The Risk of Hiring a Lawyer

client conversing with lawyer

The Risk of Hiring a Lawyer = 0

The Reward? 3.5x Bigger Settlement

If you want to call my law firm and have a free consultation, the risk that comes with that is zero. Seriously, I have free consultations with injured people all the time; you’re under no obligation to hire me. I’ll visit with you as long as necessary, and if I can’t help you, I may be able to recommend someone who can. So, there really is absolutely no risk in calling me to see the difference that 35 years of experience in personal injury law can make.

But let’s not bury the lead: you can recover 3.5x more money when you’re represented by a lawyer than if you represent yourself. Now, you may ask “Who says so?” Well, it’s not injury lawyers saying this, it’s the insurance companies themselves.

In 2014, the Insurance Research Council released a research report that used data from closed claims in 2012 to examine and analyze tends regarding attorney involvement in automobile accidents over time and across various states. The report found that, on average, injury victims who had a lawyer received settlements more than 3.5 times larger than those who settled on their own. Obviously, reading a publication put out by the insurance industry is a powerful argument for working with an attorney, because they don’t want you to know how you can get more money from them.  

This was not the first time that the insurance industry conducted studies to reach similar results. Want an example? Let’s say you were able to negotiate a $50,000 settlement based on $35,000 in medical bills, a broken femur, and a month off work. Given the same circumstances, the Insurance Research Council’s study would suggest a lawyer could triple that recovery and obtain a settlement of more than $150,000.

Assuming you were able to pocket the $50,000 by representing yourself, that would be your total recovery. If you were represented by a lawyer who charged a contingency of one-third, you would double your money and walk away with $100,000. But BEWARE: if you settled your case using this example, you might have a serious problem. Let’s assume an additional fact: that you paid for the $35,000 in medical bills with medical insurance. Most medical policies have a subrogation clause, which states that if they pay for your care caused by the negligence of someone else, they are entitled to get that money back. So, you might settle a case, not know you’re supposed to payback your medical insurance, and then after you’ve spent the money, have to deal with a potential lawsuit with your medical insurance trying to collect the$35,000 they spent on your care. Shocking, isn’t it?

What’s even more shocking is that there are multiple other pitfalls an individual can fall into if they settle a case on their own with no input from a Colorado personal injury lawyer. For instance, if the situation above happened in Texas, you would likely have to pay your medical insurance back. But, if it happened in Colorado, there are certain laws that may allow you to keep the entire settlement if you have not been made whole. However, figuring out the specifics of those laws on your own can be very difficult.

As you may imagine, every case is different. Depending on the facts of your particular accident, you really need to speak with a personal injury lawyer to determine how much your case is worth, whether your medical insurance may have a right to subrogation, and if any other issues are immediately apparent to a trained lawyer who specializes in personal injury.

You should not rely on the above example as any type of legal advice. It’s just an example. But it does illustrate that there’s a risk to figuring out your insurance settlement on your own. However, there’s no risk that comes from working with a car wreck attorney. In fact, if you call me right now at 720-805-1193, I’ll be happy to discuss the specifics of your case with you at no cost. If it’s something I can help with, I’ll be happy to do so; RISK = 0.

By now you know the reward; the insurance company’s own studies suggest you will likely get 3.5 times as much money when an attorney represents you. Don’t try to figure this out on your own. Give me a call now and let me help you claim the settlement you deserve.

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