In the words of Richard Harris, “The insurance company’s objective is to settle quickly and unreasonably, for as little money as possible. But the objective of a skilled attorney is to make sure your settlement will be fair and reasonable to the injuries you sustained, with proper and complete medical treatment to restore you to the health you enjoyed before the accident.”
Are They Really On Our Side?
Insurance companies spend millions each year on advertising to convince you on an emotional level, that they are on your side, or that you’re in good hands. However, the reality is somewhat different. Indeed, the insurance company’s objectives are probably different than yours. As a for-profit company, the insurance company has an obligation to limit their payouts to an acceptable level to be able to deliver a return to their shareholders. This is why in many cases you’ll receive settlement offers shortly after an accident. This, however, is usually a clue that the company knows that they have exposure and that they want to settle the case on their terms. In these cases, you should not accept the offer, or sign anything until the case is reviewed by an attorney.
The Release and Waiver, which must be signed in order to receive funds from the insurance company, acts as the insurance company’s stop loss. Once signed, their liability for further involvement in that case is ended. If additional symptoms manifest indicating further injury needing treatment, sometimes days after the accident, the insurance company has no further responsibility once the release is signed.
Who Do You Trust?
You are contractually obligated to report any accident to your own insurance company, however, if you plan on hiring an attorney, you should not speak with any representative of the opposing insurance company over the phone, or in person, or any third party investigator that may be contracted by the opposing insurance company. You can assume that your calls with them are being recorded, your social media is being monitored, investigators are visiting neighbors and friends to verify that your injuries are as their being represented to them. They realize that you may only deal with insurance companies in this way a few times in your life. They will use offhanded remarks made by you to reduce or disallow a claim.
This is why it’s important that you obtain legal representation as soon after the accident as possible. Your lawyer act as the intermediary between you and the liable party or parties, such as the negligent driver’s insurance company. Additionally, by selecting a well experienced firm who deals with insurance companies daily, you can benefit from the lawyer’s experience to know when an offer from the insurance company is fair and reasonable to your injuries. That is why car accident victims who hire an attorney on average receive 3.5 times what they would without representation.
The next article in this series will address when and how to hire the right lawyer to handle your auto accident claim.
The Richard Harris Law Firm will obtain Maximum Compensation for your Car Accident
We represent injured drivers daily. Car accident claims make up the largest portion of our case load. We have the lawyers who know the law and the experience to get you the best settlement after a motor vehicle accident injury. Call our office today to discuss your case at (702) 444-4444.