I’ve had auto accident clients ask me during an initial consultation, or perhaps once a few weeks have passed without me settling their claim – “Why do we need a lawyer for this? Can you guarantee me that you’ll get me more on this case than I would if I handled it on my own?”
It’s a good question – why would someone give me 25% to 33% of their recovery? What value do I bring to the table? It puts me in a tough spot though. Ethically, I can’t make any promises or guarantees that I’ll get more money for them – or that I’ll get money at all. Even if I made such a guarantee, it could really come back to haunt me if, down the line, we discover some facts that make the case much weaker than it was before?
So there are many good answers for the “why do I need a lawyer” question… but the best answer just came out recently. Here are some internal documents from Allstate insurance company about how they handle their claims. Look at page 11298: it says that “Represented claims settle for 2-3 times more than unrepresented claims.” This is straight from the horse’s mouth.
Still wonder why you need a lawyer?
(Howard Zimmerle is a personal injury attorney in Rock Island, Illinois)