Are you asking yourself, “Should I try to handle my own personal injury settlement?” The main consideration is the severity of your injury. If you are seriously injured, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to handle your claim. If you are only slightly injured and completely recovered in two weeks or less, Fox Law Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers suggest you try to handle your own personal injury claim. However, there are important things you should know.
Negotiating Your Own Personal Injury Settlement Can Be Dangerous
It can be dangerous to attempt to negotiate your own personal injury settlement without the support of an experienced Philadelphia, PA personal injury lawyer. It can cause irreversible damage to your claim if improperly handled. A Philadelphia personal injury law firm that has extensive experience with personal injury cases can help you. They will address all aspects of your claim with care and concern.
The Benefits Of Hiring A Personal Injury Lawyer
A good injury attorney provides a valuable service. They guide you through each phase of the process and help you to avoid many common mistakes. A Philadelphia personal injury attorney is someone familiar with the process on how to properly value these claims. Therefore, you can avoid being taken advantage of in the settlement process.
Your recovery is in their best interest.
Attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, so you pay nothing. They are only compensated by a percentage of the recovery they make a recovery for you. Represented claimants almost always receive a better settlement when represented by a personal injury attorney. This is true even taking into consideration the attorney’s contingency fee.
Select a personal injury lawyer with whom you trust and have peace of mind while you recover.
Select a personal injury lawyer with whom you trust. You will have the peace of mind that your case is being handled properly. Then, you can then move forward and remain focused on your medical appointments. Life after an accident can be devastating. It might even feel as though your world has been turned upside down. The last thing you need to worry about is negotiating and arguing with an insurance company. Entrust your case to a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer. They will remain dedicated to your best interests will enable you to focus on your recovery.
Beginning An Injury Claim On Your Own: What To Expect
What you can expect is to be taken advantage of. Claim adjusters often think that unrepresented claimants do not know the value of their case. Therefore, they will routinely low-ball the value. They will tell the claimant that it is a good offer. To the contrary, it is almost certain that you will not receive a fair settlement offer if you are unrepresented. Attempting to handle your claim on your own and then ultimately needing to hire a Philly injury lawyer later on can complicate the claim process. It may also limit your options.
How Do I Get A Fair Settlement?
Take advantage of the free consultation offered by most personal injury attorneys. This will give you an idea of what is a fair settlement offer for your injury. Do not settle the claim until you are satisfied you have received a fair settlement offer. If you cannot receive a fair settlement offer without a lawyer, you will need to retain an injury lawyer to represent your claim.
How Do I know When To Settle My Insurance Claim?
Without the help of a personal injury attorney, it will be difficult for you to know when to settle your insurance claim. It’s hard to determine what maximum compensation means without experience as a lawyer. Attorneys who work with personal injury cases know how to calculate this important information. They know how to write demand letters. They also know how to negotiate with the insurance carrier.
How Does The Insurance Adjuster Determine The Settlement Offer?
Insurance companies have their own internal protocol for valuation of cases. They do not often stray from that protocol. The only time they stray from the protocol is when there is an aggressive attorney representing the claimant. Aggressive attorneys who will file suit against the insurance companies insured can make a difference.
The value of a case almost always increases as a result of the threat of litigation. But unfortunately, so do the expenses. Personal injury trial lawyers are prepared to carry the expenses. They also accept the risks in taking a case to trial.
If the adjuster makes you a settlement offer and you begin to feel that you’re in over your head, make use of a free case evaluation with a personal injury attorney. If you’re being asked to sign documents from the insurance company, speak with an attorney first. Do not sign a release without representation or a free consultation. When you accept the settlement offer and sign the release, the claim settlement is final.
Can I Hire An Injury Lawyer After I Try To Handle My Own Claim?
You can still hire an injury lawyer after you try to handle your own claim, if you have not signed a release. If, however, you attempted to handle your injury claim on your own and made mistakes that cannot be undone, you may have trouble finding an injury lawyer who will accept your case. Mishandling your injury claim on your own may force you to accept a settlement offer that is too low for the severity of your injuries. It is critical to understand what you may or may not be able to do on your own. Know what is at stake if your case is mismanaged.
Should I Negotiate With The Insurance Adjuster?
Unless you are thoroughly comfortable and confident in negotiating with an insurance claim adjuster to arrive at a settlement amount that you deem fair, it is strongly recommended that you retain an attorney to negotiate with the insurance adjuster.
Many victims of accidents receive an early offer from the insurance company that is tempting to accept. It would be easy to accept this low offer and close the case and move on with your life. However, if you are not familiar with the valuation process for your injuries and resulting damages, you may accept an offer that is far less than what you would have obtained if you had retained an injury lawyer.
If you are given what the insurance company refers to as their top offer, you should contact a Philadelphia, PA injury lawyer for a free consultation before settling your case. A personal injury lawyer will be able to tell you more about whether or not this offer truly is in line with the severity of your injuries or if they can do better, even considering the attorney’s contingency fee.
The Insurance Adjuster’s Job Is Save The Insurance Company Money
The job of the insurance adjuster is to save the insurance company as much money as possible while settling your claim. Their job is not to look out for your best interest. Insurance adjusters have years of experience and have settled hundreds or thousands of claims. They are interested in saving the bottom line of the insurance company. This means that they may try to take advantage of you or lead you to believe that your claim is less valuable. Insurance companies are not in the business of looking out for personal injury victims.
Why Insurance Adjusters Like Early Settlements
Settling early is in the insurance company’s best interest. The longer time goes on, the more possibility there is of unknown problems and complications related to your injury that will increase the value of your claim. You may have not been completely diagnosed with all associated medical conditions or if your injuries get worse, you will be out of luck in pursuing additional compensation. Signing a settlement agreement too early is often a big mistake. An insurance adjuster can pressure you into accepting an early settlement offer that doesn’t consider all aspects of how your life has been changed by your injury.
Insurance Company Delays and Denials
Some of the biggest challenges presented with insurance companies in the claims process have to do with unreasonable delays, denials, or refusing to answer your calls. On your own, the insurance company knows that your leverage is limited. You cannot file suit or litigate your claim without an attorney. Hiring an injury lawyer shows the insurance defense attorneys that you are serious. This means that insurance adjusters are more likely to pick up the phone and handle your claim with the respect that it deserves.
Insurance Company Defense Lawyers
Beyond the insurance adjuster, the insurance company will have experienced defense lawyers representing and fighting for them. These very experienced attorneys represent their client, the insurance company, to the fullest. You should also have an experienced Philly injury lawyer to represent you in your claim. If you don’t you will be seriously over-matched.
How Long Do I have To File A Personal Injury Claim In PA?
You only have a limited period of time to file an accident claim. You cannot afford to wait because if the clock runs out before you’ve started an injury claim, you will be unable to pursue damages in court. In general, you have a maximum of two years from the date of the incident to file an injury claim in PA, with some exceptions.
Why You Need A Philly Injury Lawyer If The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim.
If the insurance company has directly denied your claim, it is critical to hire a Philly injury lawyer immediately. Unfortunately, many car accidents or other accident victims don’t realize that injury claims are wrongfully denied by insurance companies all the time. Even if you’ve already received an outright denial from an insurance company, you may still be able to recover. You might also need a Philly personal injury lawyer if the insurance company is applying pressure for you to settle the case early.
Complicated Cases Should Be Handled By A Personal Injury Lawyer.
As your case gets more complex, it becomes more important for you to retain a top personal injury lawyer. Most cases are not clean-cut and require a certain level of expertise to be handled properly. There may be issues of comparative negligence or challenges regarding the extent of your damages. You may need an expert report to prove or establish your injuries, wage loss and future earning capacity. In this case, you are doing yourself a big disservice to try to handle your claim on your own.
What Role Does A Personal Injury Lawyer Play In My Case?
If you haven’t worked directly with an attorney before, you might not be familiar with what an attorney does for you in an injury case. A Philadelphia injury lawyer will help you with all 6 steps of a lawsuit.
A personal injury lawyer plays several important roles in your case, including:
- Investigating the depth of your claim and its potential impact on your life.
- Gathering evidence to support your arguments, such as incident or police reports, witness statements, photographic details, and camera footage.
- Making the case for establishing liability regarding who caused the accident. IE: Who caused the accident, the extent of the plaintiff’s damages including medical records, employment documents, medical reports, medical bills, and property damage reports.
- Negotiating with insurance companies to fight for maximum compensation.
- Sending demand letters to an insurance company after thoroughly evaluating your claim.
- Putting together pleadings if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement.
- Preparing for discovery, such as deposing witnesses, parties, and experts and sending interrogatories to the defendant.
- Representing your case through the completion of the trial, if necessary.
- Presenting settlement offers to you and explaining the benefits and disadvantages of each.
Accident victims have to cope with their world being turned upside down after a crash. Whether it was a car, bike, bus, or pedestrian accident, you have rights. Philadelphia personal injury attorneys can protect your rights.
Fox Law Offers 2 Weeks Of Free Legal Advice While You Decide What To Do.
At Fox Law, we feel so strongly about the importance of handling a case properly in the early weeks following your injury that we offer more than the typical free case evaluation. We offer 2 weeks of free legal advice following your injury, no obligation. We will guide you on the details of what to do immediately following your accident. This give you time to determine if you should try to handle your own personal injury settlement. Or in those 2 weeks, you might decide to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you.
Getting Help Today
With a limited period of time in which to file for compensation and struggling to cope with the many ways an accident has changed your life, your Philadelphia personal injury lawyer is there to navigate the personal injury recovery system and to help you fight for maximum compensation. Hiring Philadelphia injury lawyers who know how to work through these challenges will be key for allowing you to move on with your life. You deserve legal representation you can trust so that you can make informed decisions at each stage of your case. Call Fox Law today at 215-568-6868.