Nothing makes Insurance Companies and their Adjusters happier than an accident victim deciding to represent themselves and save the attorney’s fee. The Adjusters know that most accident victims have no idea how the system works or how to evaluate a claim. They are setting themselves up as sitting ducks to be taken advantage of. Do not think for one second that Insurance Companies do not use every opportunity available to them to take advantage of the unwary consumer and victim.
Anyone who is injured in a personal injury accident and is the victim of somebody else’s negligence needs an experienced and qualified Personal Injury Lawyer. In virtually every case the payment to the Lawyer will be more than covered by the difference that the victim will recover from the Insurance Company. Experienced Lawyers know which facts to look for, how to find and preserve necessary evidence, and how the law applies to the facts. Most accident victims do not have the experience to put these pieces of the puzzle together for presentation to an insurance adjuster or judge or jury if necessary.
It is critical to understand that eventually the decision as to the value of the case will be made by an individual or individuals. This could be an insurance adjuster, a judge or a jury. Notwithstanding which individual makes the decision it will be based upon the proper presentation of the facts and an analysis as to how the law applies to the facts presented. The complainant has the burden of proof and must prove that the other party was negligent, that as a result of the negligence there was an injury, and that there is a direct causal connection between the negligence and the injury. Connecting these dots is not often easy for an inexperienced individual and if you lose on any of the issues the victim can end up being left without any monetary recovery for the injuries suffered at the hands of a negligent individual or company.
When it comes down to a case that cannot be settled the ultimate decisions may end up being made by judges who, in some cases make decisions as to what the facts are when in dispute and sometimes determine simply how the law applies to facts as determined by a jury of fact finders. Judges have an obligation to apply the law in the district in which they preside and only experienced lawyers know what those laws are and how the Judge must apply them. Judges do not have the authority to make law but only to apply it to the facts. It takes an experienced trial attorney to help bring the appropriate facts and law to the Judge as the Judge does not act as an investigator and will not do that work for the victim. That is the accident victim’s lawyer’s job.
Before deciding to attempt to resolve an accident case yourself you must ask yourself whether you have the knowledge and skills to make your case on the facts and the law. Do you know the rules of evidence and how to get the facts into evidence? If you are dealing with an adjuster he or she knows that you are not likely to know which items of evidence or important and determine whether you would know how to preserve the evidence and make it available at trial. If the adjuster believes that you do not have those skills the settlement offer will be reduced according the adjuster’s analysis of your ability to make your case in a legal forum. The adjuster’s job is to give you as little as possible and that is how they merit increases in status and pay with the Insurance Companies. The Adjuster is not your friend now matter how courteous or friendly he or she may appear on the phone.