Settle for More: Hiring an Attorney vs. Going It Alone



Taking the Long View

Many times, people who have suffered personal injury as a result of another party’s negligence are confident in their ability to go it alone without the assistance of a skilled and experienced attorney. And the most common reason cited for individuals who adopt this approach is the perception that attorneys are expensive. Yet, while hiring legal representation might sound expensive at the outset, a lawyer’s skill and advocacy on your behalf could ensure that you receive optimal compensation if you’re involved in a personal injury or workers’ compensation case. Furthermore, most attorneys have unique billing structures that are designed to lessen their clients’ financial burden. (For instance, our contingent fee structure ensures that our clients pay no fees or expenses unless we are able to achieve optimal recovery on their behalf.)

Personal injury and workers’ compensation are exceptionally nuanced and complex practice areas — not only in theory, but also in application. This complexity makes it nearly impossible for laypeople to adequately represent themselves in most legal proceedings related to these two types of cases. This isn’t to say that laypeople are unintelligent or incompetent, but rather that lawyers work toward developing a mastery of their craft for the better part of their lives and are more qualified to document, interpret, and pursue the law than the average person. Attorneys study for years to earn their law degrees and pass the requisite Bar Exam(s), and they dedicate their lives to preserving and executing the law.

In rare instances, laypeople are able to successfully handle their legal problems on their own, but it’s more often the case that a person untrained in the law representing themselves gets disastrous results. Filing the necessary paperwork relevant to your case or claim might appear straightforward at first glance, but even a minor mistake could derail your entire legal action before it even begins. Additionally, if your case or claim involves opposing counsel, they will

likely take advantage of your amateur status early and often, attempting to bully you into an unfavorable settlement.

Results and Client Satisfaction

The data supports the notion that individuals pursuing personal injury and/or workers’ compensation claims are better served by hiring an attorney. For instance, according to a study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), settlements for individuals involved in car accidents (one of the most frequent personal injury claims) are 40% greater when plaintiffs hire an attorney rather than going it alone.

A separate report submitted by the IRC states that “85 percent of all the dollars that are paid out by insurance companies for bodily injury claims are paid to clients who have hired an attorney.” Not only that, but the average insurance payouts are 3.5 times higher for clients who hire legal representation.

In regard to overall client satisfaction, an All Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC) report found that over 50 percent of claimants with legal representation believed that their financial recovery was “far greater” than they would have been able to achieve on their own. In addition, 60 percent were satisfied with their recovery and “75 percent were satisfied with the overall performance of their attorney.”

Pinder Plotkin Legal Team

If you or a loved one is seeking skilled and experienced legal representation, please contact the Pinder Plotkin Legal Team today. Our attorneys have a wealth of knowledge regarding personal injury and workers’ compensation. Please call us today at (410) 661-9440 or visit our website to receive a free consultation regarding your legal issues.

The information provided in this website/blog is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject. 


Davis, C. (2013). Hiring an attorney may mean a larger settlement. Injury Trial Lawyer. Retrieved from

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22 comments on “Settle for More: Hiring an Attorney vs. Going It Alone

  1. Ashley says:

    I liked that you said that one reason to hire a personal injury attorney is that they will be able to represent you in court. I have been thinking about trying to represent myself in the courtroom but I have been worried that I wouldn’t win the case. I will be sure to consider hiring a professional so that the end result will be positive.

  2. I like how you said that personal injury and workers’ compensation are exceptionally nuanced and complex practice areas. One of my coworkers’ father had an accident and while he was been taking care of at the hospital, he passed away. I will try to convince my friend to contact a specialized attorney so that he can get assisted.

  3. My sister wanted to represent herself in court for her workers’ compensation claim, but we’re not sure if this is a good idea. I’m glad you stressed out the importance of hiring a lawyer; as you’ve mentioned 75 percent of the clients are satisfied with their lawyer’s performance in court. I think it’s best if we’ll just help her look for a lawyer who can help her out with the case.

  4. My husband told me that he can’t work at his job because he fractured his arm when he was working inside the restaurant he’s working at. It’s good to know that if he hires a workers’ compensation lawyer, he’ll get better results at getting his claim served. I think I’ll help him find one so that he can finally pay for his medical bills and get back to work.

  5. I was surprised when you said that hiring a personal injury lawyer can help us get a settlement that’s 40% greater. My brother was in car accident last week due to a driver who failed to stop at a stop sign. I’ll be sure to give him a call and let him know that hiring an injury attorney would be worth the cost!

  6. Jenna Hunter says:

    Thanks for the tips about how 50% of people believe that they were able to get a better result with an attorney than they could have without the help. My cousin is looking to get a personal injury attorney that could help him with his case. He is really eager to work with a professional so that he can make sure that he gets the best results possible.

  7. Wow, I didn’t know that attorneys have billings structures that will make it cheaper for me to hire them. I’ve been recently injured at work because of my co-worker’s negligence. I think I need to hire a workers’ compensation attorney so that I’ll get a higher chance of getting the compensation that I need.

  8. Until reading this, I didn’t realize opposing lawyers will take advantage of your lack of knowledge early and often. One of my friends was recently in a car accident but doesn’t have any legal experience. I’ll have to look for a good auto accident attorney.

  9. It makes sense that hiring an attorney will typically help you get more favorable results in your case. My wife and I are looking into getting a lawyer next month. We’ll see if we can find a professional that we can depend on.

  10. Steele Honda says:

    Thanks for pointing out that in a worker’s comp case the average insurance payouts are 3.5 times higher for clients who hire legal representation. My husband is thinking about hiring a worker’s compensation attorney because the insurance hasn’t been paying him since he was hurt at work and it’s starting to make it harder to pay our bills. I think that having an attorney would help make sure that he was going to get the compensation that he deserved and that he would have a better outcome for his case overall.

  11. Bob says:

    I love your DUI tips. My son just got pulled over for driving under the influence. I’ll have to consider getting him an attorney.

  12. That’s interesting that 85% of all dollars paid out by insurance companies goes to those who hire an attorney. To me, it seems it would also be done in a shorter amount of time and with less hassle. I’ll have to look more into a personal injury attorney.

  13. I never knew that auto accident settlements are 40% greater when plaintiffs hire an attorney! My husband was rear-ended at an intersection last week, and he had some injuries from the incident. We’ll have to look for a personal injury lawyer in our area to help compensate for the medical bills.

  14. It’s good to know that your settlement could be 40% higher when you hire a lawyer for your case instead of going it along. My sister had her leg injured in an accident recently, and she wants to get the most money possible out of her case. I’ll pass this information along to her so that she can call some law groups and get the best attorney possible.

  15. I thought that it made sense when you explained that hiring an attorney will give you a better professional presence and allow you to be better heard. I would imagine that if someone goes to court alone and represent themselves, the judge won’t take the case as seriously. In order to be listened to and given proper respect in a case, I would hire an attorney.

  16. Bob says:

    I like your tip about how lawyers can use their skills to get you a bigger settlement. That makes sense considering you want to increase your chances of winning in court. I’ll have to consider your tips so that I can win my social security settlement.

  17. Sam Li says:

    I had no idea that personal injuries were so complex and how nearly all cases require legal representation in order to receive fair compensation. Working with an attorney, no matter the legal issue, is a smart idea because they can provide you with expert advice due to their substantial training. If I were to get tangled in a legal matter, I would spend some time locating an attorney that can work with my schedule and my goals.

  18. Sophia James says:

    It got me when you said that 85% of the claimants are given the right amount when they have a lawyer. I will share this information with my best friend to help her out. She has been injured in her work due to a loose scaffolding there yesterday that is why she needs to get compensated.

  19. Arya Smith says:

    It got me when you said that there has been a report for ARAC that 50% of the people have been successful more than they can imagine when they hired a lawyer. With that in mind, I will be hiring one for myself since I might face bankruptcy this year. It all started when there has been an inflation in where I am residing due to unforeseen reasons which made people buy less from stores like mine.

  20. I like how you said that a lawyer’s skill and advocacy on your behalf could ensure that you receive optimal compensation. My sister is looking for an attorney to help with her custody case. I appreciate the tips on hiring a lawyer.

  21. Millie Hue says:

    It got me when you said that hiring an attorney will ensure that you are going to get the highest compensation for your case. I will share this information with my sister to convince her to hire one. She just got into an accident this morning due to the slippery floor in their cafeteria that is why she got injured on her head.

  22. My friend had some problems with assault, so she’s looking for a lawyer to help her out. I like how you mentioned that an attorney is more qualified to interpret and pursue the law than the regular person. This will definitely give her some peace of mind, so thank you for sharing this.