Hi Sarah, yes, you can but you may place yourself in a position where you will settle your claim for lower than what it is worth, given that a personal injury lawyer will have experience with both negotiating the claim and calculating what a court would likely award you.
Yes, you can do it yourself, but if it doesn't settle, you may need to lodge court proceedings (which you will need a lawyer for anyway). With regards to fees, it really depends how much the claim is worth/how injured you are. If the settlement reaches a certain amount, you can claim most of your solicitor's fees and any outlays they spent from the insurer. If it is not worth that much, the solicitor is bound by the 50/50 rule, which means they can't charge more than half of what the settlement is, less outlays, no matter how much work has been done.