Why Do I Need A Lawyer?

I get this question from potential clients quite often. They want to handle their case and avoid paying lawyer fees. I get it. If you can save the lawyer cut than you get to keep it. My advice is always the same: I’d rather you hire my competition and get more money than battle an insurance company yourself. personal injury lawyers are a “necessary evil” in my opinion. Everyone always talks about the Harvard Study where people get more money by hiring a lawyer. Harvard has some pretty smart people. This post isn’t about the Harvard Study. Here is some real life advice on why you need a personal injury lawyer.

The Insurance Company Does Not Take You Serious

Pretend for a second that you do the same thing every day. You get really, really good at it. And then all of a sudden another person wants to try to do the same thing. Do you think they are going to be proficient? Or able to compete with you? There is always that one outlier, but Insurance Adjusters are going to be better at negotiating a claim than an unrepresented party. The Insurance Companies knows the value range for your case because they do this every day. They also know that an unrepresented party isn’t going to have the wherewithal to file a lawsuit and proceed with litigation.

Here is a secret: You could probably get an ok offer on the case and get it resolved. Maybe 40% of the value on a simple claim. Lets say with a lawyer your case is worth 10K. Without a lawyer I routinely see offers in the 2.5-4K range. That is leaving anywhere from 2K-4.5K on the table when you take into account what a lawyer is paid. So you get the 2.5K-4K but you also could have doubled it. Now when you try to have a lawyer pick up the case they will be less incentivized to do so (this is a different discussion) so you are stuck with the insurance company offer when you could have gotten more. And I’m not theorizing. I see this happen when people call me up and ask me to fix the mess.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Knows How To Argue Your Case

I do the same thing every day: personal injury cases. I don’t work on bankruptcy, criminal defense, or estates work. When I get calls to do that type of work here is my response: I’m not dangerous in those areas of law enough to tell you if the deal is good or not. Having worked on 3000 plus injury cases I do know a good/fair/great/bad resolution when I see it. And I know when an insurance adjuster is full of garbage and I should just file a lawsuit to get the case into the hands of someone that actually knows how to handle the claim.

The other thing to keep in mind is the lawyers ability to go to Court. Some lawyers do not litigate and do not go to court. A local lawyer in town bragged to me once he “never goes to court.” And another takes the last offer at mediation no matter what. Both of those scenarios are terrible for the client. You lose bargaining power by not going the distance. For this reason you should research the daylights out of your personal injury lawyer and see if they go to court.

A personal injury lawyer will also know how to negotiate with the insurance company. There are certain factors of every claim to be pushed. This can apply to the medical treatment, liability situation, pain and suffering, lost work, and a variety of other factors.

It also alleviates headaches to hire a personal injury lawyer. I understand the different pots of money aka insurance associated with your crash. Negotiation isn’t always just with one insurance company. There are other ways to massage a case or argue with various insurance companies to get my clients more money. Not taking some steps early on in a case can seriously damage your case later down the line. For example, agreeing to give the insurance company something they aren’t entitled to can hurt your position.

I’m happy to answer any follow up questions. Consultations are always free at Dettman Law. My email is bdettman@dettmanlawgroup.com and that will go direct to me.