Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on October 15th, 2015,
by Zane Cagle

Injury Claims: Not a Do-It-Yourself Project

Posted on October 15th, 2015 by Zane Cagle

car-crash-insuranceIf you have been injured in a car crash, you should not take insurance negotiation on as a DIY project. If saving money is your goal in DIY legal work, then it may end up costing you greatly.

Tons of information is available at our fingertips on the internet, Do-It-Yourself projects are more common than ever, primarily because it “usually saves money”.  I have learned the hard way through failed DIY home projects that most of the time, it pays to hire an expert.

Still, no matter how much information is online, some problems should not be tackled on your own.  Self-diagnosis and treatment of illnesses should still be left to doctors (certainly surgery) and likewise, negotiations with insurance companies after you have been seriously injured in a car crash  should really NOT be done on your own for the several reasons below:

Why a Bodily Injury Claim After a Car Crash is NOT a DIY Project

The Deck of Cards Are Stacked Against You

In spite of the many, many insurance commercials promising you are in good hands and they will “protect your dreams” you cannot count on the insurance company to adequately compensate you if you sustain physical injuries from a car accident. Insurance companies do not make billions every year paying out high claims. Whether you are dealing with your own insurance company or the other driver’s, you have to remember the true clients of an insurance company are their shareholders.  Insurance companies stack the cards by training their adjusters to take statements from you and often use your statements against you with the primary goal of either denying your claim or paying out a low amount on your claim.  They much time and money invested in adjuster claim training and legal teams to make sure costs are kept at their lowest which means denying or reducing your claim.

Hard Fact–the insurance company will take you less seriously unless you have an attorney.   If there is a short (SOL) statute of limitations (such as Illinois’ two-years), the insurance company may string the individual along hoping the person does not hire an attorney until after the SOL  has expired. Then they turndown or reject the claim. After the SOL expires, that individual is just out of luck and there is nt recourse.  Often, I hear from potential clients that the insurance company wants years of medical records, signed and or recorded statements, several years of tax filings and other personal information. You should not always just send all information that an insurance company asks for when making a bodily injury claim. Example: Why would an insurance company need the last five years of your medical records when your claim is a broken leg injury?

Any evidence they can find of any pre-existing injury on that same body part is a reason to “deny” or reduce the amount of your claim.

The Insurance Industry is a Beast

car-insuranceAs stated in the above paragraph, the insurance industry is a beast that has to be negotiated with and furthermore, you cannot just decide not “play” by refusing to buy insurance.  Purchasing insurance is  a necessary part of financial responsibility and legally required. When buying your policy, you get to know your very nice insurance sales agent.  However, if you are injured in a car crash, your sales agent has little to do with the compensation paid. company  Immediately, an adjuster has been assigned to track the case and follow up and your claim goes into the beast’s claim machine.

You can comb the internet for that “magical loss evaluation” that will tell you how much you are entitled to after an injury, but insurance companies do not actually share their loss evaluation tools. Why?…. because each case is different and factors vary by where the crash happened, how it happened, and how injured someone is. It may seem like a David and Goliath story to take on an insurance company, but WITHOUT an attorney, you are taking on Goliath and his whole tribe.

You Only Get One Chance

If you have been physically injured in a crash, you only get one chance to make your claim and get the compensation that you need. There is a time limit (statute of limitations) and you have to be certain evidence is preserved to prove the liability issues and the documentation has been done to document your injuries.  I often explain that what I do is not rocket science, however, a rocket scientist can certainly jack up their claim by failing to hire an attorney—I’ve seen it done too many times.

There is a time limit called a Statute of Limitations and you cannot wait until almost the end of the statue of limitations to file a case or you have lost so much valuable information and time.

DIY Has  a Place–Property Damage Only

Doing it yourself has it’s proper place. If you are just negotiating property damage, then gathering information and acting on your own can be the best way.  If you are injured however, you should involve a personal injury attorney right from the beginning to act on your behalf. At The Cagle Law Firm, we negotiate with the insurance beasts daily for our clients.

Can You Really Afford to Not be Represented?

According to a large study conducted by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), payouts to injured victims were much higher when the injured party was represented by an attorney. Also, All-Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC, came to the same conclusion.  Those injured parties with attorneys were paid out thee and one-half time (3 1/2 times) more than those who did not hire an attorney.

Personal injury attorneys offer FREE CONSULTATIONS, thus it costs nothing to get vital information you need BEFORE you start talking to any insurance company.  As well, most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis, meaning the attorney doesn’t make any money unless they get you the compensation you need.  It is set up that way and what a motivator for your attorney–it ensures they are truly working FOR YOU and your best financial interests.

Avoid mistakes in filing a bodily injury claim and get an expert lawyer to work for you. We represent motor vehicle accident clients in Missouri and Illinois.

Call us seven days a week, (314) 276-1681