Ken of “Greater Phoenix Attorney at Law Magazine” interviews Phoenix personal injury lawyer Chris Zachar on being selected Solo Practitioner Of The Month, November 2010:
Ken: How do I know t hat I need an attorney?
Chris Zachar: I think the easiest answer to that question is if you think you might, you probably do.
Ken: One question that people must ask you is “what do I need an attorney for? Can’t I just do this myself? Handle my own case?”
Chris Zachar: Can you handle your own case? Sure you can. There is no big secret to handling a personal injury case. I’ve been at it for 18 years. It isn’t easy. There are a lot of things you have to understand and a lot of things you have to know. Every insurance company you deal with is going to be difficult. They have their own philosophies and and every adjuster with an insurance company you deal with is going to be difficult because they have their own philosophy’s so you have a myriad of factors. There are no 2 cases that are exactly the same, and you have to remember just a few basic tenants in handling your own personal injury case. #1 is if the other guy is at fault, and you are dealing with an insurance company then the first thing that insurance company wants to do is pay you nothing. Pay you Zero and they will do everything they can to try to pay you zero. They will try to take a recorded statement from you, they will try to get admissions from you.
Remember, they are in the business and they do this for a living and they do this every day and you don’t, so you have to be very careful of what you say because if you say the wrong thing, you could hurt your case substantial even if you say something that is purely innocent and shouldn’t seem to hurt your case, these people are in the business and their first goal is to pay you nothing. If they can’t pay you nothing, then their next goal is to pay you as little as possible and they will work the case from their end to pay you as little as possible. So the question is, Can you handle your own personal injury case? Absolutely you can, but at the same time if you have a problem at home with your sink breaks can you fix your own sink? Yes, you can fix your own sink, you don’t necessarily have to call a plumber, but if you screw up and have to call a plumber, then it will cost you more than it would have cost you initially. And in this profession if you try to handle your own personal injury case and you say the wrong thing, and screw it all up, and then you call me then there may be damages I can’t undo.