Should You Handle Your Own Personal Injury Case?
Published on:May 21, 2014

A wide variety of situations are covered under personal injury claims, and like many potential plaintiffs, you may be tempted to save legal fees and represent yourself in court. However, this often does not end well for the injured party — complex legal waters require experienced navigators, and most lay people do not have the necessary  expertise to represent themselves.  It is also possible for you to make the situation worse in the initial stages if you try to negotiate with the other party without the assistance of a skilled Staten Island personal injury attorney.

Here are some reasons why handling your own case is probably not in your own best interests:

Insurance adjusters know all the tricks concerning dissuading injured parties from seeking legal representation because they know they’ll be able to get away with paying you a smaller settlement if you don’t have a lawyer.  Remember, a smart insurance adjuster will try to make the settlement process seem simple and quick in order to lull you into accepting whatever is offered.

Keep in mind that the first offer given to you by an insurance adjuster is never as high as the insurance company is willing to go and that the initial offer will almost always be higher if you have legal representation.  It has been estimated that those who hire a personal injury lawyer receive payments that are between three and four times higher than those who represent themselves. Even if it’s a minor injury and you only want your medical bills reimbursed, consulting with an attorney is still recommended.

Insurance companies have attorneys working for them whose purpose is to keep settlement costs as low as possible. These professionals are well-versed in the specifics every nook and cranny of New York’s  personal injury laws, which means that you’re probably no match for them even if you are an expert in your own field. The insurance companies attorneys may even try to intimidate you by a variety of means, including using purposefully complex legal jargon in an attempt to confuse you and weaken your resolve to get a fair settlement. They may also try tactics such as telling you that the offer they are making is as good as it will get and that you only have a short time frame in which to accept it.

Remember — if you feel intimidated by the legal representatives of the insurance agency, it is probably a deliberate ruse designed to save the company money.

Even personal injury claims that seem fairly straightforward at first often become increasingly complicated as time goes by. Injuries that may not be initially evident may manifest themselves after a period of time has passed. You might also run into tricky situations where the other party is not covered by insurance, which is an entirely different situation — but nonetheless requires the expertise of a skilled Staten Island personal injury attorney.

Just as you wouldn’t attempt to perform a major medical procedure on yourself or a loved one without the proper knowledge and training, you should get the legal assistance in Staten Island that you need and deserve when dealing powerful insurance companies.