How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Increase Your Settlement Amount

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Car on fire after accident; image by Wing-Chi Poon, via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 2.5, no changes made.

Going into settlement negotiations without hiring a personal injury attorney seems like a great way to save money, but it will cost you in the end.

Negotiating a personal injury settlement without the help of a lawyer can seem tempting. After all, an attorney costs money, which is reflected in your final settlement amount. With that in mind, it is easy to believe that if you negotiate an agreement yourself, you will end up with more money.

There is a problem with this way of thinking, however. While a personal injury attorney costs money, there are a number of ways they can increase your final settlement amount. With a Pensacola personal injury attorney as your attorney, most of the times you have more money in your pocket when you reach a final settlement than you would if you reached a self-negotiated settlement.

Personal injury attorneys are experienced negotiators

Personal injury lawyers negotiate regularly with insurance companies and those responsible. As such, they have the tools to negotiate from a strong position and make the most of the negotiations. A stronger negotiating position almost always guarantees a better settlement. On the other hand, entering into negotiations with no experience for the other party opens the door to taking advantage of your inexperience and trying to pay as little as possible. Such negotiation tactics can result in damage that you will have to cover out of your own pocket. Having a personal injury attorney negotiating on your behalf can ensure that the final settlement covers compensation for all of your damages.

Personal injury attorneys know how to quantify harm

X-ray showing a broken collarbone; Image by Harlie Raethel via Unsplash.com.

A personal injury attorney knows how to fully quantify damage. Some types of damage – particularly non-economic damage that compensates for intangibles such as pain and suffering – are difficult to quantify. Without experience in quantifying such damage, you can accept a comparison offer that does not take into account the breadth of non-economic damage. Worse still, a settlement offer may not account for any non-economic damage at all.

Contingent liabilities

Most personal injury attorneys operate on a contingent fee basis. Instead of paying your attorney out of pocket with an agreement to pay contingent fees, pay them a negotiated percentage of your final settlement. If your claim is not settled, you owe nothing to your attorney. [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 who work on a contingent fee basis have an added incentive to get the best possible settlement for their client. After all, it is in their financial interests to do so.

Insurance companies are not your friend

The main goal of an insurance company is to pay out the least amount of money possible in the settlement process. They employ various strategies to achieve this goal. One of the strategies insurance companies use is to delay the settlement process. This strategy seeks to stretch the process so far that it is too late to hire a personal injury attorney and file a lawsuit. By hiring a personal injury attorney first, you can be sure that you will still have time to file a lawsuit before your statute of limitations expires if your claim is not resolved. The threat of legal action puts you in a strong negotiating position during the settlement negotiations so that you can get more out of your settlement.

Going into settlement negotiations without hiring a personal injury attorney seems like a great way to save money, but it will cost you in the end. To ensure that you are getting the most out of your personal injury regime, it is always a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney from the start.