When picking a personal injury lawyer, I think one of the most important things is to actually sit down and meet the lawyer and talk with that lawyer about their experience handling a similar type case that you have. And some important questions to ask would be “have you tried similar cases to the accident that I’ve been in?” and “what would you do to help build and establish and show the extent of my loss?”
I personally would say it’s never a good idea to handle your case directly with the insurance company, because they have a competing interest that’s not aligned with yours. The insurance company is a for-profit business, and the law requires people or consumers to buy the product they’re selling, and their goal is to save as much of that money as possible, which means settling your case for as little as they possibly can. So I would strongly urge you to get a competent lawyer that has the background and experience to be able to handle your case expeditiously, intelligently and efficiently.