Is my wife able to negotiate compensatory damages with an insurance company without the cost of a lawyer? She was rear-ended and suffered emotional distress. Almost PTSD-like.
3 Answers from Attorneys
You certainly may, but it isn't advised. You will be negotiating with an insurance company adjuster whose only goal is to pay you as little as possible. You need to understand how to prove your damages. For example: what does "PTSD-like" mean? Has your wife seen a psychiatrist or psychologist? If not, you can't prove the PTSD claim and it is therefore valueless. Navigating these sorts of issues are what you hire an attorney to do.
Either way -- best of luck to you!
You can, but it may be a big misstate. If her doctor says after at least a few examinations and tests that she has a minor injury that will not lead to any permanent injury and no further treatment, then it might be safe. However, you wife must understand that once she settles, she cannot come back later and seek more money. Moreover, I have seen too many clients who have attempted to settle their case only to ruin it tor a lawyer to come in and save it. For example, giving statements to leading and harmful questions. The old adage, "one who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client" is good advice.
As everyone has said, handling such a claim with a huge psychiatric/psychological component by herself is a mistake. All the concerns above are echoed. Why try to sort through this? The Fees? The offer will be higher with a competent attorney.