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Is this person with a personal injury claim wrecking their Iowa personal injury claim?

Steve Lombardi
Iowa civil trial, workers' compensation and personal injury lawyer

Blog Category:
6/21/2013
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This man probably has a valuable Iowa personal injury claim and Iowa lawyers settle or try this type of claim every year. But in this case the person injured is trying to settle his own claim. After doing a little Internet research and believing he is knowledgeable about how to settle his own case, he contacted the adjuster and began negotiating. That didn't last long, because he soon found out the Internet can't make you into a lawyer. After reading some advice on the Internet does he understand enough about Iowa personal injury law to be his own lawyer? Probably not, but let’s see why he is now asking an Iowa personal injury lawyer for free advice.

Question: What if I made the adjuster in my personal injury claim an offer to settle the case and did it without an attorney and before doing research and realized I way low balled it? An insurance agent left a message for me to callback and talk about the claim? Can I up the settlement with the information I've obtained?

Answer: You can withdraw your last offer before it is accepted and make a new offer. You may be hurting your claim without even knowing it because unlike a lawyer you are not trained to understand the law of Iowa personal injury claims. It's the little things you say or don't say that will raise questions and although you will think things are going well, they probably aren't. You may want to hire an attorney to negotiate a settlement of your Iowa personal injury claim. In the end it could save you a lot of money.

This is a common situation with Iowa personal injury and property damage claims. Iowa lawyers see people do this same thing with representing themselves after doing a little Internet research. Litigation isn’t like repairing a toilet but the Internet gives people a false sense of security they are fully equipped to play lawyer. Some people with valuable claims try to handle their own case and end up ruining their personal injury insurance claim. In the end it matters little whether the case is ruined because of what they say to unethical insurance adjusters or that they settle too cheap. Either way they are not getting all they can and creating problems that some lawyer will sooner or later face. Those obstacles you create will be hidden from the lawyer because he wasn't present when you raised the red flags during "negotiations". 

Are you smart enough to know if the adjuster thinks your claim is frivolous?

Iowa lawyers are told quite often by clients their case is different because they are honest and those other people weren’t honest. Or clients will say their case is different because theirs is not frivolous, inferring many claims are but theirs is not. This statement is meaningless to an insurance industry that spent billions of dollars trying to convince the general public millions of frivolous claims were clogging up the legal system. What they, and probably you, don’t understand is they see most every case as frivolous.

How will you know the insurance adjuster thinks your case is frivolous? You won’t because they will not volunteer that opinion. Instead the adjuster will steer the recorded interview in such a way to void your claim. You will know what he or she thinks only after they deny your claim.

The English language can be very inexact when in the hands of a layperson trying to talk lawyerly.

Is your claim considered by the insurance adjuster to be frivolous or not? Very few cases are frivolous. I’m not sure I’ve ever handled a frivolous personal injury case in Iowa. But that’s not what insurance adjusters are taught to think; quite the opposite. Most people think their claim isn’t and you might be right, but then again you might be wrong about what some activist insurance adjuster thinks about your Iowa personal injury claim. Can you afford to be wrong? If you can afford to lose, then it’s not a problem, just have at it; if you can’t hire an Iowa insurance lawyer. 



Category: Large Damage, Major-Serious Injury and Death Cases


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