In some instances,you may be able to settle your claim with the insurance company by yourself,without an attorney’s help. However,it’s important that you realize you are going up against trained adjusters andclaims representatives who get praised and promoted for keeping costs down andsettlements low. Still, you may beable to settle your claim by yourself if you don’t mind gathering allof the information necessary to determine the value of your claimif you don’t mind going to thetime and trouble of interviewing necessary witnessesif you think you have all of thebases covered, andif you know the insurance companyis not trying to take advantage of you. (Youand I both know insurance companies always try to take advantage of you!) If you havequestions or are not sure what you should do, speak with a personal injuryattorney. A personal injury lawyer canadvise you on the proper course of action, explain your legal rights, tell youwhat to expect regarding the progress of your case, evaluate your case, andnegotiate a full and fair settlement of your claim, all while representing yourinterests aggressively so you get the money you deserve for your injuries. Victims often share thisconcern: Will I get more money handlingmy case myself, or should I hire a lawyer? As you may know, alawyer usually charges one third of the amount he recovers for you as his fee. The amount of money a skilled lawyer recoversis usually much more than you could have negotiated on your own. In fact, an experienced lawyer usually collectsenough money to completely pay his fee and get more money for you as well. What will happenif I don’t hire a lawyer? This questionis hard to answer. You may do just fine,or you may permanently damage your case and make it much harder — or evenimpossible — to collect the money you deserve. Consider thisanalogy: You have a leaky faucet. You can try to fix it yourself and you mightdo a good job. On the other hand, you mightcause further damage. Then you call theplumber. Now your plumber will chargeyou two or three times as much as he would have charged if you had called himat the beginning, when all you had was a leaky faucet. These extra charges are because of the damageyou caused, which your plumber must now repair. You can hire me near the end of your case if you are havingproblems collecting from the insurance company. Or you can hire me at thebeginning of your case and I’ll do all the work for you. Either way, you willpay me the same. So why not hire me at the beginning? You will pay me nothingmore — plus, you will save yourself all the time, stress, aggravation andhassle of dealing with the insurance company. What’s more, I suspect that I canpersuade the insurance company to pay you much more money than they would payyou if you do not have a lawyer. You don’t save any money bywaiting to hire a lawyer. The sooner youcontact me, the sooner I can aggressively pursue your claim.