Many people who are involved in personal injury accidents ask the question:
Should I hire a lawyer to handle the claim or represent myself?
If the accident caused only property damage to your vehicle and no personal injuries, you may be able to handle the claim to get your car or truck repaired. But if you were seriously injured in the accident, multiple insurance companies are involved, and everything is riding on the outcome, you owe it to yourself to make careful, well-informed decisions. You should talk with an experienced attorney at Herrman & Herrman PLLC who can provide legal guidance based on many years of experience.
Here are some of the pitfalls of handling your own personal injury case:
- You will be dealing with the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjusters and lawyers on your own. The other driver’s insurance company has no contractual obligation to you.
- You will be facing insurance claims adjusters who are seasoned negotiators. They are trained to protect the insurance company’s profits by paying out the least amount possible in settlements.
- Insurance company adjusters will seek to exploit your lack of familiarity with the claims process.
- You may not know to identify all the potentially responsible parties. You may miss sources of insurance coverage carried by third parties involved in the accident that could be beneficial to you.
- The insurance company will likely offer a lower settlement because they do not perceive that individuals who lack legal representation are serious about taking them to court.
- If you do not like the settlement offered by the insurance company, you will likely have to sue them to seek a higher amount.
- You will need to keep track of filing deadlines and legal notification deadlines to protect your legal rights if you handle your own case. Missing deadlines may compromise your ability to obtain compensation.
- You may make a statement that the insurance company will use against you to deny or minimize your claim if you represent yourself. A knowledgeable attorney can manage communications with the insurance company and control access to your records.
- You may not know the types of evidence needed to support your claim or how to go about collecting the evidence if you handle your own case.
- An insurance representative may pressure you to sign a medical release allowing the adjusters to rummage through your medical records looking for pre-existing conditions and reasons to deny your claim. An experienced attorney will be in a better position to determine what medical information should be shared.
- An initial settlement offer from an insurance company may sound like a lot of money, but actually be far less than the fair value of the case based on your future medical bills and income losses related to the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney at Herrman & Herrman PLLC will have an informed perspective on the value of your claim from carefully calculating your present and future losses and from having handled many similar claims.
- It is easy to let your emotions become involved when representing yourself. But emotional outbursts may complicate the settlement process. An experienced lawyer can provide an objective perspective and negotiate aggressively on your behalf.
- Handling your own case will inevitably add some unneeded stress to your life when you should be focused on your health and recovery. Do you really need the added stress of dealing with insurance companies? Let an experienced attorney handle the negotiations and keep track of the deadlines.
After a severe injury, your priority should be regaining your health and enjoyment of life. Let the personal injury attorneys at Herrman & Herrman PLLC provide trusted legal guidance and fight hard to obtain the full compensation that you will need to move forward after a serious accident. We provide legal representation to people who have been injured by others’ negligence in a range of cases including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, premises liability cases, product liability, oilfield accidents and 18-wheeler accidents. We are dedicated to helping the people of Corpus Christi, McAllen and the entire Rio Grande Valley.