The insurance companies want folks to believe that they don’t need an attorney to represent them if they are in a car accident. They want people to believe they are a “good neighbor.” They want you to believe they’ll take care of you if you’re hurt in an accident with no need to involve an attorney.
But in my experience as a personal injury attorney representing accident victims for over 20 years, that’s not always the case. Occasionally, after consulting with a potential client I tell them that what the insurance adjuster has offered them seems fair and there is no need to hire an attorney. Unfortunately, though, in the vast majority of the cases I see, the insurance adjuster is trying to short change the accident victim and not fully compensate them for their injury, pain, and suffering.
If you think about it, that’s not surprising. Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. To make the most profit, their goal is to pay out as little as possible in insurance claims. So, when an insurance adjuster is talking to an accident victim, the adjuster is looking for a reason that the adjuster can use to justify paying the victim as little as possible for the victim’s injury.
Insurance adjusters area also notorious for trying to get victims to accept quick payments before they really determine the full extent of their injuries are. For example, it’s not unusual for the injured party to not know immediately following an accident that a year later they may require a surgery resulting from the accident.
Simply put, there are numerous reasons why if you’ve been in a car accident, you should talk to an attorney BEFORE you talk to an insurance adjuster. Here are 3 of those reasons:
- Someone is looking out for YOUR best interest as opposed to the insurance company’s bottom line.
- You will get advice and guidance with regard to your medical treatment, so you can fully appreciate the extent of your injuries and treat accordingly.
- Your attorney can help maximize your settlement in a variety of ways, including stacking applicable insurance policies, negotiating with your health insurance company and/or your medical providers, and taking advantage of all of the laws that apply to injury victims in cases like yours.