It is legally not required to have a lawyer to make a personal injury claim but handling a personal injury case without a lawyer is a risky decision for many reasons. First, a lawyer knows what to look for to present a proper case. This includes reading the details of a police report, analyzing photographs, interpreting medical records, understanding insurance policies and coverages for the at-fault drivers or your own policy, and confirming the statutes of limitations and deadlines for making claims. Many people do not understand or know where or how many sources from which you can recover with a claim.
Second, most people don’t know what documents to gather in order to maximize the recovery on a claim. A lawyer knows what evidence is necessary to make a proper claim and to present it well. A lawyer understands the pieces that make up the puzzle the insurance companies will respond to. A lawyer has connections to obtain the documents efficiently and economically.
Third, a lawyer knows what is missing in a claim, what evidence doesn’t help a claim, and how best to avoid the “negative” evidence for your case. Lawyers are trained to present evidence in the best light and to present logical, legal arguments, with supporting case law, if necessary, to best present a case. A lawyer also knows the ways to lessen or “mitigate” the poor aspects of your claim or the parts that may work to your disadvantage,
In the end, without a lawyer’s help, you don’t know what you are missing, lacking, or wrongly presenting to a company. These errors are likely to result in either no offer for your claim or a very low offer which insurance adjusters are trained and skilled at convincing you is a “good offer.” Insurance companies will attempt to persuade a claimant not to hire a lawyer because a lawyer will take part of settlement proceeds– but what they don’t tell you is that you are likely to obtain a much higher settlement with someone on your side, who knows how to handle an insurance adjuster. You are much better off with a skilled lawyer on your side rather than fending for yourself in the legal arena.