Hi, I’m John Medler, personal injury lawyer with The Medler Law Firm – Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys. Today I’d like to talk to you about the age-old question of whether you can handle your own personal injury case. The answer is, no.
Let me tell you a little story about my good friend, Tim. Now Tim was moving into his house and he looked out in the yard and he saw that he had some big old trees that he thought needed to be cleared. One thing you should know about Tim is not much of a handyman. But Tim thought, “You know what? I can do that myself.” So he went out to the hardware store and he bought himself a chainsaw. Now Tim had never used a chainsaw before. He opened up the owner’s manual, the instructions, he looked at it. “Yeah, I kind of get the gist of it. And he went out there and started that motor. *VROOM* And he took the chainsaw and went out and started cutting his first big tree.
He got about halfway through the tree when the motor on the chainsaw died. And now his chainsaw is stuck in the tree. And now Tim didn’t know what to do. So he called his carpenter up. The carpenter came out in the yard and the carpenter said, “We playin’ lumberjack today?” And that’s kind of like what it is when you decide to handle your own personal injury claim. You don’t have the training, you don’t have the skills, you don’t have the knowledge to be able to handle all of the things that will come up in your personal injury claim.
Attorneys have gone to school for years to understand all the rules of evidence, all the procedural rules and the things that make a personal injury case to have a lot of value. You just don’t have the training to be able to handle those issues by yourself. You should know that the Insurance Research Council did a study in which they determined what amount of settlements people with and without lawyers received. And they found that people who hired personal injury lawyers generally got settlements that were three and a half times greater than people who tried to handle the claims process on their own. And if you know this came from the insurance industry, you know it’s at least that amount. Those insurance folks don’t want you to know that research. They would be just as happy if you didn’t have an attorney, you got through the process and you accepted whatever low-ball offer they gave you.
I can tell you for certain that if you hire a personal injury lawyer, even after paying the attorney’s fee, you’re going to come out way better than if you tried to handle the personal injury case yourself. One thing you should know about insurance adjusters is they don’t pay out money out of benevolence. They pay it out for fear. Fear that a personal injury lawyer is going to come in there, go in front a jury and get a huge verdict that they’re going to have to pay out. That’s why they pay large amounts of money when personal injury lawyers are involved. But if you’re not a lawyer and you’re handling the case by yourself, they’re not afraid of you. And all they’re going to do is give you a low-ball offer that you’re going to be stuck with.
So don’t be like Tim with the chainsaw. Hire a professional. If you have any more questions about personal injury law, call The Medler Law Firm – Personal Injury & Accident Attorneys to speak with our Orange County injury lawyer and check out our website at www.MedlerLawFirm.com. Consultations are always free.