When you are involved in an accident of any type that leads to an injury, you're probably already taking steps to seek restitution from the responsible individual. However, filing such a claim without the help of a personal injury law professional could prove to be a mistake. Here's why you need to have an attorney instead of negotiating with the adjuster on your own.
The Adjuster Isn't Your Friend
As soon as you file your injury claim, it gets passed on to a claims adjuster who will review your claim, including interviewing you and reviewing all of the evidence. When the adjuster calls to interview you, he or she is likely to talk to you as though they are your friend and are working diligently to help you get your claim settled.
The fact is that the adjuster is not your friend. He or she is working for the other party's insurance company, so their ultimate goal is to settle the claim in such a way that the company they work for incurs the lowest possible loss on the settlement. Working with an attorney will help ensure that your interests are a focus in the negotiations.
You May Not Understand What You're Giving Up
Accepting a settlement agreement may be an encouraging step because you are probably in a situation where you have bills to pay and you need to take care of them. However, without the formal legal training to understand the agreement itself, you may be signing away some rights that you aren't aware of.
For example, you may believe that you are accepting a settlement solely for your physical injuries and medical expenses, but you might actually be signing an agreement that covers all of your expenses, including any property damage and income loss. This could leave you with far less than you truly need.
Your attorney can review the settlement agreement and ensure that you are not sacrificing your rights to restitution for the things that you deserve.
You May Not Know Your Full Expenses
Settling your claim early in the process when the claims adjuster starts calling you may leave you settling your claim for far less than you ultimately end up needing because you won't know the full extent of your expenses. It's often hard to know the extent of your injuries early on in the process, which means you can't adequately estimate your treatment costs and your expenses related to your recovery.
Your attorney's personal injury experience helps to ensure that your ongoing expenses and recovery are all taken into consideration as part of your settlement agreement. That way, you are more likely to get the funds that you'll really need.