Why It’s Important to Talk with an Attorney before You Accept the Offer
When you’ve been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s carelessness or negligence, one of the first places you typically turn is your insurance carrier. You have to be extremely careful, though, or you may end up getting far less than you need and deserve. Though you may have a personal relationship with your insurance agent and just assume that you’ll be treated fairly, it’s much more complicated than that. Here’s why.
Insurers Care First and Foremost about the Bottom Line
Insurance companies are for-profit entities, with a commitment (and often a legal obligation as well) to maximize their profits, so that they simultaneously maximize value to their shareholders. The way they do that?—by minimizing the amount they have to pay out on any claims that are filed. They’ll use a wide range of tactics to try to get you to accept less than you deserve, including:
- Unnecessary or unwarranted delays – This is common practice, even when a claim is cut and dried. The expectation is that you want (or need) your insurance settlement sooner, as opposed to later. The longer they make you wait, the more desperate they expect you’ll become, and the more attractive any type of payment will appear.
- Wrongful denials – When an insurance company denies your claim, legitimately or not, it puts you in the position of appealing or challenging that denial. That can be an expensive and time-consuming process—insurance companies know this. Don’t be surprised if, after they’ve made you suffer a little, they contact you and offer you far less than you deserve, if you’ll simply waive your right to any additional amounts.
- Lowball offers – When you’re working directly with an insurance company, you’re at a distinct disadvantage. The insurance adjustors work with these types of claims on a regular basis. They can quickly and fairly accurately determine the real value of your claim…it’s much harder for you to do that. They’ll use their knowledge and experience to try to get you to take a quick settlement offer, usually for a fraction of the potential value of your claim.
Your Attorney Will Give Top Priority to Maximizing Your Recovery
On the other hand, if you hire legal counsel to help you recover compensation for any type of injury, you’ll typically pay your lawyer on a contingency basis. That means that your attorney will get a percentage of anything recovered. That automatically provides an incentive to secure the highest settlement possible, as that will bring a higher payout to your attorney.
Your attorney will be familiar with the provisions of your insurance policy, and will be able to determine what is covered and how much you should receive. Your lawyer can also be your advocate with your insurance company, so you don’t have to get involved in the negotiations.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we know impact that any personal injury can have on your day-to-day life. If you have been hurt in any type of accident, let us help. We’ll be your advocate throughout the legal process, acting as your liaison with insurance companies and as your advocate in all legal proceedings. Contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.