The answer may be “yes." Sometimes it can be a good idea to handle your injury case without an attorney. For example, if you have been in a car accident and your total medical expenses are less than $5,000 (this means the total medical bills paid by your insurance company, the bills paid by you and the bills that are unpaid) and you do not have a permanent injury it may be in your best interests to try to settle the case on your own. In fact, our office does not accept car accident cases if the person has less than $5,000 in total medical expenses, unless there are permanent injuries. If you have a work injury, our office will only accept your case if your injuries are permanent. If you decide to proceed in your injury case without an attorney there are 3 things that you should know.
1. Negotiating with the insurance adjustor is an important part of resolving any injury claim claim and here are some pointers. You should prepare before speaking with the insurance adjustor and know your facts. Also, you should have a confident, but polite attitude with the insurance adjustor. For example, it is unlikely that threatening to go to the insurance adjustor’s boss will help your case. Do no interrupt the adjustor, but instead listen to what is being said and ask questions about their positions. Even if the insurance adjustor makes a ridiculously low offer, do not lose your temper or show emotion as that will likely damage your case.
2. As part of preparing to negotiate with the insurance adjustor in a car accident case, you should know what medical care and treatment you have had and the amount of your medical bills including the total amount. For example, if you have $4,000 in medical bills and the insurance adjustor offers you $4,500, you can ask the adjustor if they really think a judge or jury will only give you $500 for what you have been through and your loss of quality of life.
3. Be careful of what you say during settlement negotiations. Once you agree to accept a settlement even in a phone conversation in which you have not signed forms, the insurance company may attempt to enforce the settlement because an oral contract is just as valid as a written contract. Therefore, before you agree to accept a settlement it may be in your best interests to tell the insurance adjustor that you will think about it and then have an attorney review the settlement before deciding to agree to it.
For more information about Iowa car accidents including ∙ 6 Things to Know Before Talking to the Insurance Adjustor ∙ 5 Things to Know Before Signing Forms or Hiring a Lawyer ∙ 10 Myths about Car Accidents and much more go to www.IowaCarAccidentBook.com or Call Now 1-800-707-2552, ext. 810 (24 Hour Message). If you have a work injury, go to www.IowaWorkInjury.com and request your free book today. Why offer a Free Book? Since 1997 Iowa Personal Injury Attorney Corey Walker has represented hundreds of injured Iowans from Des Moines, Newton, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa, Iowa City, Grinnell, Pella, Knoxville and from throughout the state of Iowa. He has seen too many clients make mistakes before they had the “right” information resulting in them losing thousands of dollars.