Can I handle my own personal injury case?

Can I handle my own accident case?

You may be asking yourself, why can’t I handle my own personal injury case?  Won’t the insurance company compensate me the same amount with or without an attorney?  They paid the property damage.

There is a very important difference between car damage and personal injury damage.  Car damage is simple to calculate.  There is the “blue book” value of a car, and there is a known cost for replacing parts.

Personal injury claims are harder to value.  They take longer to develop, are subjective, and can be worth a lot of money.

However the insurance company does not want to pay this money if they can get away with it.  For example, if medical bills are $5,000, what stops an insurance company from arguing that only $3,000 should have been spent? Nothing.

If an insurance company says “we will take care of everything” what they usually mean is “we will take care of everything that we say is related to the accident after we investigate each medical bill.”

What can a lawyer do?  A lawyer can collect documentation and information, explain your rights, investigate the claim to find the evidence that best proves your case. A personal injury lawyer can evaluate your case, negotiate for you, and most importantly, if negotiations fail, a personal injury lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf.

If you don’t have a personal injury lawyer to file your lawsuit, the insurance company will question whether you will be able to follow court procedures. They have seen many people pursue lawsuits on their own, and they know what usually happens.  It is a good gamble for the insurance company.

If you are asking yourself, can I handle my own personal injury case, without a personal injury lawyer? The answer is maybe, if you have lots of free time and are not concerned about losing money.

You should also ask yourself this: Will the insurance company make an assumption about me if I try to handle my own case?  What assumption will that be? Will they use this information to my advantage or to their advantage?

We fight for our client in every case.



Stephen Terpak is a Virginia Personal Injury and Traffic Lawyer. Offices located at 7540 Little River Tnpk, Suite A, Annandale, VA 22003

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