If you’re among the millions of Americans injured in car wrecks which weren’t their fault, you have a legal right to claim payments for your injury costs, likely from the at-fault driver’s insurer. Is this a do-it-yourself project? It shouldn’t be. Rather, be advised of five reasons you shouldn’t try to handle your own injury case.
Reason #1: Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend
Most likely you’ll seek payments from the insurance company of the at-fault driver. If that driver lacks insurance and you bought uninsured motorists coverage, you can seek payments from your own insurer. But either way, insurance companies are not your friends — despite the millions they spend on TV ads to make themselves look friendly.
Insurance companies exist to make money — not to do all they can to pay you every cent you’re owed when a bad driver hurts you. Yes, you paid for a policy. But the insurer would prefer keeping as much of that money as possible.
Whether your claim is made by yourself or by an injury lawyer acting in your behalf, it’s likely to be met with an adversarial stance by the insurer. It may try to minimize your injuries and delay, underpay or refuse to pay your injury costs.
On CNN, Anderson Cooper filed an investigative report called “Insurance Companies Fight Paying Billions in Claims.” It showed how insurers make extreme efforts to prevent accident victims from collecting payments they are rightfully due after spending their hard-earned money on insurance policies.
An experienced car wreck lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates deals with insurance adjusters daily. We know their tricks and how to claim the maximum fair payments you are due. If you try to handle your own case, it’s likely the insurance company will take advantage of you.
Reason #2: Insurance Adjusters Will Try to Trick You
If you act alone, adjusters will call you and record the conversation while trying to get you to say things which diminish your claim that the other driver was at fault. Adjusters also will try to diminish the nature and extent of your injuries.
“Are you feeling better now?” an adjuster may ask. “Yes,” you may answer — giving the adjuster a way to assert your injury wasn’t that bad. See how easy that was?
Indeed, anything you say to the adjuster can come back to haunt you when a settlement — if any — is made.
An injury lawyer can represent you in dealing with adjusters and can avoid the common traps they set for unsuspecting individuals.
Reason #3: You Won’t Get as Large of a Settlement
If you represent yourself, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll receive as large of a settlement — if any — compared to having a professional auto accident attorney lead the way. In fact, independent studies and studies by insurance companies themselves confirm this.
Allstate Insurance Co. issued a training manual to its adjusters in the 1990s emphasizing the importance of convincing claimants to represent themselves rather than engaging an injury lawyer. For settlements under $15,000, Allstate found that persons who represented themselves wound up receiving less than half the money gained by those who had attorneys.
Allstate’s own studies also found that injury lawyers in general recovered two to three times more than claimants who represented themselves in insurance negotiations.
Also, a 2003 study by the industry’s Insurance Research Council found that 79 per cent of all payouts went to the 47 per cent of claimants who were represented by attorneys. That means more than half of all claimants — those who did not hire an attorney — received just 21 per cent of all payouts.
Reason #4: After Paying an Attorney, You’ll Still Get More Money
Even after your injury attorney collects a fee from a portion of your settlement, you should receive more money thanks to having an attorney than if you’d handled your case by yourself.
First, your car accident lawyer with Jim Adler & Associates only gets paid by winning your case — that is, gaining payments for you via negotiations or perhaps a lawsuit. And when that settlement is reached, your injury lawyer only will be paid a portion of the settlement, and nothing from your own pocket.
You’ll then receive the remaining, larger amount of the settlement, which will be geared to cover your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. Even after your lawyer is paid, you should receive more payments than if you’d tried handling your claim by yourself.
Reason #5: A Lawyer Knows What Your Injury is Worth
If you suffered a back injury, a neck injury, a cut, a broken bone or one of many other types of injuries in a car accident, do you know what that particular injury is worth? That is, how much money should you be able to claim for your losses due to your injury?
You may have no idea, but your injury lawyer knows the worth of your injury in negotiating a settlement with an insurer. Such knowledge comes from years of experience handling such cases on a daily basis.
An insurance adjuster is more likely to offer a fair settlement when faced with a tough negotiator in the form of an Adler personal injury lawyer. The adjuster knows that, if he or she fails to make a legitimate offer, the lawyer can file a injury lawsuit to claim the payments anyway.
Your insurance company may not be your friend, but your Adler injury lawyer is. As Jim “The Texas Hammer” Adler says, “Your injury attorney will be in your boat rowing in the same direction you want to go.”
These and other advantages make it clear your claim is in better hands with an injury lawyer than if you try handling your case by yourself. Contact us today, and let’s get started with a free legal review of your case.