Many people think they can handle their own injury claims. After all, you can Google most surgical procedures and probably find YouTube videos. As a matter of fact, an Oaxaca, Mexico woman performed a c-section on herself in 2004. Both she and her baby survived. An ambulance took her to a hospital in nearby Puerto Escondido. Five days later, she left the hospital and returned home – by bus. But just because one woman successfully did her own c-section, you should probably still call a doctor.
Likewise, anecdotes abound about people who handled their own cases and obtained successful results. But even though it worked out alright once or twice, you should still seek personal injury legal help if you were hurt in an accident. Here are three pretty good reasons to make the call now.
Handling Your Own Case is Too Costly
In a serious injury accident, the medical bills alone are often tens of thousands of dollars. Post-surgery physical therapy and rehabilitation may be almost as costly. Usually, health insurance companies do not cover these costs. They often cite things like liability concerns or an out-of-network provider.
Most people do not have the funds to cover these expenses. That’s especially true because, if the victim was seriously injured, the victim is usually off work as well.
An attorney often takes care of medical bills with a letter of protection. This correspondence guarantees the provider that it will be paid when the case is resolved. So, there is no upfront cost. Additionally, your attorney will negotiate with these providers. These negotiations often lower your final bill. So, you keep more of your settlement money.
The math usually works out favorably on this point alone. If you shave several thousand dollars off your medical bills, that makes up for the attorney’s fee. The really good news is that we still have two points to go.
Pro Se Individuals Usually Lack Resources
A personal injury attorney is only the most visible member of a very large legal team. In most cases, this team includes:
- Investigators: The victim/plaintiff must establish liability by a preponderance of the evidence. To obtain this evidence, an attorney usually partners with private investigators. These individuals do things like talk to witnesses, quickly obtain official reports, and examine the vehicle’s Event Data Recorder.
- Accident Reconstructionists: All this evidence is like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. A professional accident reconstructionist can take all these pieces and put them together into a picture that the jury can examine.
- Paralegals: Personal injury cases involve lots of paperwork. Paralegals can prepare large volumes of paperwork quickly and accurately. Paralegals can also perform the legal research that gives briefs and motions the punch they need to be successful.
People who serve as their own lawyer also serve as their own paralegal, investigator, and accident reconstructionist. That’s too many unfamiliar hats for a person to wear.
Not a Fair Fight
It’s no coincidence that the insurance company has a posse of lawyers. Going against them in court is like a YMCA basketball team taking on the Golden State Warriors. It’s simply not a fair fight, and you have almost no chance of winning.
Honorable mention goes to the fact that an attorney knows all the procedural rules and an attorney gives you peace of mind during a difficult time.