned earlier, taking a personal injury case to trial is fairly uncommon, but if the insurance company knows you will be taking your case to trial on your own, without a lawyer, they will know they have the upper hand.
2. You may not get the medical attention you need
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible, because as too many people discover, minor injuries can easily turn into major injuries – which may happen overnight or may take some time.
Bottom line is this: if you accept a settlement offer and then your injuries turn out to be worse than you initially thought, there is nothing you can do. This is because when you settle, you have to sign agreements foregoing any and all future claims that may arise as a result of that incident.
3. Insurance companies will try to lowball you
Insurance companies are not on your side, despite what they may try to tell you. It’s the job of the insurance company to ensure that you get the smallest settlement possible, and they will use every tactic in their playbook to make sure of it.
We’ve already discussed how many insurance adjusters will make low offers early in the process to entice people into a quick settlement and ensure they won’t be held liable for any additional injuries you may discover. They may even try to convince you that they have accounted for estimated future medical costs, making this a tempting offer – especially when you have medical bills to pay – but this is really just a ploy to pay out less in the long run.
Another common tactic insurance companies use is to claim that you, the victim, are partly responsible for your injury – even if there is ample evidence that you are NOT at fault. Insurance adjusters may also try to reduce the amount they need to pay for medical bills and other expenses by characterizing them as unnecessary or excessive.
And sometimes, the insurance company may simply refuse to make a fair settlement offer – or even refuse to make any settlement offer at all. If you can’t secure a fair settlement offer from an insurance company on your own, or negotiations with the insurance company have broken down, you may be left in a difficult position.
4. You end up wasting time and resources
Personal injury cases require a lot of time and energy. There is evidence that needs to be collected and documented, investigations to be carried out, witnesses who will need to be interviewed, and important documents to be filed correctly and on time within specific timeframes.
Seeking compensation for injuries after an accident is more often than not a stressful and time-consuming process. Hiring a personal injury attorney means you don’t have to spend your own time on research, paperwork and other headaches, giving you time and peace of mind so you can focus on getting better again.
When you hire an attorney, they can handle many of these elements of your case while you are still on the mend. On top of that, experienced attorneys like those at GreeningLaw P.C. know to anticipate many of these and will plan accordingly so that you don’t ever have to worry about them.
GreeningLaw P.C. is here to help
Handling your own personal injury case can be frustrating and confusing, and it can end up costing you in the end. That’s why our experienced personal injury attorneys want to take your case and help you get the compensation you deserve.
GreeningLaw P.C. is one of the most recognized personal injury law firms in the state, and we know how to make sure you get fairly compensated for your case without having to go it alone. We also work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t owe us anything unless you receive compensation for your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation. We will review all the elements of your case, discuss any possible compensation you may receive, and suggest the best course of action.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal. We will get you through this.