Many clients attempt to settle and negotiate with the insurance company on their own, only to find out they were given a “low ball offer” or that the claim was completely denied. Here are five reasons why car accident victims try and settle a claim without a car accident attorney.
1. The case of the nice adjuster in many cases clients feel that the insurance adjuster they are dealing with is a friend and has the best intentions. However, this is the furthest from the truth. In fact claim adjusters work against you and never for you. Claims adjusters will work to collect as much information about your case and use that information to deny or limit your bodily injury claim. This will work against you because now the information you have voluntarily provided can be used against you.
2. The insurance company is offering us a quick settlement. Generally with a case where liability is not at issue, insurance companies will attempt to offer you a quick settlement. Here are some common lines they use, “your attorney will take 2 years to settle out your case” or “we can settle the claim now without you having to pay for an attorney” or “attorneys are expensive and will not leave you with any money after your case”. While these may sound convincing, they are absolutely incorrect. First, a case that takes 2 years to settle is because the insurance company is not willing to offer a fair settlement. Additionally it is never advisable to settle out your car accident case without knowing exactly what is wrong with you. Second, most attorneys in these types of cases work on a contingency fee basis. What this means is that unless there is a recovery there are no fees.
3. I need the money now to pay some bills, yes everyone has bills and a financial settlement from a lawsuit can help alleviate some of those costs. Before you settle the case for a fraction of its value consider using other services. Often times your attorney can offer you an advance on the case or you can consider using other avenues i.e. cash advance services to assist with this. Make sure you speak with your attorney about this beforehand.
4. I can handle the negotiation, why would I get a lawyer? The truth is that it is not a matter of negotiations. Negotiations are not what drive settlements, but rather leverage. If the insurance company knows that you will not file a lawsuit for damages, then you will not have the negotiating leverage. Without fear of potential legal action taken against them they will be very hesitant of offer any type of settlement for your injuries.
If you were injured seek the advice of a personal injury lawyer for your injuries. Whether or not you decide to retain them will be your decision. However, they can provide you with great information on how to handle your case and what you need to do.