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Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney vs. Handling My Own Case

| Apr 4, 2014 | Articles, Personal Injury

If you have been injured as the result of car wreck, slip-and-fall, or some other type of accident you may wonder if it is worth it to hire an attorney or if you should try and handle the case on your own. Perhaps the insurance company is not offering you enough to cover your losses but you are afraid of the costs that come with hiring an attorney. Perhaps the insurance company has offered you what seems like a decent amount but you are worried that hiring an attorney means simply sharing what you have already been offered.

One of the biggest fears people have when it comes to hiring an attorney is the cost. For personal injury cases, I work on a contingency fee basis. This means my fee is a percentage of what is recovered and is contingent upon there actually being a recovery of money. There are no charges or fees until we are able to obtain either a settlement that you agree to or a judgment or an award from a court. Even a contingency fee, however, can seem expensive and handling your own claim may seem tempting. So what exactly are the benefits of hiring an attorney? What is it you are paying for?

An attorney can determine whether you are being fairly compensated.

As an attorney, I see all types of accidents and I see for how much they typically settle. This knowledge and experience will allow me to determine whether you are being compensated fairly. Insurance companies, regardless of the type of accident, have one primary goal and that is to pay you as little as possible. If an insurance company knows that you are handling a claim yourself they will often offer what may seem like a lot of money, but the amount is much less than you are entitled to. The insurance company will often offer more money when an attorney is involved because the insurance company knows that an attorney knows what is fair.

An attorney can negotiate with medical providers to reduce bill amounts.

Medical bills can be extremely expensive, especially if don’t have health insurance. There are few things more frustrating that getting a offer from an insurance company that is less than what you still owe in medical bills. This can sometimes happen if you are handling your case yourself. Not only will an attorney normally get the insurance company to come up on their offer, an attorney can negotiate reductions in your medical bills. After explaining the nature of your case, and what is being offered by the insurance company, we can normally get medical providers to reduce your bill substantially.

An attorney often knows medical providers who are willing to treat on a lien if you do not have health insurance that covers certain treatments.

Often I meet with client for the first time days after they are injured. Sometimes they are frustrated because they are clearly injured but the services they require are not covered by insurance nor do they have the resources to pay for them out of pocket. As a personal injury attorney I can put you in touch with providers who are willing to treat you on a lien. When a doctor treats on a lien, it means the doctor will provide whatever medical care you need but they will wait to be paid from the proceeds from the case. We work with a number of medical professionals in various fields who treat our clients without payment up front.

An attorney has leverage in their ability to litigate the case.

All personal injury claims have what is called a statute of limitations. A statute of limitations is basically a deadline by which you must take your case to court. If you have not started the litigation process by this date than the and the person who injured you and their insurance company is off the hook. The thought of litigating your own personal injury case is probably daunting and you may not be aware of certain deadlines. As an attorney, I know how to begin the litigation process and see it through. Hiring an attorney will often give you the leverage you need to get the insurance company to cooperate because the they know that the deadline will not be missed and that litigation against their insured is possible.

An attorney knows how structure your request for compensation.

Before making you an offer on you claim, an insurance company will ask you for a bunch of information and documents including medical records, medical bills, diagnosis codes, a copy of the police or accident report, if there were any witnesses, proof of how much you make if you are claiming you had to miss work, etc. Obtaining all this information and understanding how to organize it can be overwhelming. We request and organize these kinds of documents on a daily basis. We know who to contact, what records to ask for, and how to organize them in a way that will lead to the quickest and best result. We know how to best submit the demand packet to the insurance company and how best to frame your claim.

An attorney handles the details and the stress while you focus on getting back to full health.

The settlement and litigation process can be extremely complicated and stressful. There are many deadlines that if missed will be detrimental to your case. There are hundreds of pages of documents that must be filed and kept in order. There are documents that must be requested, insurance companies to deal with, bills to negotiate, papers to sign, etc. The stress can be compounded if during this process you are trying to get back to full health, work, take care of loved ones, etc. When you hire an attorney part of what you pay us to do is deal with all that stress and responsibility while you focus on what is most important.

If you have been injured, please call us IMMEDIATELY for FREE, NO OBLIGATION consultation.


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