Can You File a Spinal Cord Injury Claim Without an Attorney?

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If you have spinal cord damage after an accident, you likely have questions, like whether you can handle your injury claim on your own. Yes, you can file a spinal cord injury claim without an attorney, but there are compelling reasons why you might want to have a lawyer take care of your legal matters.

Having an attorney represent you on your spinal cord injury claim could be the difference between having enough money to pay for your losses or drowning. Illinois law does not force you to work with a lawyer, but doing so can benefit your case.

The Stress of Dealing with Your Injury Claim Takes Energy Away from Healing

Mayo Clinic states that spinal cord injury can cause permanent damage to your body that can change your life physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially. Currently, there is no cure for spinal cord damage.

Sometimes, paralysis and other spinal cord injury results do not show their full impact immediately. After a spinal cord injury, you will need to devote your entire time and attention to getting better. Battling a billion-dollar insurance company to recover damages is not where you should have to focus your energy.

You Might Get Far Less Money Than You Deserve

When an insurance claims adjuster sees that an injured person does not have an attorney, the adjuster could make a lowball offer to see if the individual will accept it. The claims adjuster has extensive data to rely on, like jury verdicts in similar cases. So, he knows the financial value of your injury claim.

Unless you have access to a similar database and years of experience handling injury claims, you are unlikely to know how much money you should get for your losses. Many people find out too late that they should have gotten more money for their settlement. Our lawyers can valuate your case and tell you what damages you could collect for your case.

It Will Not Cost You Anything Upfront to Hire Our Spinal Cord Lawyers

We handle spinal cord injury cases on a contingency-fee basis, which means you do not have to pay any upfront legal fees. Our team will fight for you to get the money that you need, even though we do not get paid until the end of your injury claim.

With a contingency fee arrangement, your lawyer will get paid a percentage of your settlement proceeds or jury award.

Giving a Recorded Statement Could Hurt the Economic Value of Your Injury Claim

Most insurance claims adjusters ask injured people to give a recorded statement. Supposedly, a recorded statement is an opportunity for the claimant to tell his side of the story. This recorded statement might not benefit you, though.

The insurance company can go through the recording transcript and take things out of context. The carrier can use this so-called evidence to justify paying you less money than you deserve. If the adjuster asks you to give a recorded statement, tell him to talk to your attorney.

You Have a Deadline that Comes with Consequences

Illinois has short deadlines for filing personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits seeking compensation. 735 ILCS 5/13-202 generally gives you only two years after the accident to take legal action for personal injuries, including spinal cord damage. Under 740 ILCS 180/2, you usually have only two years to file a wrongful death lawsuit if your loved one died from a spinal cord injury.

If you do not file a lawsuit before the deadline, Illinois law will forever bar you from seeking compensation from the party responsible for the spinal cord injury. The insurance company knows this deadline, but they have no legal obligation to tell you about it.

You Cannot Go Back and Get More Money After You Settle Your Injury Claim

Let’s say you decide to settle your spinal cord injury claim on your own without a lawyer. Six months later, you find out you need additional back surgery related to your accident-related injuries.

After settling the case, the insurance company will not pay you even one dollar more. Your health insurance company is also unlikely to pay your medical bills for the additional surgery. You could end up with a stack of medical bills you cannot afford to pay.

All of Your Expenses, Like Medical Bills, Come Out of that One Settlement Check

When the defendant’s insurance company makes a settlement offer, they do not have to explain the legal implications of that settlement check. Some people do not find out until later that all their medical bills have to get paid out of that money.

Sometimes, the settlement amount is lower than the medical bills. What might have looked like “free” money ends up looking like less than nothing. All of your losses will come out of that one settlement check. There will not be additional money after you settle. Your settlement or judgment will have to cover:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage

Our Team Commits Itself to Our Clients’ Fight for Fair Damages

At the Kryder Law Group, LLC, we help people who get injured because of the actions of others. Our case results confirm this. We are happy to offer an initial consultation at no cost to you. You can call us at (312) 223-1700 to get started. There is no obligation.

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