Can I Settle An Injury Claim On My Own?

by Doug Zanes | Last Updated: July 29, 2014

Nobody expects to be in an accident—let alone get injured in an accident—but when it does happen, you may be asking yourself a lot of questions, including, “Can I settle an injury claim on my own?”

Technically, yes, you can settle an injury claim on your own. However, settling on your own is tough when you have no experience in handling an injury claim. For example, if the plumbing in your home has gone awry, would you want to fix it yourself or get a plumber?

Maybe if it were a minor problem, a quick fix, you could do it yourself. But what if, after you made that quick fix, your pipes break again, this time flooding your entire kitchen. Now you have bad plumbing and a ruined kitchen.

Getting injured in an accident and settling without an attorney may seem like a quick fix. You may get a few hundred dollars from the insurance company and fix that ache in your back. But what if that ache comes back in a few months? What if that seemingly minor pain turns out to be a herniated disc, requiring an expensive medical procedure? Since you’ve already gotten a check from the insurance company, they won’t be writing you another one.

Just like with plumbing, it’s best to talk to the experts before bigger problems arise. This is why we offer free legal advice to anyone who calls us. We’ll help you identify the possibility of a bigger problem, even when it may seem minor at the time.

To avoid making a mountain out of a molehill, we recommend taking action from the get-go. Here are our tips for steps you should take after an accident, whether you plan on hiring an attorney or not.

  • Get all the required information – name, phone number, address, license plate number and insurance information from the other person or people involved. Having this information from the beginning will ease worries later. And don’t be shy to ask for their insurance card! They can easily obtain another.
  • Take pictures – If possible, get out your phone and snap some photos of the scene. This will give anyone you tell about the accident a clear picture of what happened.
  • Move as little as possible – Do not move your vehicle and try to remain seated until you can seek medical help. You cannot gauge how serious your injuries are alone and should avoid further injury.

For more advice on whether or not you should settle your own claim, listen to Episode #6 of the Zanes Law Podcast, which addresses this question directly.

Doug Zanes: Founding Attorney Raised in Douglas, Arizona, and went to college at Arizona State University and graduated from law school at St. Mary’s University School of Law in Texas. Doug began practicing law in Phoenix Arizona in 1997.
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