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

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

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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. 

Reference:

Davis, C. (2013). Hiring an attorney may mean a larger settlement. Injury Trial Lawyer. Retrieved from http://www.injurytriallawyer.com/library/Hiring_An_Attorney_May_Mean_A_Larger_Settlement.pdf

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