If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence or intent, you might feel like your case is simple. That person did something or failed to do something, and you got hurt as a result. Any court will recognize that and award you money, right? Unfortunately, it is rarely that simple. Personal injury law is extremely complex, and failing to make the right moves at the right time can result in you getting less than you deserve, or even having your case thrown out altogether. Here are the top 5 reasons not to handle your own case.
1. You’re Not an Expert
Do you understand all the ramifications of comparative negligence? Do you know the statute of limitations for your specific type of case? Do you know who to talk to, in what order, and when it is better to say nothing at all? Are you familiar with filing court motions, and which motions might apply to your case? If not, don’t feel bad. You might be an extremely intelligent person, but you aren’t an expert in personal injury law. While a serious injury might happen once in your lifetime, it is just another day on the job for us. Let us navigate the legal minefield for you, while you focus on regaining your health.
2. You Shouldn’t Talk to Insurance Adjusters
If you are handling your own case, you will have to present your story to insurance adjusters from both sides. Insurance companies are highly familiar with personal injury claims, and are quite skilled at getting people to settle for less than their injuries are worth. The more open you are, the more likely you are to say something that could damage your case. In addition, you will most likely have to open up your medical records for full review. Let us deal with the insurers on your behalf, using our own knowledge and experience with the law to get you every dime you deserve.
3. The Paperwork Is Daunting
Even a relatively simple personal injury case requires a great deal of paperwork, especially if it goes to trial. Most people simply do not have the time and energy to work their way through mounds of paperwork, especially when trying to heal from a serious injury and perhaps go back to work. Even worse, failing to fill out a single form properly could get your case dismissed. You will need to provide your personal information, but our office can ensure that every form is filed properly, on time.
4. You Don’t Know When to Settle
Some insurance companies make a fair settlement offer right away. Others open with an extremely low-ball offer in hopes that you will take it. Some drag their feet for a long time, and some fight every step of the way. Some cases are worth far more than the limits of the insurance policy. How much a particular case is worth is highly complex and difficult to ascertain, as every injury is somewhat different. How much time will you lose from work? How high will your medical bills be? Does your injury carry a strong likelihood of permanent disability, either now or due to complications in the future? What were the circumstances under which you were injured? Was there gross negligence, or even intent to injure? Were there previous safety violations? Without taking all of the factors into account, you cannot make a reasoned decision on when or if to settle. Our professional experience allows us to make an objective evaluation and place a reasonable dollar amount on your case.
5. You Might Not Have a Case
For a variety of reasons, some personal injuries do not have a dollar value. Perhaps you were at fault. Maybe your injury was due to an act of God. You might have signed a waiver accepting any and all risks of injury. The reasons are numerous and varied, but the reality is that you might not have a case. Rather than spend time and money pursuing a court case you can never win, it would be better to seek competent legal advice at the outset. If you do not have a case, we will tell you why, and you will avoid a potentially costly venture.
Bryan P. Stubbs, Attorney at Law, assists clients throughout the Tacoma, WA area. To protect your rights, speak to us as soon as possible after your personal injury. For over 50 years, our office has been helping injured people recover damages. We will fight for your rights and secure the best outcome for your personal injury claim!
Contact Bryan P. Stubbs today at (253) 383-5891 to schedule a free initial consultation. If you or a loved one have been injured, call us today!