The Benefits of Letting An Attorney Handle the Insurance Company After An Accident
If you’ve ever seen a commercial or read an advertisement for a personal injury attorney, you probably know that it’s recommended that you get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible after a car accident. But, do you know why? There are many reasons why you should hire a personal injury attorney. One of the biggest reasons is the attorney will be completely responsible for handling the insurance company. Why can’t you do this on your own? Here are some of the countless benefits of letting an attorney handle the insurance company after a car accident:
According to various studies, personal injury victims that allow an attorney to handle the negotiations with the insurance company pocket more compensation than those that negotiate on their own. How much more? One study found that plaintiffs working with an attorney were able to recover 3.5 times more than plaintiffs that were working on their own. If you’re recovering from an injury, every dime counts, so don’t lose out on this compensation because you chose not to hire an attorney.
Accurate Value of Your Claim
Before an attorney begins to negotiate with the insurance adjuster, he will need to calculate the value of your claim. This may sound simple, but it’s far from it. The value of your claim will include the:
- Medical expenses that you have already incurred
- Medical expenses that you expect to incur in the future
- Total wages that you have lost as a result of your injuries
- Total wages that you expect to lose in the future as a result of your injuries
- Value of your emotional pain and suffering
It’s easy to figure out how much you’ve already spent on treating your injury, but how do you know how much you will spend in the future? Likewise, it can be difficult to estimate how much time you will have to take off of work in the future and the value of your pain and suffering.
How does this tie into dealing with the insurance company? If you don’t work with an attorney, then you will not know how to accurately calculate the value of your claim. The insurance adjuster knows this and will use it to his advantage when negotiating with you. Remember, insurance adjusters are seasoned negotiators. The insurance adjuster that you work with may convince you that your claim is not worth as much as you think it is and get you to settle for far less than you deserve. Later, you’ll realize that you did not get enough compensation to cover your expenses or lost wages. But at that point, it will be too late to do anything about it. Remember, once you agree to accept an offer from the insurance company, the case is closed. There is no way for you to go back and ask for more compensation once you realize that you could have gotten more.
Fortunately, a personal injury attorney will not allow this to happen if he is dealing with the insurance company. A good personal injury attorney will know the true value of your claim and will not settle for anything less than what you deserve.
Hiring An Attorney Says That You’re Serious
The second that you hire an attorney to represent you, the insurance adjuster that is assigned to your case will know that you are serious about recovering compensation. Before you hire an attorney, the insurance company may think that they can take advantage of you or get you to settle the case quickly. But, that all changes once they find out that you have legal representation. Sometimes, hiring an attorney is enough to convince the insurance adjuster that he needs to make an offer to you so the case does not end up in trial. This is especially common in cases where the victim has hired an attorney that is well known for winning large verdicts on behalf of his clients.
Prevent Common Errors
People that choose to work with the insurance company on their own often make mistakes that could affect the outcome of their case. For example, an insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company will most likely reach out to you shortly after the accident. During this initial conversation, the insurance adjuster may ask you to agree to make a recorded statement so she can ask you questions about the events leading up to the crash. An attorney would be able to tell you that this is not a good idea. But, if you’re handling your claim without an attorney’s help, then you may not see the harm in giving in to this request.
What happens next? Anything that you say during this recorded statement could be taken out of context and used to lower the value of your claim. If the insurance adjuster asks you how you are doing, responding with “I’m ok” could be a mistake. Later on in the case, the insurance adjuster could say that you said you were fine after the accident, so she doesn’t understand why you think you are entitled to compensation. Insurance adjusters will also try to ask you misleading or confusing questions during this recorded statement that are designed to get you to say something that could hurt your case. These mistakes could cost you a lot of compensation, but fortunately they can be avoided if you have an attorney by your side.
Don’t make the mistake of handling your car accident claim without the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a negligent driver, contact Carpenter & Zuckerman today to schedule a free consultation with our team of knowledgeable lawyers.
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