Over the past couple of months, I have witnessed many people trying to negotiate and settle their own injury cases. And after they fight with insurance companies for several months they decide to hire an attorney because the offers they received were humiliatingly low and in many instances did not cover their medical bills and/or lost wages.
Most of these cases have been extremely compromised by the time they reach my desk and it can be difficult to turn the case around and get a fair settlement for the case. Nonetheless, I will try to help everybody that I can in these situations.
Common mistakes include the following errors: (1) meeting in person with the adjuster handling the claim, (2) not understanding how to evaluate the damages in a claim so offers made are very low or extraordinarily high making the client look money hungry, (3) making ineffective offers of settlement without providing convincing evidence to substantiate the offer, (4) making statements to the adjuster that hurt the case and/or getting angry and upset with the adjuster, (5) not getting proper treatment for injuries, (6) not having all injuries properly evidenced with medical records, (7) signing a HIPPA Authorization and allowing the insurance company to conduct a fishing expedition with your medical records, (8) not following correct civil procedure, (9) making offers prior to knowing the full extent of all injuries and damages, (10) not understanding or knowing the rights of subrogation for health insurance companies, medicaid, medicare, and other valid lien holders. Medicare and Medicaid are obligations that must be repaid in most injury cases. Medicare and medicaid are not required to provide notice of their lien.
I would recommend meeting with a personal injury attorney prior to beginning any negotiations or discussions about your case. Please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about your case.