It is possible to pursue an accident settlement in California without the assistance of an attorney, as the state does not mandate legal representation in personal injury cases. However, many claimants find that they require the counsel and representation of an attorney as settlement negotiations frequently become contentious. Here is what you need to know about negotiating a personal injury settlement on your own, as well as why a lawyer may be essential.
How to Negotiate an Injury Settlement Without an Attorney?
- Gather Evidence and Documentation
These include the police report, photographs of the accident scene, pictures of your injuries, medical records, expense receipts, and even a journal detailing your suffering.
- Calculate Your Economic and Non-economic Damages
Economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost income, are easier to calculate than non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.
- Send A Demand Letter
You can initiate your settlement claim by sending a letter to the at-fault party’s insurance provider, specifying the amount you seek, why you believe you are entitled to it, and why the insured party should be held liable.
- Negotiate With The Insurer
An insurance adjuster will respond to your demand with his or her own offer, and if you do not accept it, you can negotiate with them for a more satisfactory settlement amount.
- File A Lawsuit
This is frequently necessary when dealing with insurance companies that prolong the negotiation process or do not take the injury claim seriously. You are not necessarily required to go to trial when you file a lawsuit. The majority of disputes are resolved outside of court.
Challenges in Personal Injury Negotiations Without a Lawyer
- Insurance Companies Are Prepared To Minimize Claims
Insurance companies often downplay claims. The insurer may offer a lowball settlement amount early in the negotiations. Many claimants accept this low amount to cover bills and lost wages.
Insurance adjusters can spot claim weaknesses. They may take your statements out of context to make your injury look less severe. They may request more paperwork or stall negotiations to get you to settle for less.
In these situations, an injury attorney with real-world insurance negotiation experience is invaluable.
- Your Non-economic Damages Might Be Disputed
Your settlement claim should include non-monetary losses like pain, mental distress, and disfigurement. Non-economic damages are difficult to prove and calculate. This part of your claim can be quickly denied.
You’ll need a lawyer to calculate non-economic damages and submit them to the insurer. Attorneys of 2H Law can help you maximize this part of your claim by examining different aspects of your life. We consider your work ability, career prospects, and daily challenges.
- Insurers Might Not Take Your Claim Seriously Until You Have An Attorney
Have had their claims delayed or denied until they hired a lawyer. Insurance adjusters are more likely to take the claim seriously or settle fairly if a lawsuit is credible. In continuing negotiations, an experienced attorney gives the claimant fair dealing power.
Our personal injury lawyers are top-rated in Southern California for relentless work in negotiating on behalf of injured claimants. Contact 2H Law if you need help with your settlement negotiation. Your consultation with us is free, and you won’t have to pay us until we obtain compensation for you. Call us today at (619)-374-9320.