Handling a personal injury claim yourself is different than other DIY practices such as using LegalZoom to draft up a will or selling your house “For Sale By Owner” without a realtor. If you are tech-savvy and self-sufficient, you may wonder if you really need a lawyer.
At GBM Law, we believe the answer to that question isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. The best course of action after an injury is to call for a free consultation to see if hiring a lawyer will add value to your case. Depending on your individual concerns and objectives, our lawyers will be able to give you an honest assessment regarding your best options going forward.
Why should I consider legal representation for an Ohio personal injury claim?
Legal representation enables you to identify the types of claims you are eligible for and procure the evidence needed to win these claims.
If your injuries will impact your life going forward or if you’ve lost a loved or are dealing with an insurance company that won’t even fairly resolve the damage to your vehicle, you will very likely need a lawyer to get the maximum compensation available in a personal injury or wrongful death claim.
Even after your attorney is paid, you may be eligible to receive substantially more than if you negotiate a settlement on your own.
Is it possible to resolve an Ohio personal injury claim through insurance without an attorney?
While it is possible to resolve an insurance claim without an attorney, proceed with caution.
Your insurance adjuster will likely encourage a quick resolution and assure you that they will settle a case quickly and fairly without getting third parties involved. What they will not tell you is that you could be leaving thousands of dollars on the table.
The quicker an insurance company can settle a case, the less likely the injured party has time to know the full extent of their claim or losses. Unfortunately, once a claim is settled, it cannot typically be renegotiated.
The insurance company will take an entirely different approach if a reputable personal injury lawyer is involved.
What should I know before I try to resolve a personal injury claim on my own?
The auto insurance company does not have a legal duty to protect you, which means the claims adjuster may not tell you everything you need to know about a settlement.
For example, you could be sued by Medicare, Medicaid, or your health plan, if you fail to reimburse those entities from your personal injury settlement. Your health benefits may be cut off if you fail to reimburse your health plan, Medicare or Medicaid. Settlements involving children must be approved by a judge in the probate court.
The claims adjuster may not tell you that you must pay medical bills that have balances with the proceeds of your injury settlement. In some cases, the at-fault party may not have sufficient auto insurance to fully compensate you for your injuries.
You may lose your right to seek additional compensation from your own auto insurance company by signing documents given to you by the claims adjuster
It is always important to talk to a lawyer before you settle an injury case to avoid many of the traps that the auto insurance company will not tell you about.
Talk to an experienced lawyer before accepting a personal injury settlement on your own
As Ohio personal injury attorneys, we have seen firsthand the tactics that insurance companies use to minimize claims and pay out claims for as little as possible. We’ve also seen the incredible jump in a settlement offer from an initial offer to an eve-of-trial offer.
Unfortunately, insurance companies take advantage of well-meaning, honest people who believe they can trust the insurance company work out a fair settlement without a lawyer.
Insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible, and they even offer compensation structures to adjusters based on this, paying out bonuses when they resolve claims cheaply.
Don’t make the mistake of believing that an empathetic and caring insurance adjuster is your friend.
Contact GBM Law for a free consultation
If you’re considering handling a personal injury claim without a lawyer, we are happy to review your offer. You have every right to speak with a lawyer before you accept a settlement.
At GBM Law, we offer a free consultation to review an insurance company settlement offer.
If we represent you, our Columbus personal injury lawyers can advocate for your rights to recover compensation and maximize the value of your case. Under our contingency fee arrangement, we are only paid if and when we recover money for you.