We all do it. We try to save money by doing things ourselves.

Sometimes it works out. Other times it doesn’t.

My mom’s built in vacuum failed. The dealer wanted $1,700 to replace it. She found a motor on eBay for $240 and we replaced it together. It worked perfectly.

But not all our DIY projects have worked out so successfully. And there are a lot of things that we just wouldn’t try on our own because we can’t tolerate the downside risk.

But there’s that expression: We don’t know what we don’t know. And it’s difficult to perceive some risks.

There’s a big risk associated with settling a personal injury case on your own without knowing what the case is worth. Here’s a recent example:

A woman riding to work in a protected bike lane. A truck pulled into the bike lane. She swerved and crashed. During the crash she tore her ACL.

After the wreck the truck driver’s insurance company offered $30,000. Some people would be tempted to take it. Or maybe negotiate themselves and get $35,000 or even $40,000. Better yet, they wouldn’t have to pay any attorney fees.

Fortunately the injured woman didn’t try to DIY the negotiation. She hired us.

We almost never settle cases on the “court-house steps.” But with trial rapidly approaching the insurer for the truck driver offered the limits of $1,000,000.

Let’s say the new vacuum motor hadn’t worked. My mom would be out $240. It made sense to DIY.

But how about saving the attorney fee and settling the case on your own? You’d save $10,000 or $15,000. But in “saving” that money you may lose over $500,000.

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