Yes, you can settle your injury claim without an attorney, but that may not be in your best interest. Our Erie personal injury attorneys understand that you may need to settle your case so that you can have funds to pay your medical bills and other expenses, especially if you have been out of work because of your injuries.
However, by settling your claim quickly and without an attorney, you may receive far less than you deserve. The insurance adjuster won’t tell you this — his job is to pay as little as possible to settle your claim. We will tell you the truth; you can count on that because we have your best interest as our top priority.
Why Should I Consult an Attorney Before Accepting a Settlement?
The insurance adjuster for the other driver is going to make what sounds like convincing arguments why you need to accept the offer now and why you don’t need an attorney. Some of the arguments that insurance adjusters use to convince accident victims to accept a settlement include:
- You can get your money faster. If you involve an attorney, he will only drag your case out for months or years.
- You can get more money without an attorney because you don’t have to pay an attorney fee.
- I am paying you the maximum amount you can receive for your claim. There is simply no more money available for your claim so why not settle now and move on.
Let’s look at each of these arguments in more detail.
Accepting a Quick Settlement
Settling your claim too early may hurt you in the long run. You need to wait until your doctor releases you and says that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is the point in your recovery where you have fully recovered, or further treatment will not help you recover any further. If you have a permanent disability or you require ongoing treatment, you deserve to be compensated for those damages.
If you settle your claim too quickly, you may not receive full compensation. Even though you discover later that you have additional injuries you were not aware of at settlement or you require additional treatments, you cannot go back to the insurance company if you have already accepted a settlement.
You Get More Money Without an Attorney
This is a common argument used by insurance adjusters. It is not true. In most cases, you receive a larger settlement by hiring an attorney because the attorney knows the true value of your claim. The insurance adjuster is not going to tell you the actual value of your claim because he wants to pay as little as possible. An experienced attorney includes all allowable damages to increase and maximize your compensation.
There are No More Funds Available
This may or may not be true. The insurance adjuster is not going to disclose the limits of the insurance policy to you; however, your attorney will demand this information as part of the claim process. It is important to know the limits of the policy to ensure you are receiving the most compensation available, especially if your damages exceed the policy limits.
Call Our Erie Personal Injury Attorney for a Free Appointment
Call The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our attorneys. We accept most cases on a contingency fee basis meaning you don’t pay our attorney fees until we recover money for you.