A recent post
on our Connecticut Injury Resource Guide
deals with the interesting subject of what you can expect if you represent yourself in your own Connecticut accident case. The post starts off with a famous quotation by Abraham Lincoln that states "he who represents himself has a fool for a client.”
This situation most often occurs when a sophisticated business person is involved in an accident. Because this individual has a high level of experience in dealing with business matters it seems like a natural progression to deal directly with the insurance company of the person that caused their accident.
The first piece of advice that must be given is that you should never speak with the insurance adjuster representing the at-fault party unless and until you first speak with an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer. Our Connecticut accident attorneys are happy to speak with injured parties and let them know whether or not they can represent themselves in their own case or whether they should retain a lawyer to represent them. There is no cost or obligation to speak with one of our attorneys and it is very important that you do so before making some type of mistake in dealing directly with the insurance adjuster.
If you do attempt to represent yourself you should be aware of a number of different things that will probably happen. The insurance adjuster will want to take a recorded statement from you under the guise of opening your claim because they will tell you they need this to proceed. This is not true and you should never give a recorded statement. The reason the insurance adjuster wants to get a recorded statement from you is to have you admit certain things that can undermine your case or completely destroy it.
The insurance adjuster will also present you with a lowball offer early on in your case. They will offer to pay your medical bills, perhaps some of your lost income, and will give you some nominal amount of money on top of that for your pain and suffering. If you are still treating, or are still in pain, or are still experiencing restrictions that are the result of your accident then you cannot possibly settle your claim unless and until you reach maximum medical improvement at which time your doctor will discharge you from his or her care and will advise you as to whether or not you have any type of permanent disability.
Do not be surprised if the insurance adjuster tells you things that you later find out not to be true. Don't be surprised if the insurance adjuster tries to pressure you into settling your case as soon as possible. Don't be surprised if the insurance adjuster tells you that even if you hire a lawyer they will not offer any more money and you will have to pay legal fees on top of that which will reduce the net amount of money that will go into your pocket.
An insurance institute study found that people that are represented by lawyers and up with more money in their pockets, after paying legal fees and costs, then people represent themselves. The problem is you do not know what you don't know until it is too late. Once you determine that you're in over your head you may have made so many mistakes that you will have seriously harmed your case or even completely destroyed it.
You should contact one of our experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyers as soon as possible to discuss the facts of your case. We handle these cases on a contingency fee basis and advance the costs to develop your case. We want you to concentrate on getting better so we take the financial risk in representing you in your important Connecticut personal injury case. Contact us
today before it's too late.