The answer is no. You do not need a lawyer to participate in the settlement. However, the settlement is structured in a way to encourage people to hire a lawyer. The reason is the claims process; the process of submitting all the documentation in the settlement is incredibly complex.
The claims administrator and the defendants want an orderly process. They want claims submitted by people who know how to do it and will not make mistakes. Under the settlement, people with revised hips will receive a base award of $300,000. However, if you are not represented at the time of the settlement agreement, there is an approximate 35% deduction from your settlement. Most plaintiffs’ lawyers will do these cases for 35%. You are actually better off having a lawyer helping with your settlement rather than working alone. You will receive 35% less either way.
You definitely want an attorney because the settlement agreement is extremely complex. It is not easy determining how much you will receive. You may not get all your money if you are inexperienced reviewing medical records, and dealing with settlement agreements. You definitely want an attorney helping with your case. There is really no cost to you when you take into consideration the deduction for not having a lawyer. A lawyer should get you the most money you can get under the settlement agreement.
For a PDF of the Stryker Settlement FAQs and answers, please click Kershaw|Talley Stryker FAQs to download the file.