While you may have heard that lawyers charge 30%-40% of your recovery, we’ll discuss some reasons why people hire lawyers below. Without the expert-level knowledge that a personal injury lawyer can provide, it may be difficult for an individual to determine how much to seek in their personal injury settlement.
Trust the statistics
The Insurance Research Council estimated that, on average, injured people get 3.5 times more money, even after reducing the settlement by the contingency fee.
Notably, most of these statistics do not even take into account the fact that 71%-91% of all settlements are with a lawyer, which indicates that a lot of people who try to go at it alone give up with nothing.
9 ways lawyers are more effective than those who self-represent
1. Less overall stress for victims
Having someone in your corner to give advice about everything from property damage to visiting a doctor for pain, and just what type of doctor to choose, lowers overall stress.
The insurance company for the at-fault person will still fight, but at least you can have a true expert in the field to answer your questions.
2. Lawyers can threaten the insurance company with a lawsuit
The most a person without a lawyer can do is threaten to hire an attorney, who will then have to try to fix the case and then file suit.
Most of the time, if the adjuster can drag their feet long enough, you will already have harmed your case through inaction and delays or believe them when they say that is all they are not going to offer you even if you hire an attorney, which has never been true in our experience.
3. When lawyers threaten to sue and go all the way to trial, they mean it.
Most insurance carriers have databases on each attorney. We spend our careers working on our reputation. Getting a verdict that is worth more than the defendant’s insurance policy, (called an excess verdict), then making the insurance carrier pay rather than the defendant themselves is something that Herman & Wells does well.
Many personal injury attorneys in Florida just have a vague idea of how it is done at best, and most will go their entire careers without ever making it happen.
4. Lawyers know about insurance company tactics and how to avoid them.
There are many defense tactics that the insurance attorneys will use, like:
- Blaming pre-existing conditions
- Claiming there was not enough damage to the car to cause your injury
- Claiming delays or gaps in treatment mean you had healed.
We face these tactics, and so many more, each and every day. Knowing how to handle each one before it becomes a problem makes a huge difference in the settlement or verdict value.
5. Lawyers know what is evidence and what is not
There are some things that most people think are incredibly important but in reality, are not.
For example, who got the ticket? What did the driver say to the police officer? These are very compelling, but neither are allowed to be used at trial.
Relying too much on non-evidence is a foolish move that a seasoned attorney would never do. And because we know what will be used, we know what to put our efforts into, such as a security video by a local business or an interview with a non-officer witness.
This list goes on and on.
6. Lawyers know how to calculate your long-term effects
After doing this for 20 years, talking to countless treating physicians, taking countless depositions of doctors and experts, we know that what is a small cut, tear or strain now will lead to more problems as someone gets older.
Knowing how to present this to both the adjuster and if they refuse to accept responsibility, to the jury is incredibly important.
7. Lawyers know how to find the insurance that will cover your recovery
PIP, MedPay, BI, UM, Umbrella, E&O, GC. Each has its own purpose and limitations. Knowing when another person or company’s insurance is responsible is the difference between a seasoned personal injury attorney and a newbie or non-lawyer.
8. Lawyers know how to calculate damages
From medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, we can help calculate the various damages that you have lost so that an insurance adjuster will accept it.
9. If we don’t win, you don’t pay
Just the week before this article was written, we received a call from a person who did not realize that talking to one of our lawyers would be free, called a consultation. Moreover, he did not think he could afford to hire us.
Contingency fee attorneys like Herman & Wells take a percentage of what they get for you. We do not get paid if we do not make a recovery for you and you, our client is the one who accepts or rejects the offer.