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Professional Help For Personal Injury Insurance Claims Settlements



Our visitors often ask where they can get professional help with their claims against a personal injury insurance carrier. People want to ask a variety of questions and sometimes they just need a little guidance as to what to put in their insurance demand letter, or how to respond to a low-ball offer, or how to defeat a claim of comparative negligence, or any number of other questions that will arise during the process of making a personal injury insurance claim settlement.

We have five potential sources that can provide the information that injured people need to process their injury claims through to a successful insurance claims settlement.

1. First, and foremost, try us: we believe that our members’ side personal injury insurance settlement help at www.SettlementCentral.Com includes all of the information and forms, examples, insurance demand letters, and templates that will be needed for a self help insurance injury claim, be it an auto accident, dog bite, or slip and fall accident.

2. Other Online Legal Forums or Question and Answer Sites May Be of Some Limited Help.
There are various so-called "expert” forums that one can locate online. Some sites have a question format and many people can provide answers. There is no way to know whether those who answer on such forums are qualified or not since anyone with a keyboard can claim to be qualified. Hence, on those forums you are required to take the risk that some "wanna be” may be posting while pretending to be an attorney or an adjuster. One of the better sites with a forum on injury claims is www.nolo.com. That site also has a book for sale with limited—but helpful—information on how to settle a personal injury insurance claim.

www.googleanswers.com is a good forum, although you have to pay for an expert to answer your questions. www.allexperts.com is an excellent forum where you get to read the background of the volunteers to see if the helper has the qualifications you can trust.

3. Hire an Attorney: Three Choices—CONSULTATION, WORK, or REPRESENTATION.

Notwithstanding the excellent insurance claims settlement materials www.SettlementCentral.Com members have obtained right here on our site, and the efforts they have put into settling their claims on their own, there are times when the use of an attorney is advisable to maximize your compensation. This situation may occur when an adjuster throws up a legal hurdle which is beyond the expertise of most individuals. The involvement of an attorney would also be recommended early-on in claims that are large or complex and thus difficult to prove damages.

Hiring a personal injury attorney to do anything is not like going through a drive-in fast food window. Attorneys are not just hanging out waiting to consult about personal injury claims since THAT is their livelihood and they want to REPRESENT you, not give away their secrets.

If you think that you do need an attorney, then study up first and learn HOW to hire an attorney. If you are going to hire an attorney for REPRESENTATION, then by all means become a member at www.SettlementCentral.Com and save thousands of dollars in attorney fees by using our information, forms, and negotiation strategies to get the BEST POSSIBLE arrangement on your professional services agreement.

CONSULTATION or WORK means that YOU remain in charge of your claim in all respects, but you get to have a qualified personal injury attorney advise you and maybe do some work for you in your file. Fees are paid in cash (well, that means check, credit card, but rarely in cash), as opposed to the contingency fees attorneys charge when they REPRESENT a client. Contingency fee payments are taken out of your settlement. Here is a list of tasks that one might pay an attorney to do IF SHE WILL AGREE to work on a consultation basis:

Task

$400 Minimum Fees, Plus After First Hour At:

How Paid

Chances Attorney Will Agree do This Work

Consult on ways to prove liability

$250/hour

Cash

Medium

Consult on valuation of claim

$250/hour

Cash

Medium

Consult & write letter to insurance adjuster or insurance commissioner

$250/hour

Cash

Low

Review and Improve Demand Letter

$250/hour

Cash

Low

Assist With Suggestions on Negotiations

$250/hour

Cash

Low

Prepare, File, & Serve Lawsuit to toll statute of limitations, leaving claimants to pursue settlement on their own

$250/hour plus court costs & service fees in cash

Medium

Write a letter to defend subrogation claim by claimant’s insurer

$250

Low



Where Should You Hire the Attorney? Since the attorney has to know the law of the case, and since the case—should it ever go to trial—will be placed in the state of the accident, as a general rule you would look to the state of the accident. If you live in the state where the accident took place, the venue of a lawsuit may be laid in either the county where the tortfeasor lives or where the accident occurred. But you can hire an attorney in your own county inasmuch as she can do all that you want from there, including filing and serving the lawsuit.

Attorney for CONSULTATION or for Limited WORK. This is a good choice, but it can be tough to find an attorney who will do any of these tasks for cash. This is ESPECIALLY TRUE in a case with significant damages. Attorneys are reluctant to expose themselves to a malpractice claim for a small fee from someone who is not even a client. Hence, you will not find quality attorneys holding themselves out to assist on such a piecemeal basis.

They much prefer to represent the client on a contingency fee basis, as opposed to getting a few dollars by helping someone who is avoiding hiring them for REPRESENTATION, where they earn the major part of their bread and butter income: personal injury insurance claims.

Thus, if it is for anything OTHER than REPRESENTATION that you seek an attorney, the best place to look is among the newer attorneys, who might appreciate having a new client, even if it is for minor work. One selling point you can make with an attorney who is in general practice is that you will also look to her for your other legal needs, such as real estate, wills, etc. Hence, it is not just the small income from this injury claim work that she gets; it is also the possibility of having a future client that she should find attractive.

Attorney for REPRESENTATION. "NOW you are talking my language”, says the personal injury attorney. They like to use a contingency fee structure for resolution of these claims, and you can expect to pay on a sliding scale depending upon the degree of difficulty in proving either or both liability or damages. Hence, in an easy policy limits case, where there is no risk and the settlement can be anticipated without much work, 20% to 25% could be negotiated; the average fee is probably one-third of the amount recovered; but where there is a tough liability case—as in some premises liability claims—one can expect that the attorney might ask up to 40%.

See more detail in How to Hire an Attorney for Personal Injury Insurance Assistance AT A DISCOUNT, below.

4. Legal Nurse Practitioner

These are registered nurses who also know about the personal injury insurance claims practices. They might be useful in deciphering your medical records, or in making up the part of your demand letter that discusses your medical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.

Legal nurse practitioners also are great in preparing an insurance claimant for the so-called "Independent” Medical Examination (IME).

You can try the National Association of Legal Nurse Practitioners to make contact with someone who can help. Unless there is some compelling reason to meet in person, their work can be done via e-mail since state laws do not differ much in the area of their expertise.

5. Paralegal Practitioner

This might be perceived as a "natural” second choice if no attorney is available. But in truth, paralegals do not have all that much to offer in the way of advice on personal injury insurance claim settlement techniques. Usually their practices focus on some other area of the law, such as domestic relations.

Paralegals have never tried a personal injury case or even taken an insurance injury claim to mediation or arbitration. Hence, what can they contribute in the way of advice regarding insurance claims is not only limited, but could also turn out to be WRONG AND HARMFUL.

It would be preferable for you to learn on your own as opposed to trusting a paralegal, UNLESS she can demonstrate that she has been in an office that routinely handled auto insurance claims, dog bite claims, or premises slips and trips insurance claims.

How to Hire an Attorney for Personal Injury Insurance Assistance AT A DISCOUNT

If you already have an offer from an insurance adjuster and you need to hire an attorney, here is how to save thousands on personal injury attorney fees.Reduce attorney fees by taking an insurance offer when you contract with an attorney.