When Can You Handle Your Own Personal Injury Claim?

Posted on: 31 July 2015

Personal injury claims are not something that many people think to take on themselves. The assumption made by many people is that successful personal injury claims are initiated and coordinated exclusively by personal injury lawyers. In reality, while some claims are best left to the professionals, there are other claims that can be handled by a diligent and organized lay person. Knowing when is an acceptable time to make your own claim can help you collect your award in as inexpensive a way as possible. The following circumstances are times when you should be able to handle your own personal injury claim.

When the Injury is Short-Term

Injuries that take less than a year to heal often have an easily determined price tag. Medical claims, lost work and wages can be relatively simple to calculate when all the expenses happen over a short period of time. These are the best claims to handle personally, because the method for determining the amount of the claim is relatively straightforward.

Long-term and permanent disabilities are more difficult to calculate, and often more money is at stake. To get the greatest award for your long-term injury or disability, contact a personal injury lawyer who will know how to calculate the value of, and argue for, your claim. 

When You're Claiming Special Damages Only

Special damages are direct costs incurred by an accident. Medical bills, auto repair and repair to damaged possessions all count as special damages. General damages are less precise. Examples of general damages include emotional distress and physical pain. Determining the proper value of general damages can be tricky, especially for people without experience. 

Although you can make a claim that includes general damages, many people will overestimate or underestimate the value of general damages. Demonstrating that you don't know the value of your case in this way can cost you money. Claims adjusters who recognize your vulnerability may use this information to pay you less than your claim is worth. 

Handling your own personal injury claim can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in legal fees. However, there are times when hiring a personal injury lawyer is the smart thing to do. Some injuries and disabilities can have a complex monetary value. Hiring a lawyer for a case like this could result in a higher award. If your injury is complicated or your claim has the potential to be very large, you may want to talk with an attorney like those at Schlicter & Schonack LLP