Let’s start with the straightforward answer to this question: Yes, you can handle your personal injury claim on your own. There is no law or regulation that requires claimants to hire legal representation.
However, the real question is: Should you try to handle the claim on your own? The answer to this question is frequently much more complicated.
The stakes are high in a personal injury claim. You may need (and deserve) significant compensation to cover your financial losses, including medical bills, property damage, and more. The consequences of a mistake can be immense if you try to handle a personal injury claim yourself.
Before you decide to go it alone, it is in your best interest to speak to a West Virginia personal injury attorney. Your initial consultation with Colombo Law is free.
Disadvantages of Handling Your Own Personal Injury Claim
There are several reasons it may not be in your best interest to handle a personal injury claim on your own. Potential issues that make hiring an attorney the smart decision include:
Investigations Take Time – and They Should Start as Soon as Possible
Personal injury claims are built on evidence. Depending on the type of case, this may include:
- Photographic or video evidence of the accident or scene of the accident
- Witness testimony
- Company records
- Medical records
- And more
The sooner you can recover and document all of the evidence, the better chance you have of recovering the compensation you need and deserve. But doing so can take a great deal of time, effort, and knowledge.
Hiring legal counsel can help you overcome these challenges. What’s more, your attorney can investigate on your behalf while you focus on recovering from your injuries.
Calculating Damages Can Be Challenging
Once you have evidence that proves the negligence of another directly led to your injury, you then need to calculate the damages you have sustained as a result. Damages in your case could include immediate and future medical expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering, and possibly more.
If you are to recover maximum compensation, you need to understand what you may deserve compensation for and how to prove the value of your claim. Insurance companies will do their best to convince you that you do not deserve as much compensation as you claim, which can make it difficult to know what you deserve and should pursue.
Insurance Companies Are Difficult to Handle
Even if you are able to fully calculate your damages, it is unlikely that the insurance company will pay you that amount without putting up a fight. They may try to dispute liability or offer less than what your claim is worth.
Standing your ground can be difficult, especially if you do not have experience with personal injury claims. While you should not give in to insurance companies, you also do not want to be unreasonable. In addition, the potential for serious mistakes is very high if you try to negotiate a settlement on your own.
You only have one chance to pursue compensation for a personal injury. Without the necessary evidence, proof of damages, and skilled negotiation, you may end up settling for far less than you deserve or, even worse, walk away with nothing.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
Personal injury attorneys have the time, resources, and knowledge to perform thorough investigations. In many cases, they have existing relationships with medical professionals, expert witnesses, and others they can consult to help solidify your claim.
They also possess a deep understanding of not just personal injury law but what has happened in past cases similar to your own. This can drastically cut down on the uncertainty of how much compensation you should ask for, and it can help when negotiating with insurance companies who understand that an attorney is much less likely to fall for their manipulative tactics than claimants who are unfamiliar with their rights and the pertinent laws.
Ultimately, a personal injury lawyer has the experience, knowledge, and resources that most individuals injured in accidents do not have. As such, an attorney is an invaluable partner for pursuing and recovering the compensation you need and deserve for the damages you have sustained.
Contact a West Virginia Personal Injury Attorney Today
Handling a complicated injury claim on your own is not for the faint of heart. We recommend that you at least speak with an attorney to discuss the details of your claim and what options you have.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. They only get paid if they win compensation for you, which minimizes the risk for you and your family.
At Colombo Law, we offer our clients a No Fee Promise. Your initial consultation is free, and you never have to pay fees until we achieve a successful outcome.
Please call Colombo Law at (304) 599-4229 for free today. Our personal injury attorneys serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.