If you have ever been involved in an auto accident or any other kind of personal injury situation, you may have learned the hard way that a quick settlement may not be in your best interest.
Four Reasons you Should Have an Attorney Negotiate with ALL Insurers
Because a quick settlement is almost always not in your best interest.
Too many people are under the misconception their insurance provider is the best advocate they can have for their cause. The truth is that insurance companies are in business to provide a service while ensuring their company pays the least compensation possible for your injuries.
Insurance companies are not in the business to hand out money, but rather to make money.
Because an experienced personal injury attorney will always want you to get the best settlement possible.
An experienced personal injury attorney will review your claim, determine what your claim’s probable value is, and negotiate with your insurance company to settle on a fair compensation.
While handling your own negotiations is possible, that may not be to your benefit. A qualified attorney with a proven track record of gaining satisfactory compensation for his or her clients can assess your situation and negotiate a suitable counteroffer.
More about counteroffers later.
A settlement often does not cover all damages.
The first days after a traumatic experience like a car wreck or being injured on the job are not the best time for you to evaluate your damages.
Sometimes, it is impossible to know what medical costs or loss of wages have been incurred. A seasoned attorney will insist you receive treatment and reach a certain level of healing before any decisions are made. It is only after your doctors have accessed your future treatment needs that an attorney can have an idea of the value of your claim is. Few people have the time or resources to make that determination and negotiate with their insurance company’s battery of attorneys.
Most people do not know what compensation they are the law ensures. There are always unexpected expenses that may be qualified for compensation. A seasoned personal injury attorney knows your rights and the law, and they are more capable of protecting those right in negotiations.
Because an early settlement may cost you the right of file a lawsuit later.
Often times, when a person accepts a settlement offer from an insurance company, they are required to sign documents that waive their right to bring suit against that insurance company. Signing such paperwork may also cause you to relinquish a right to file suit against the at-fault parties implicated in the accident that caused your injury.
The Negotiation Process
While your attorney studies your claim.
While the attorney you have chosen to handle your case gathers all he needs to plead your cause, your company will be doing the same things to support their financial interests. An insurance adjustor’s job is to find legitimate ways to limit their company’s total liability. Your attorney searches for legitimate arguments for maximizing that settlement.
Your attorney issues a demand letter.
The demand letter contains the strongest possible case your attorney could fashion on your behalf, including:
- A payout totals your attorney considers to be fair
- A summary of the facts
- A description of your injuries, losses, and expenses
A demand letter is the starting point for negotiations and can produce three outcomes:
- The insurance company decides to pay the amount claimed.
- The insurance company rejects the offer; or
- The insurance company tends a counteroffer, usually considerably lower than the initial demand.
That third outcome is the most common.
The adjuster makes a counteroffer initiating what is likely to become many rounds offers. Should your attorney reach an agreement you are satisfied with, an out-of-court settlement may be the outcome.
If the insurance adjuster rejects any equitable settlement, you may have to file a personal injury lawsuit and take the insurance company to court. Simply filing suit is enough to persuade the insurance company accept your attorney’s offer. No business wants to go to court, pay out thousands on legal costs, but still ending up paying out to cover your claim after your attorney wins.
Whether your case involves an auto accident, a motorcycle accident, a slip and fall accident, or a construction accident, there will probably be an insurance company involved as well.
There are a number of reasons you should not attempt to negotiate with insurance companies without representation, and it’s always best to have an attorney.
If you have been involved an accident and are not at ease handling the insurance companies involved, you should talk to a qualified. No one should have to be concerned about dealing with their insurance company after experiencing an injury. Your attention should be given to healing, not worrying.
To learn more about having an attorney negotiate with your insurer, contact the Johnson Law Firm.