DIY Accident Claims Versus Hiring an Accident Attorney
Following a serious accident, you might be curious about whether you need to hire an attorney to pursue a legal claim or whether you can handle your claim yourself. Statistically, you will receive more money in an award or settlement if you hire a lawyer. The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP discusses the pros and cons of DIY claims and using an attorney.
Does “Do-It-Yourself” Really Save Money?
Accident cases include car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and construction accidents, among others. The most common reason people try to go “DIY” and handle their accident claims on their own is money. Many people believe they will save a lot of money if they work on their own claims because they won’t have to pay attorneys’ fees. Indeed, sometimes, you can save some money by pursuing claims on your own, but you have to ask yourself some very critical questions before taking this route.
1. How serious are your injuries?
If your injuries are more serious and potentially include some lasting effects, you likely will not receive enough money to cover even your medical expenses by going it alone.
2. How complex is your case?
If your case is going to require a complete investigation to determine fault or to gather evidence, you are probably not going to be able to do this alone. Attorneys have access to experts and databases that will easily allow them to conduct a thorough investigation of your claims.
3. How much time do you have to research the law?
You absolutely cannot manage your own accident case if you do not know the law. You need to be realistic about how much time it will take you to learn what you need to understand to adequately advocate for yourself. If you don’t think you have this kind of time, you need to hire an attorney who already has the education and training you’ll need during your case.
4. Do you have the funds to cover any out-of-pocket costs?
Litigating a claim, even at the insurance level, takes a certain amount of money. If you advance to filing a claim in court, you will need to spend money to file the case (which can be hundreds of dollars just by itself) and money to gather documents you’ll want to use as evidence. Depositions and experts will likely be completely out of reach if you’re working on your own claim, as these cost up to thousands of dollars. Not being able to take advantage of these powerful litigation tools can seriously sacrifice your end settlement or award. When you hire an experience car accident attorney, he or she will advance these costs without requiring up-front money from you.
Our accident attorneys understand that money is a concern for everyone. Compensation is, after all, a primary reason that you’re interested in pursuing a claim related to your injuries. But if you choose a DIY process when your case is too complex, and your medical bills are too high, you are likely missing out on a much larger settlement. The money you might save in attorneys’ fees quickly is offset by your own time and effort and the potential award you’re giving up.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
According to recent studies, people who hire attorneys for their cases receive, on average, 3.5 times more money than people who manage their own cases. How can a lawyer help you achieve a larger settlement? Your attorney will bring a number of beneficial elements to the table, including:
- Experience and training – Rather than having to research and learn the laws, procedures, and protocols yourself, your lawyer already has the experience and training you need. Knowledge of the claims process and legal system, as well as the laws applicable to your case, will serve only to increase the odds of your receiving a settlement or award.
- Resources – When you hire a lawyer for your accident claim, you do not have to put money down on your own case costs. Your lawyer will advance the costs of filing fees, document production, depositions, and expert testimony. Hiring a lawyer means skilled representation without the stress of the bills.
- Negotiating skills – One of the most important ways your lawyer will help you is during settlement negotiation. It takes a certain amount of skill and experience to understand when to “show your cards,” so-to-speak, and when to push back. These are skills you can’t acquire through research and trying to do this alone might result in major mistakes and loss of valuable opportunities.
- Power balance – When you’re a victim going against an insurance company or represented defendant, you automatically will have to deal with an imbalance of power. You have less authority when you’re gathering evidence, and people will be eager to take advantage of your inexperience. By hiring an attorney, you immediately restore the power balance and even tip it in your favor.
Your accident claim is important, and you deserve to receive the highest award possible to compensate you for medical expenses, lost wages, and your pain and suffering. The most reliable way to shield yourself and your family is to hire an experienced accident attorney. The attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP will guide you through the process and vigilantly advocate for your legal rights. We offer free consultations on all accident claims and provide same-day appointments with our attorneys. Contact us today to set up your no-risk consultation.
Contact Parker Waichman LLP
If you suffered serious injuries in an accident, contact the nationally recognized attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP. You can obtain your free consultation by calling our offices at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by filling out the online form on our website.
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