July 9, 2022

Should You Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement in California Without a Lawyer?

Here is what you need to know about negotiating a personal injury settlement on your own, as well as why an attorney may be essential.

Should You Negotiate a Personal Injury Settlement in California Without a Lawyer?

It is possible to pursue an accident settlement in California without the assistance of a lawyer, as the state does not mandate legal representation in personal injury cases. However, many claimants discover that they require the counsel and assistance of an attorney as settlement negotiations can get contentious. Here is what you need to know about negotiating a personal injury settlement on your own, as well as why an attorney may be essential.

How to Negotiate a Settlement for an Injury Without a Lawyer

If you choose to negotiate for your own personal injury compensation, the following procedures are essential:

  • Collect proof and documents. These include the police report, photographs of the accident scene, photographs of your injuries, medical documents, expense receipts, and even a journal detailing your suffering.
  • Compute your monetary and non-monetary damages. Economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, are easier to calculate than non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
  • Create a case against the responsible party (or parties). You must demonstrate that the defendant's negligence or aggressive conduct caused your injuries.
  • Send a demand letter. You can commence your settlement claim by sending a letter to the at-fault party's insurance provider, specifying the amount you are seeking, why you believe you are entitled to it, and why the insured party should be held liable.
  • Discuss terms with the insurance. An insurance adjuster will answer to your demand with their own offer, and if you do not accept it, you can negotiate with them for a more satisfactory settlement sum.
  • File a lawsuit. This is frequently necessary when dealing with insurance companies who prolong the negotiation process or do not take the damage claim seriously. When you initiate a lawsuit, you are not necessarily required to go to trial. The majority of disputes are resolved outside of court.

As you can see, most of these phases may require the assistance of a lawyer, including gathering evidence, creating a case, navigating the legislation, and dealing with skilled insurers. In addition, the entire claims procedure is fraught with hazards that could deprive you of your just compensation. Below, we discuss these obstacles.

Difficulties in Personal Injury Settlements Without a Lawyer

The goal of insurance companies is to reduce claims.

It is usual for claimants to confront insurance strategies designed to minimize their claim. In the early stages of settlement negotiations, the insurer may present you with a lowball offer or a sum that is significantly less than you deserve. Numerous people take this meager sum in order to cover their mounting costs and lost wages.

Insurance adjusters are also adept at identifying flaws in your claim. For instance, they may misconstrue your words to make it appear that your injury is not as severe as you say. In an effort to convince you to settle for a lower price, they may seek ever-increasing amounts of documentation or use any delay tactic possible.

In these common situations, having a personal injury attorney with direct knowledge of how insurance discussions function in the real world is incredibly beneficial.

Most likely, your non-economic damages will be contested.

If your injury caused you pain, mental distress, or a change in your appearance, these things should be included in your settlement claim. However, you should anticipate resistance from the insurance company. Non-economic damages are difficult to show, and there are various methods for calculating them. A claims adjuster can swiftly dispute this portion of your claim.

You will need the assistance of an attorney to estimate the value of your non-economic damages and to assert it against the insurer.  We  can assist you in maximizing this portion of your claim by analyzing the numerous facets of your life that have been impacted by your injury. We investigate your ability to work, career opportunities, daily challenges, and more. With over two decades of experience, we are prepared to negotiate with the insurance for the fair compensation you deserve.

The state of California considers your fault, if any.

Some injured California litigants may be disadvantaged by the idea of comparative negligence. It is a rule that considers how much fault each party in an accident had and how much they contributed to it. If you, as the injured party, contributed to the accident, your reimbursement could be reduced proportionally.

This rule will be utilized by insurance companies when they have the ability to assert that the wounded claimant was also at fault in their injury case. In this circumstance, you will need a lawyer to protect you and your rights.

Insurers may not take your claim seriously unless you have legal representation.

On paper, obtaining a compensation for an injury may appear uncomplicated. In actuality, however, many injured claimants have had their claims delayed or refused for unclear reasons — until they hired an attorney. If a credible lawsuit threat exists, insurance adjusters are more likely to consider the claim seriously or perhaps settle for a fair price. When discussions continue, a skilled attorney levels the playing field and provides the claimant with equitable negotiating leverage.

Consult with one of our Personal Injury Lawyer in Newport Beach

In Southern California, our Personal Injury Lawyers are regarded as the best negotiators on behalf of injured victims. Our firm has secured favorable settlements for our clients over the past two decades.

Contact us if you need assistance with settlement negotiations. Your consultation with us is free, and you will not be required to pay attorney fees unless we secure compensation on your behalf. Call us at 949-258-6859 immediately, or fill out our contact form and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.