If you’re preparing to file an insurance claim, do you need a lawyer, or can you handle it yourself? The answer is that while of course, it is possible to file an insurance claim on your own, getting a lawyer will often be the wise course of action.
An important consideration is that if you’re going up against an insurance company with millions of dollars worth of resources at their disposal, they are going to have the best lawyers money can buy, and these lawyers will work very hard to further their client’s goals — namely, to pay you as little as possible. An insurance company’s objective will always be to rake in as much profit as they can, not to give you what you deserve in the event of an injury. For this reason alone it may be a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney, but if you’re still having second thoughts, here’s when it’s really important to get a lawyer:
An insurance company may not care too much if you’re asking for a couple of hundred dollars because you went to the doctor after you bruised your arm, but if you’re claiming tens of thousands of dollars, they’re definitely going to fight you harder. You also could really benefit from legal representation if you’ve suffered severe or permanent injuries, which you will likely require the assistance of an experienced lawyer to quantify.
Unless you’re well-versed in personal injury law and dealing with insurance companies, having a lawyer on your side is going to be an advantage for you. Hiring a lawyer signals to the insurance company that you’re not going to be steamrolled, and it may scare the insurance company into playing more fairly.
If a company knows that you’re not represented by a lawyer, they may try to push and manipulate you into taking an early and undervalued settlement. They also may just deny your claim and hope you give up, a tactic which unfortunately works for them fairly often.
A lawyer will also provide some essential expertise for your personal injury claim. An experienced lawyer like Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson, LLP should have a good idea of what your injury claim is worth and how you can maximize your award.
Hiring a lawyer is likely to get you a better outcome for your case than dealing with the insurance company on your own. Yes, you will have to pay some of your award to your lawyer, but a percentage of a much higher payout is going to put you ahead in the end. And remember that personal injury lawyers take cases on contingency, which means there’s no risk to you if you don’t win the case, and since your lawyer is set to get paid a percentage of the money you receive, they have a great incentive to try to make your settlement or award as high as possible.
So, the bottom line is, if you have a very small case that is likely to result in a little payout, it’s likely not going to be worth it to hire a lawyer, but if you’ve suffered a serious injury and expect significant damages, it will almost always be in your best interest to have a personal injury lawyer on your side to get the best possible outcome for your case.