Matthew Dolman, Esq.
Retaining a competent and experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible is vital if you are injured in a wreck. Unfortunately, we see many individuals attempt to represent themselves and fail. There are numerous studies illustrating why a claimant who is represented by legal counsel “nets” (after their medical bills and attorney fees have been paid) in excess of 300% more than if they had handled their own claim. This number would be higher if there weren’t so many personal injury settlement mills (usually the biggest advertising firms found on television and radio), who often leave significant money on the table at the time of settlement.
If you opt to handle your own accident and injury claim, the insurance carrier will offer you a minimal amount of settlement money intending for you to go away. In fact, insurance carriers usually make such offers within days following the collision, hoping to take advantage of the victim. At such time, you will not have any idea as to the extent of your injuries, future prognosis, or the need for future medical treatment.
These propositions are known in the industry as “nuisance value offers” because the insurance carrier sees the claim as just that – a mere nuisance. The carrier will take the position that you have no ability to do anything beyond demand money, as the unrepresented party does not know the lay of the land in litigation and will get chewed up by a seasoned insurance defense lawyer. Sadly, I have seen many individuals take minimal settlements after executing a release of the negligent party, and when they contact me months after undergoing significant medical treatment it is too late because they have already signed away their legal rights.
An unrepresented claimant lacks the experience or training necessary to properly negotiate with an insurance carrier, such as how to negotiate the medical bills they will incur for treating their car accident-related injuries. Most claimants lack the financial resources to retain the best experts available (assuming they even know who they are) to illustrate the compensation that is commensurate with the injuries, harms, and losses suffered. Research the best lawyers in your area and choose an attorney or law firm with significant financial resources to go toe to toe with the biggest insurance carriers, and look at what former clients say about their experience with the law firm, such as whether they offer personal attention or are rarely available by phone.
Many law firms promise the moon with expensive television and radio advertisements, but this is nothing more than a personal injury settlement mill. Always ask whether the firm has a policy wherein each and every client is provided the cellphone number of both the handling lawyer and the managing partner. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you will receive the cell phone number of the auto accident attorney handling your specific case and my cell phone number, as the owner of the firm.