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Should I Represent Myself or Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney After an Injury in Pennsylvania?

Posted on March 21, 2022

After an injury in Pennsylvania, you may be wondering whether you should handle the claim on your own or if it is worth it to hire an attorney. The cost of representation may make you hesitant, but you actually do not have to pay any money out-of-pocket, and there are many other significant advantages.  

Can Attorneys Recover Higher Damages From Insurance Companies?

A favorable outcome to your case cannot be guaranteed, but studies show that personal injury victims who hire an attorney recover three and a half times more in compensation even after legal fees. Part of recovering higher damages involves knowing the types of compensation you can recover. An attorney will have extensive knowledge and will be able to accurately estimate the value of your case. Additionally, a lawyer knows how to deal and negotiate with the insurance company and because you have representation, the insurer will take your claim more seriously. A lawyer being involved means there is a threat of a lawsuit, so the adjuster may not try to pull as many tactics to limit their liability, and if they do, your lawyer will protect you. 

Although more than 95% of civil cases resolve in settlements, an attorney will fight for your claim in court if the insurer refuses to extend fair compensation. They have the resources to hire experts to support your case and put together a solid claim to help you recover the maximum amount of compensation available. Often, simply filing a lawsuit will motivate an insurance company to resolve a claim before trial. 

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What Are Drawbacks of Representing One’s Self in Pennsylvania Court?

If the insurance company does not agree to fair compensation, you may need to pursue a lawsuit in court. That will require extensive research on applicable state laws on liability and damages, knowing the type of paperwork needed and filing deadlines, as well as how to collect and what evidence you need to prove your case. By hiring an experienced attorney, you can take the pressure off yourself. The more severe your injuries and financial losses, the more complicated a personal injury claim can be. If you’re unsure about what steps are right and you make a mistake or mishandle your claim in court, it can cost you much more money long-term than it would to hire an attorney. 

In addition, there are significant costs associated with pursuing a personal injury case on your own. If you represent yourself, all of the expenses will be out-of-pocket. Filing a lawsuit on its own can cost between $100 to $500. Then there are the costs for investigating and obtaining copies of critical documentation and evidence, and to have a chance at success, you may need to hire expert witnesses. Fees for hiring expert witnesses to testify are costly, as some charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars per hour. 

Many personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay any money upfront. Your attorney will cover all of the costs associated with pursuing your claim, and you only have to pay legal fees if you win. If you do not win, you owe any money for their services, so there is no risk to you. 

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