In this day and age, there is a wealth of information available at your fingertips as a potential claimant which may make you feel confident in thinking, “I can do this, the process is simple. I don’t need a lawyer.”
Obviously one of the most motivating factors to a self-represented claimant is to save money on legal costs.
Whilst that may be the case, what you may not realise, is that you are at a very high risk of settling your claim for an amount significantly lower than what your case may actually be worth and the potential financial loss to you, simply by trying to save money on legal fees, could be disastrous.
The simple fact is that insurers know when claimants are self-represented and, like it or not, they will take advantage of that situation.
Personal injuries claims are not simple. Claims are made up of many different heads of damage, some of which the lay person would have no idea they can claim.
Further, in many cases, issues arise such as pre-existing medical conditions or poor employment history, which insurers will use to make you think your claim has no prospects and is worth nothing.
That is rarely the case.
Too many times we have had self-represented claimants come to us in circumstances where they have settled a claim directly with the insurer, only to realise that they have made a big mistake.
Unfortunately, by that time, it is far too late for us to help. Once an offer is accepted, there is no coming back for a second bite of the cherry, regardless of the circumstances.
Other self-represented claimants have often sought our advice at the point of an insurer making an offer of settlement, whether it be a CTP insurer for a motor vehicle accident, or WorkCover making a lump sum offer of settlement for a work related injury
Fortunately, for those claimants, even though they initially thought the insurer’s offer was attractive, we were able to settle the claims for an amount far in excess of the insurer’s initial offer, in some cases for literally hundreds of thousands of dollars more.
Let’s face it, any offer of an almost immediate lump sum amount of cash would be attractive to most people, especially if you are out of work or facing medical bills and other expenses.
However, you only get one chance, and when an accident impacts on your whole way of life and your ability to earn a living, you need to make sure that you are properly compensated, not just for “now”, but for the permanent effect of your injuries.
At the end of the day, your personal injury claim is not personal to an insurer. Your claim is just another business transaction that they want to close the book on, as quickly and as economically as possible.
Don’t jeopardise your future by cutting corners. Talk to a professional and understand your rights. Telephone Hunter Solicitors for an obligation free consultation.
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