Going into settlement negotiations without hiring a personal injury attorney may seem like a good way to save money, but it will cost you in the end.
Negotiating a personal injury settlement without the help of an attorney can appear tempting. After all, an attorney costs money, which will cut into your final settlement amount. With that in mind, it’s easy to think that negotiating a settlement yourself will leave you with more money in the end.
There is a problem with this line of thinking, however. While a personal injury attorney will cost money, there are a number of ways they can increase your final settlement amount. With a Pensacola personal injury attorney as your advocate, you will, more often than not, end up with more money in your pocket when you reach a final settlement than you would with a self-negotiated settlement.
Personal Injury Attorneys are Skilled Negotiators
Personal injury attorneys negotiate with insurance companies and responsible parties on a regular basis. As such, they have the tools necessary to negotiate from a strong position and get the most of negotiations. A stronger negotiating position almost always guarantees a greater settlement. On the other hand, going into negotiations without experience opens the door for the opposing party to take advantage of your inexperience and try to pay as little as possible. Such negotiating tactics could leave you with damages that you have to cover out of pocket. Having a personal injury attorney negotiating on your behalf will help you ensure that any final settlement covers compensation for all your damages.
Personal Injury Attorneys Know How to Quantify Damages
A personal injury attorney knows how to quantify damages fully. Some types of damages—particularly non-economic damages, which compensate for intangible things like pain and suffering—are difficult to quantify. Without experience quantifying such damages, you may accept a settlement offer that fails to account for the breadth of non-economic damages. Even worse, a settlement offer may not account for non-economic damages at all.
Most personal injury attorneys will work on the basis of a contingency fee. Instead of paying your attorney out of pocket, with a contingency fee payment arrangement, you pay them with a negotiated percentage of your final settlement. If your claim does not reach a settlement, you won’t owe your attorney anything. [Editor’s note: You will not owe your attorney’s fees. However, most cases will have costs, such as filing, expert witnesses, etc. You will owe those.] With a fee tied to a percentage of a final settlement, personal injury attorneys working on the basis of a contingency fee have an added incentive to get the best settlement possible for their client. After all, it is in their financial interest to do so.
Insurance Companies are Not Your Friend
An insurance company’s primary goal is to pay out the least amount of money possible in the settlement process. They employ several strategies to further this goal. One of the strategies that insurance companies employ is dragging out the settlement process. This strategy attempts to extend the process to the point where it is too late to hire a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit. By hiring a personal injury attorney initially, you can be sure that if your claim does not reach a settlement, you will still have time to file a lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires. The threat of a lawsuit puts you in a strong bargaining position during settlement negotiations so that you can get more out of your settlement.
Going into settlement negotiations without hiring a personal injury attorney may seem like a good way to save money, but it will cost you in the end. To ensure you get the most out of your personal injury settlement, it is always wise to hire a personal injury attorney from the outset.