When you or your loved one suffer an injury as the result of somebody else’s action, perhaps it seems natural that the person would offer to compensate you for your injury, or that their insurance company will do the right thing and offer a fair settlement. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Many people will not take responsibility for their actions, and insurance companies profit from undercompensating injury victims. Insurance companies and their lawyers also know the governing law backwards and forwards, and they know that most non-lawyers have no idea what legal rights and remedies they possess.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you don’t want an experienced personal injury lawyer who can evaluate an offer the insurance company made to you.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you want to know whether you are getting fair compensation. The insurance companies’ goal is to pay you as little as possible. Without knowledge of what the fair value of your case is, you are in the dark as to what the settlement and trial value is of cases similar to yours. Is $400,000 a fair value for your case? It sure is a lot of money. But is it what your case is worth? Unless, you have seen hundreds of these cases and have had the opportunity to take similar cases to a jury, you really have no idea if you are hitting a home run or if the insurance company is taking advantage of you. Insurance companies are more likely to settle your case for a bargain when you represent yourself, because they know you do not know the value of the case.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney. This way, the insurance company will know that you do not have a hammer in the event that your case does not settle. The leverage a personal injury lawyer has, particularly a lawyer who has a proven track record with the insurance companies, is that a lawsuit will be the response to an unreasonable offer. Insurance companies know who the serious lawyers are who will try cases; they also know which lawyers settle almost all of their cases. Your settlement offer typically reflects this.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you want more work to be done to put your personal injury case in the position to receive a reasonable offer. Many cases require additional work to prepare a demand package beyond the collection of the medical bills. You might need, just to name a few examples, an additional report from a doctor with respect to the scope of your injuries or future required medical care, an economist’s report to calculate your real damages, or a vocational rehabilitation expert to assist in determining your economic loss. A personal injury lawyer can provide the expertise to figure out what you need and how to go about getting it.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you don’t want a skilled advocate and negotiator who can often make a meaningful impact on your case. You need someone to explain why your case deserves more money than the insurance company thinks it is worth. The insurance companies are going to construe every fact where reasonable minds could differ against you, unless you have someone advocating your case.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you want to almost surely miss a filing deadline, or want to understand all of your rights, or almost surely say something to the insurance company that you should not have said, used against you later.
DO NOT hire a motorcycle accident attorney if you truly believe that the insurance companies are there to look out for you, to help you and to make sure you get the benefits you (or the responsible driver) have been paying for. Insurance companies are not your friends, they aren’t in business to be your friend, and their interests are directly at odds with yours:
- You have a primary goal of getting as large of a damage award as possible to compensate you for all you went through.
- Insurance companies have a primary goal of paying out as little as possible so that they have more profits and less costs.
- This means they aren’t going to make you a fair offer out of the goodness of their hearts. They are going to try to walk away with paying you as little as they can. Insurance companies also have legal departments, lawyers and teams of legal professionals on their side and watching out for their interests. You need to have your own professional to help make sure that you are being treated fairly.