How to File a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer

filing a personal injury claim without a lawyer

If you are injured in an accident in Indiana, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you have suffered. Such damages can include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. When you file a personal injury claim to recover compensation for these things, insurance companies and the court will evaluate the case and determine how much money you are owed, if any. This money will then be awarded to you in the form of a settlement. 

However, it is crucial that you understand that just because you are entitled to compensation does not mean that you will receive it. In many cases, victims are not able to recover the full amount they deserve without the help of an attorney. As such, it is our professional opinion that you consult with a local Indianapolis personal injury lawyer before taking steps to file your claim. 

Can You Get a Settlement Without a Lawyer? 

The simple answer to this question is yes. Anyone can file a claim and be offered a settlement for their injuries after an accident if they are eligible. Indiana is an at-fault state, so if another driver is responsible for your accident, you can file a third-party claim against their insurance to demand compensation for your damages. 

Unfortunately, it is quite common for insurance companies to do whatever they can to avoid paying high settlements. They often use tactics to try to reduce settlements, such as using the victim’s words or past medical history against them to claim that they do not deserve as much money as they are asking for. 

Without legal representation, insurance will likely try to get you to agree to a quick and easy settlement by convincing you it’s your best option. And in these situations, you will probably be awarded an amount that is much less than what you actually deserve. 

The Cost of Representing Yourself After an Accident

Not only are you likely to get a reduced settlement if you represent yourself, but the entire personal injury claim process might end up taking longer. These cases are complex, and if you don’t know what you are doing, it can take much longer to reach a settlement than if you had a lawyer guiding you through the process. 

Furthermore, if you make any mistakes, your entire claim could end up getting denied, which means you wouldn’t get any settlement money. And if that happens, you will have to pay for all of your damages out of pocket. The medical bills alone for accident injuries can cost thousands of dollars, all of which you will have to cover yourself if you don’t win your case.

However, if you choose to work with an attorney, they will be able to help you navigate the process to ensure it goes as smoothly and as quickly as possible, meaning you will get the money you need much faster. A lawyer will also know how to build a strong case to ensure you are awarded the highest settlement possible. 

One of the main reasons people choose not to work with a lawyer is because they assume they can’t afford it. But a professional and experienced lawyer will not charge you any fees upfront. Instead, they only collect money if they win your case. The fees will then be taken out of your settlement award, but because they likely won you a higher settlement, you will have enough to still cover your damages, and you may even end up with a decent amount of money in your pocket. 

How to File a Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer

If you are still set on handling your personal injury claim by yourself, you may certainly do so at your own risk. If you want to know how to settle an insurance claim without a lawyer, follow these steps:

  1. Call the police and make sure they file a police report. Obtain a copy of the report for evidence. 
  2. Seek medical attention for your injuries and keep copies of your medical records. These will also serve as evidence that you will need to prove that you were injured and deserve compensation. 
  3. Obtain other evidence to support your claim and establish fault. Such evidence can include photos and videos from the scene of the accident, video surveillance footage from nearby that might have captured what happened, black box data from the vehicles involved, dashcam footage, and evidence of property damage. You should also speak to any witnesses and get their contact information in case you need to use them to support your claim. 
  4. Serve notice of your claim to the at-fault party. This is an official legal process that you will have to pay for if you don’t have a lawyer to do it for you. You will have to hire a serving company to deliver the legal notice of your claim for you. 
  5. Negotiate for a settlement. If you do not have legal representation, the insurance company will likely try to get you to accept a quick offer. However, this will most likely be a reduced settlement that is much less than you deserve. So if you want more money, you will have to handle negotiations with the insurance company. This will be challenging to do without the experience or the know-how to handle these kinds of situations. 
  6. Go to trial. If a settlement cannot be reached, the case will go to trial, meaning you will have to represent yourself in court in front of a judge and jury. And this is definitely something that is not easy to do without a lawyer. You certainly can represent yourself, but it is highly likely that you will not win or that you will still only walk away with a much smaller settlement than you need and deserve for all that you have suffered. 

Consult With an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney 

At Poynter & Bucheri, we understand the concerns you might have and how intimidating it can be to contact an attorney — but our goal is only to help you. We only win if you win, so we will do everything we can to help you build a strong case and win the fair settlement you deserve. 

We are here to guide you through the process to make it as painless as possible. Don’t hesitate — one of our experienced attorneys can assist you right away. Call 1-800-265-9881 for a free case review.