How Do I File a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
It is understandable that you may be hesitant to spend money on legal fees after sustaining injuries caused by someone else's negligence. In that case, you can pursue compensation for your injuries without an attorney.
However, since results matter when it comes to personal injury cases, the last thing you want is to risk pursuing compensation without a lawyer. Keep in mind that in personal injury law, filing a claim is completely different from receiving compensation for your injuries. The other party will not compensate you just because you filed a claim or were injured, let alone accept liability.
That's where an experienced personal injury lawyer comes in to help you navigate the complexities of such a case. To file a personal injury claim without a lawyer, you'll need to identify the parties responsible for your injuries, gather crucial evidence to support your claim, collect their insurance information, and then contact the claims department to file.
Alternatively, you can contact an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the claims process on your behalf.
What Are the Pros of Filing a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
Filing a claim without a lawyer can save you a lot of money on legal fees. This is because injury lawyers usually charge their clients a contingent fee, meaning they'll deduct a percentage of the settlement if you win the case to cover attorney fees and other legal expenses.
In addition, not hiring an attorney means you'll handle your own case and be directly involved in the process. And above all, you'll have full control over the outcome of your case.
What Are the Risks of Filing a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer?
No doubt that filing a personal injury claim without a lawyer can be risky. That explains why claims filed by a lawyer usually have a higher chance of succeeding than those filed without legal representation. Let's take a quick look at some of the risks involved.
You may not be familiar with the deadlines and requirements that must be met to file a claim. Keep in mind that personal injury claims are time-sensitive. So, if you miss these key deadlines, you'll likely lose your right to pursue legal action against the other party. Additionally, there are no standard deadlines—they vary from case to case.
Without a lawyer, you will likely have to deal with insurance claim adjusters directly. These individuals are professionally trained to protect the insurance company's interests. Unfortunately, as a result, they may manipulate you into accepting a lowball offer or nothing at all.
If you don't have an attorney, you may also inadvertently waive certain rights or give up important evidence that could help your case.
Where Should I File a Personal Injury Claim?
You can file a claim with the other party's insurance company. For instance, if you've been injured in a car accident, you'll need to file a claim with the other driver's car insurance provider. Here's how this process works.
First, you'll need to contact the responsible party's insurance company and inform them that you intend to file a claim. Then, provide your personal information and details about the accident. While doing so, be careful not to reveal anything that could jeopardize your claim. That's actually one of the reasons claimants hire lawyers to represent them.
Once you have filed your claim, the insurance company will investigate it and determine whether or not they are responsible for your compensation. You can appeal their decision if they deny your claim or hire a lawyer to fight for you.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer?
A personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim with the at-fault party's insurance company. This helps avoid mistakes that could potentially jeopardize your claim.
The lawyer can also help you recover economic and non-economic damages caused by the other party's actions or inactions.
The right personal injury lawyer will have vast experience dealing with insurance companies and negotiating a fair settlement on behalf of their clients. The attorney will not be afraid to take on the biggest bullies if that's what they need to do to secure the compensation their clients deserve.
Your attorney can take your case to trial if the insurance company refuses to cooperate. And when that happens, they'll help you prepare for complex court processes, including discovery and deposition.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer gives you the best chance of receiving full and fair compensation for your injuries. If you try to handle the claim independently, the insurance company will likely lowball you on your settlement offer.
Remember that insurance providers make money by maximizing their premiums and reducing insurance payouts. That's the same approach they'll have toward your case.
Additionally, these companies know that most people don't understand the legal process and the value of their claims. As a result, they often take advantage of claimants by offering lowball settlements. And as a claimant, you may settle for less simply because you didn't have legal advice when you needed it the most.
A competent personal injury lawyer will work tirelessly to build a strong case on your behalf and fight for maximum compensation. The case-building process includes gathering crucial evidence, interviewing witnesses and experts, reviewing records and reports, etc.
How Are Personal Injury Lawyers Paid?
The contingency fee system is the most common payment system for personal injury lawyers. In this system, the attorney deducts a percentage of the settlement or verdict they obtain for their client. This means that the lawyers do not get paid if they don't win.
Although not as common, some personal injury lawyers also get paid an hourly rate for their time working on the case.
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer if I Was Partly at Fault for the Injury?
Yes, an experienced attorney might be able to fight for you even if you were partly at fault for the accident. This is especially true if you live in a comparative negligence state. Also, it's always advisable to contact an attorney for a free case evaluation. You may be surprised to discover that you're not at fault for the injury or that you bear less responsibility than you previously thought.
How Can I Find a Competent Personal Injury Lawyer?
When looking for a good personal injury lawyer, you can search online, ask friends and family for referrals, or contact your local bar association.
When searching online, ensure you read reviews of the lawyers you are considering. In most cases, the more positive reviews they have, the higher the chances of providing the best legal representation for your particular case. For instance, Morgan & Morgan has over 25,000 5-star reviews on Google alone.
You should also check their websites to see if they have any information about personal injury claims. Have they won any cases? If so, do they have the results to show?
Also, consider their reputation. You want to hire an attorney or law firm with a great reputation for fighting for the rights of the injured. For instance, Morgan & Morgan is the largest personal injury law firm in the US, serving clients from coast to coast.
Lastly and most importantly, check whether they have powerful legal resources to fight for you. An attorney or law firm with powerful resources, like Morgan & Morgan, will conduct thorough investigations and build a strong case for you, ensuring you receive your much-deserved compensation.
What Damages Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Recover?
The damages the attorney may be able to help recover will depend on the unique circumstances of your case. Generally, an experienced attorney can help you recover general, special, and punitive damages.
How Is Liability Proven in a Personal Injury Case?
To win a personal injury lawsuit, you must prove that another person or entity was at fault for your injuries. This is called "liability." There are four elements of liability in a personal injury case, as discussed below:
Duty: You must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, all landlords have a duty to keep their property safe at all times.
Breach: The defendant breached their duty of care when they acted or failed to act a certain way. This is also known as negligence.
Causation: You must also prove that the injuries you sustained occurred due to the defendant's breach of duty. For instance, you slipped and fell due to a wet and slippery floor at a grocery store.
Damages: You suffered damages as a result of your injuries. Damages can include medical bills, lost earning potential, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
Can a Personal Injury Attorney Represent You in Court?
Yes, a competent personal injury attorney can represent you in court if your case goes to trial. However, not every attorney you hire can represent you in court. Some attorneys lack courtroom experience and would rather settle for a lowball offer than take the case to court.
Also, some attorneys may lack the resources to fight for you in court. And since out-of-court negotiations are usually cheaper and easier to sustain, the attorney might opt for this route.
But that shouldn't be the case. You need an attorney who can fight for you in and court out and not have to worry about a lack of experience or resources. And if that's what you're looking for, there's only one Morgan & Morgan.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Many factors influence the value of a personal injury claim. Some of these factors include but are not limited to the following:
The severity of your injuries: The more severe your injuries, the higher your settlement will likely be. This is because your injuries will have a greater impact on your life and ability to earn an income.
The cost of your medical bills: If you have incurred high medical bills due to your accident, this could increase the value of your claim. For example, in some cases, surgery may increase the value of your injury claim.
Lost wages and earning potential: If you have been unable to work since the accident, you may recover lost wages. The same applies if you missed an important financial opportunity due to your injuries—you may be able to include this aspect in your claim.
Pain and suffering: This covers non-economic damages meant to compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you have experienced due to the accident.
Punitive damages: In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded if the defendant's actions were particularly egregious or reckless. These damages are meant to punish the defendant and discourage future similar behavior.
How Can Morgan & Morgan Help?
Although you may be able to file a personal injury claim without a lawyer, doing so significantly reduces your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
That's why we're here to help.
At Morgan & Morgan, we understand the pain you or your loved one may be going through after an injury caused by negligence. We also know how complex the claims process can be. Arguing with insurance companies will only worsen your pain, so we're here to protect you and fight for your best interests.
And the best part is that you don't owe us anything unless we win. Don't file a claim without a lawyer—it costs nothing to hire Morgan & Morgan, the nation's largest injury firm.
Get in touch with us today for a free case evaluation.