The vast majority of personal injury cases involve insurance companies in some way. It could be the other person’s insurance company, or it could be your own. Regardless of whom the insurance company represents, it is important to keep in mind that the insurance company is in the business of making money. They will not pay any more for your claim than absolutely necessary—if at all.
Unfortunately, that also means that some insurance companies or insurance adjusters will take advantage of the inexperience that most personal injury victims have when it comes to determining what their case is really worth. Low ball offers are relatively standard—because many people don’t know any better and they end up taking them!
1. Never take the first offer without talking to a lawyer.
Even if the offer they provide to you seems reasonable, it is best practice to talk to a lawyer first. Many personal injury victims do not understand the full extent of what their injuries will cost them soon after the accident. It may take weeks, months, or even years, to fully appreciate the long-term effects of an injury. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you estimate or predict what it will end up costing you, and negotiate on your behalf to get the compensation that you and your family deserve.
2. Insurance companies are far more likely to settle cases reasonably with victims who have retained lawyers.
When a lawyer gets involved, insurance companies know that personal injury victims are far more likely to get a fair settlement or take a case to trial to get the compensation they deserve. As a result, some claims adjusters will make comments to you that may make you think that you do not need a lawyer or that you should not hire an attorney.
For example, some adjusters will set specific timelines on offers that cannot possibly give you enough time to have an attorney review your file. They may also directly take offers off the table if you get a lawyer. This process is not only unfair, but it is also unethical. Never let an insurance adjuster make you think that you do not have a right to involve a lawyer.
3. Some insurance companies deliberately deny claims as a stall tactic.
The longer the insurance company stalls in working with you or paying you, the more interest they can obtain on money that they would have otherwise used to pay you. The longer they stall, the more likely that most victims are to give up as well. Some insurance companies regularly use stall tactics, such as outright denials for a reasonable claim, in the hopes that your claim will just go away.
Don’t let an insurance company take advantage of you! You have the right to retain an attorney to help with your personal injury claim. Using an experienced attorney will help ensure that you are treated fairly and with respect. Contact McKINNON LEGAL to learn more.