14 June 2013|
Do I need an attorney?
"Sometimes people call me and they have a very small injury, often times I can help them out over the phone give them some direction and give them some assistance to handle it on their own. If you have any type of a serious injury study after study has shown that you’re always better off with an attorney particularly an attorney who is experienced in this field."
This is a question clients often ask. No one wants to come out with less in their pocket when the case is over just because they hired an attorney. Obviously if your case needs to be filed in court, having an experienced attorney is a must. But many people, particularly those with minor injures, do handle their own claims without an attorney.
If your injury healed up in a couple of doctor visits, you may want to attempt tackling the insurance company on your own. However, keep in mind you'll be in an adversarial relationship where confrontation is likely. You'll be interacting with a professional who knows all the ins and outs of claims handling. You should also remember the steps you take or the steps you let the insurance company take may deal fatal blows to your case. You may unknowingly damage your claim so bad, an attorney might not be able to fix it later.
Having an experienced attorney can certainly increase the value of your claim. Study after study has borne this out.*
So, do I need an attorney? If you have experience in claims handling, a working knowledge of tort law and the resources to handle a confrontational relationship with an insurance adjuster, you might be able to do just as well on your own. This is particularly true in smaller claims. However, if you don't, or if your injury is serious, you are almost always better off with an attorney.*
* 1995 Allstate Training Manual. ….in settlements under $15,000, claimants with an attorney averaged $7,450, those dealing with Allstate on their own averaged $3,464. (This internal Allstate document revealed claimants with attorneys recovered 2 to 3 times more than unrepresented claimants.)
* Rand Institute study found that auto accident victims who hire attorneys receive about 25% more money than auto accident victims who do not hire attorneys - even after deducting all costs.