Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on March 24th, 2015,
by Zane Cagle

Should I handle my car accident injury case myself?

Posted on March 24th, 2015 by Zane Cagle

After a car accident, many people go online for information to figure out how to handle their case on their own. While you can find just about anything online, if you are hurt, there are no easy, mathematical equations that will tell you just how much compensation you should or could receive.  Therefore,  it is always wise to talk with an attorney as soon as you can after a car accident to determine if you need legal representation.

 Some things to consider before deciding IF you can handle your car accident yourself?

  1. Was the health insurance through your work? This information is important because your health insurance may be looking to get paid back for your medical bills or “subrogate”.
  2. Who paid for your medical bills?” Did you health insurance pay for your medical bills?
  3. Are you hurt?”   If the answer to that question is “no” and it happened over 30 days ago, you may not need an attorney.
  4. When did the injury occur?”  If the incident occurred less than 30 days ago, you have no business settling your case because you may not know the outcome of your injury.                                                                                                            For example: You go into Hospital X and the result is a $10,000 bill. Your health insurance doesn’t necessarily pay that $10,000 because they may have a contractual agreement with the hospital, so that they may pay a reduced rate. Therefore, they may only pay $6,000 to satisfy your bill.  Your health insurance contract like any other contract says specifically that if you are hurt due to intentional act, willful act or negligent act of a third party or entity and the health insurance company pays for medical charges associated with such injury and you recover from that entity, then they are entitled to collect or subrogate. Meaning, they get their $6,000 back. (you may not even be aware that language exists in your health insurance contract).
  5. You will need to know the amount paid and the amount billed for medical treatment as well as the amount you health insurance is subrogating when you consider any insurance settlement offers.
  6. Did you have any pre-existing conditions?   If you had a pre-existing neck injury and now you are making a neck injury claim due to this incident, buy paxil online with no prescription obviously the value of your claim may be affected. If you know your injury is not any worse due to the incident, then you may not need an attorney

When I speak with someone for the first time, the defining question/answer to determine if you need an attorney to file personal injury claims is…………

Are You Hurt?

Again, if you are not hurt and you do not have significant medical bills, then you may not need an attorney. If you are hurt, then you will need an experienced car accident attorney in order to get the compensation that you need and deserve.

If you are not hurt and it is determined you do not need an attorney, below are some considerations in tackling your case:

  1. Find out the name of the insurance company of the party or parties that injured you and determine what kind of policy(s) they have.
  2. Determine your damages, meaning your lost wages, your medical bills and again, consider whether or not your health insurance company paid those bills or if they are outstanding.
  3. If your medical bills are outstanding or if you did not have health insurance  and that amount is low ($2,000 or less), you may be able to negotiate a percentage reduction directly with that medical provider yourself.
  4. If your health insurance is through your employer, are they entitled to be paid back? If you work for a company with a human resources director, they can usually assist you.
  • Ultimately, you need to figure your total damages, how much you can accept in the insurance offer, what is realistic and who will you have to pay back out of your settlement.

Again, if you are not hurt, you can probably handle the case on your own. If you are hurt, it gets more complicated.

If you are hurt, then you WILL need an experienced accident attorney

Our attorneys are available seven days a week to answer your questions and help you decide if you need an attorney or not.  In that initial discussion, we can usually determine if you need to hire an attorney or if the case is something you can handle on your own.

Call and speak with a Missouri or Illinois car accident attorney today (314) 276-1681