While there are some cases in which I advise my clients to attempt resolution to a claim without my assistance and offer advice on how best to achieve the results they desire, these cases are few and far between. Our firm's philosophy is to turn away any case in which we believe our representation will not leave the client in a better position than had we not agreed to take the case.
I agree wholeheartedly with Seattle attorney Michael Myers in his blog post of August 20th wherein he relates
:…it has become increasingly important for claimants to consult with and obtain the assistance of personal injury counsel. While it may have been possible for claimants to obtain adequate settlements on their own in years past, that is no longer the case.
Studies indicate that represented persons receive approximately three times as much as unrepresented persons. Even factoring in the attorney's contingency (typically one third of the amount recovered) this means that represented persons do twice as well as unrepresented persons.
An insurance companies interest is in direct conflict with a claimant making a claim with the carrier and accordingly absent representation an injured victim is at a disadvantage not knowing how a claim is evaluated and why it may be worth more when the insurance company says its worth less. Moreover, absent counsel, a claimant may never know when the insurance carrier may be acting in bad faith.
Keep in mind that all insurance companies have scores of attorneys at their fingertips, despite the fact that they would prefer you do not retain counsel. Also remember that most injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis and only get paid when they win. The contingency fee attorney has a shared interest with the client to obtain the largest recovery available with the least amount of expense in the most expedient manner possible. No reasonable attorney would jeopardize his clients interest under any circumstances especially when his or her interest in one in the same with the client; so why go it alone against the big corporate insurance company when you can have your own personal attorney who stands as an officer of the court fighting by your side.