Save DIY for Something Else
We have seen the rise of the do-it-yourselfer and maybe you are one yourself.
You change your oil, paint the walls in your house, and mow your lawn.
The list goes on and on.
Some people are do-it-yourselfers to save money.
Others do it because they enjoy getting their hands dirty. Some simply enjoy the sense of accomplishment they get afterward. Because so many people are do-it-yourselfers these days, it’s easy to understand why some may want to solve their injury claims.
The main reason is that if an insurance company offers you $10,000 to settle a claim, why would you want to split the settlement with a lawyer?
Wouldn’t things be easier if you could settle your claim by yourself?
These are good questions that deserve answers.
In a perfect world, everyone would be able to settle their personal injury claims by themselves. Actually, in a perfect world, there wouldn’t be any personal injury claims.
But unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in.
When people try to settle personal injury claims by themselves, they make a few common mistakes.
Mistakes can cost them thousands of dollars.
Below we will discuss the top three mistakes people make when trying to settle personal injury claims without a lawyer.
Settling For Less Than You Deserve
You will have to work with the negligent party’s insurance company when injured by someone else’s negligence…
They’ll ask for a statement.
They may try to get you to say things that could undermine your claim. This may hurt your ability to collect compensation or diminish your claim’s value.
They may even offer a small amount of money right away to get you to settle the claim.
Let’s say the insurance company does offer you $10,000.
You might be thrilled to keep all $10,00 to yourself without paying an attorney a nickel.
But what if your attorney could get a settlement offer of $50,000 instead of the meager $10,000?
You’d be sharing part of that with your attorney, but your take-home check would make the attorney’s fee a worthwhile investment.
An experienced personal injury lawyer will know if there is available insurance coverage from other sources like underinsured motorist protection, med pay, or employer policies.
A personal attorney will know several factors that will help increase the value of your claim that you wouldn’t know on your own.
A Lack of Negotiation Skills
You have to be aggressive when you’re negotiating your insurance claim. The best way to be aggressive is to have confidence.
That means you need to know your rights and the law.
Knowing your rights and the law will let the insurance adjuster know that you should not be taken lightly.
Even if your injuries and the treatment you received are legitimate, an experienced insurance adjuster could undermine your claim by raising certain legal defenses.
The insurance representative could also discount your claim by claiming that the jurisdiction where the accident occurred contains jurors known to be sticklers for personal injury lawsuits.
An insurance adjuster will sense if you don’t have strong knowledge of the law and experience negotiating, and will seek to undermine your claim.
Without sufficient experience, you won’t be able to tell when the insurance company is bluffing.
Settling Too Soon
Everyone wants their personal injury case to be solved as soon as possible.
But mistakes can be made when victims are faced with an insurance company’s offers soon after an accident.
If you have back pain after an accident, your doctor may suspect you have a muscle strain that will resolve quickly.
So you settle, but then you learn that the injury is actually a herniated disk that requires surgery.
What happens if your injury ends up being worse than what was initially expected?
Unfortunately, once a case is settled, it is done.
There are no do-overs, and you have to live with the result, good or bad.
That’s why it’s in your best interest not to make an impulsive decision to negotiate with the insurance company to settle your claim quickly.
Do you still have questions on whether or not you really need an attorney after your accident? Read our blog post “Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After a Car Accident?”
Contact The Angell Law Firm
If you’re here because you or a loved one was in an accident, don’t try to get your settlement on your own.
You might be a natural-born DIYer, but this isn’t something to do on your own.
The process of settling a personal injury claim can be confusing, and you want to be sure you don’t make a common mistake.
The Angell Law Firm offers free consultations, and we do not charge legal fees unless we recover money for you.
Bryce is considered a highly esteemed trial lawyer and a passionate client advocate amongst his peers in the Atlanta legal community. Never afraid to go the extra mile for his clients, Bryce Angell works tirelessly to ensure that each client’s personal injury case gets the attention that it deserves.