Should I Handle My Own Personal Injury Claim?

california personal injury

I appreciate the sentiment behind this question, I really do. Like all Americans, I’m fiercely independent, I’m a doer, and I like taking care of my own business. I understand that people don’t like paying for services they can perform themselves, especially in today’s digital DIY age. Just do the research, follow the instructions, and you can figure it out yourself – or so the thinking goes. This may apply to simple gadget fixes, silly party tricks, and so-called “life hacks,” but what about legal matters? Can you really handle your own personal injury claim just as long as you “do the research”?

Well, you can, but you certainly won’t be getting the best results, that is, unless you’re a legal professional. Assuming you’re a layman, I’d strongly recommend against it, even if your case involves only minor damages. You’re probably thinking, isn’t it convenient for the lawyer to say that you shouldn’t ever handle your own personal injury claim? However, I sincerely believe this is the truth: you will NOT get the compensation you deserve unless you have a reliable attorney at your side. Full stop.

First of all, the claims adjuster knows more than you AND is working against you. You’re talking about a person whose whole job revolves around reducing and denying claims. Make one small slipup – you WILL without a lawyer to guide you, I almost guarantee it – and say goodbye to an optimal settlement. If you want to obtain maximum recovery for your losses, consult with an attorney who knows how to play, and win, the adjuster’s games.

Second, the insurance company won’t take you seriously unless you have an attorney. When the insurance company looks at a claimant with neither legal expertise nor an attorney at his or her side, they see an easy target, and thus are less willing to negotiate a higher sum. However, when confronted by an experienced personal injury attorney, they feel more pressure to offer a fair settlement since it’s usually preferable to litigation, which can be costly.

Finally, it’s common for an attorney to substantially increase the initial settlement offer. For instance, I represented a client named Jose who had been in a motorcycle-car collision. The insurance company initially offered him $10,000, even though his medical bills alone exceeded $100,000. He called me for help and I was able to get him a $1.5 MILLION settlement – that’s an increase of nearly 1,000 percent! Check out the video below to hear Jose’s story for yourself.

The bottom line is this: a good personal injury attorney will only improve your situation. If you have been thinking about representing yourself in your claim, I hope that this article has knocked some sense into you, and that you will take the right steps to securing a better future.

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