1. “I was not hurt too badly”: When victims sustain soft tissue injuries – neck pains, back pains, headaches, etc – at times they decide that it is not necessary to see a doctor. Also, they don’t want to miss time from work, school or any of life’s routine activities. Unfortunately, many types of soft tissue injuries lay dormant immediately after the accident and flare up anywhere from weeks to even months later. Some personal injury victims with neck soreness have been known to subsequently require cervical fusion surgery months later as a result of complications from the injury caused by the accident. Worse yet, the longer the victim goes without treatment, the more difficult it will be for the attorney to reach a fair settlement, if any, with the insurance adjuster. Conversely, good lawyers can link personal injury victims with competent health care providers most of whom will defer receipt of payment until the case settles so that the accident victim can receive prompt treatment while preserving the strength of their personal injury case.
2. “I don’t want to sue the at fault driver”: Sometimes the accident victims perceive the pursuit of a legal matter as ‘taking advantage of the system’ or otherwise they frown upon it. The main concern is that they don’t want to sue anyone because they see suing anyone as a negative thing. The reality is the vast majority of personal injury cases – around 90% to 95% - are settled before a lawsuit is filed. A lawsuit is a last resort when dealing with uncooperative insurance adjusters.
3. “I don’t want to pay attorney to handle a case that I can on my own”: Soft tissue type personal injury cases, to a lay person, appears like a straight forward or easy matter to handle on your own. However, an accident victim is not equipped on how to document their case, how to communicate with insurance adjusters and what information to divulge vs. which ones to withhold. Further, if an accident victim handles their case without an attorney and attempts to settle but continually receives a low ball offer, the victim is at a disadvantage because the victim is not equipped to effectively sue as a pro se litigant due to the complexities involved lawsuit filings and the litigation process in general.
4. “The insurance adjuster said the lawyer will get all the money leaving me with almost nothing”: Listening to the insurance adjuster is a no-win situation for the personal injury victim because the insurance company’s interest is to save money for their company and not to pay the victim what they deserve. Also, to settle your case, the insurance will require the victim to give them a medical release so they can obtain the victim’s medical records. The insurance adjuster will review the medical records partly looking for preexisting conditions or detrimental facts that will devalue the settlement offer. On the other hand, a good attorney will exercise due care to ensure that their client’s negotiating leverage is preserved and maximized sufficiently to result in a prompt and fair settlement offer. There is no way an attorney will recommend that their client accept an offer where the client does not receive a fair portion of the settlement proceeds.
To discuss further, call (301)453-7177 for a free consultation.