Personal Injury Settlements – How to Deal with Insurance Companies
No one plans on getting into an auto accident or slipping and falling down a flight of stairs. Yet, these things happen all the time and they could happen to you. If you become injured you may not be able to work for some time and you might experience a great deal of pain and suffering. Shortly after your accident, you may receive a visit from an insurance company representative. Before you accept an insurance settlement, it’s important to know what to do and say. This will help you make the best decision.
The Importance of Understanding Motivation
If someone wants to give you something of value, you want to know why. In other words, is there some kind of catch or hidden reason behind this seemingly wonderful financial gesture? Understanding motivation helps you see what’s going on in your mind, the minds of the insurance company people, and your personal injury lawyer. This allows you to have a better grasp of the entire situation.
Most insurance companies are highly motivated to settle claims quickly. This way, they do not have to deal with all the hassles and expenses of trials, court costs, and legal fees. In fact, they may offer you a deal that seems fair so you will accept it and get your money now. This is what most insurance adjusters want to happen.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. The less money they pay out on claims, the larger their company profits will be. This motivates them to give you the least amount of money that they believe you will accept. It is “good business” from their viewpoint, but not from the viewpoint of you, the victim.
Insurers understand that you, as an injury victim, are facing a difficult time in your life. In fact, it may be hard to think rationally when you are in pain or you’re worried about how you are going to pay the bills. Stress can make you highly vulnerable and that’s why many companies waste very little time in offering settlements. They want people to act on their emotions before they have time to think about the situation. You may believe that you are making the right decision but at some point in the future, you could discover that you’ve made a huge error. Mistakes like these can often be avoided when you seek the advice of a seasoned personal injury lawyer.
Personal Injury Lawyer Motivation
If you compare the motivations of an insurance company with your personal injury attorney’s motivations, you’ll see they are very different. For example:
Insurers are interested in paying out the smallest insurance claims possible. On the other hand, your attorney wants you to get the most money possible. Why? He or she is paid a fee based on your settlement amount. If you get more money, your personal injury lawyer does, as well. Your lawyer is highly motivated to do everything he or she can to get you the best settlement.
A personal injury attorney receives nothing if the client doesn’t get a settlement or loses a court case. Torem & Associates is a good example: they not only offer a free consultation but will not charge you a penny unless they win your case. In other words, it’s an “all or nothing” situation and this puts you in a good position. You have someone looking out for your interests and this person truly wants to help you.
The insurance company wants a fast settlement. In fact, the quicker you settle, the less likely you are to give the situation additional thought. This is not the case with your personal injury attorney. He or she encourages you to take your time because it could be one of the most important decisions of your life. You can discuss the matter at length with your attorney and get a clear idea of what you need for a just settlement.
What Should You Tell the Insurance Company?
Before you make any statements or accept any offers, you should talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will tell you exactly what to do and say. If you have not hired a lawyer yet, tell the insurance company that you need to speak to your lawyer before you do anything. They may try to talk you out of it, but it’s very important to get someone on your side when you deal with insurance companies. You can tell them that you are not rejecting their offer. You just want to get some legal advice first.
Try to say as little as possible until you have a lawyer working for you. If you make a written or recorded statement to an insurance adjuster you could unknowingly give the insurance company information to use against you. Most insurance companies are not your friend and they are not really interested in your well-being.
Important Points to Remember
Insurance companies want to make as much money as possible. That is why you are likely to receive a low settlement offer. By getting you to act fast and accept their offer, you won’t have much time to think about it. On the other hand, when you go to a trusted personal injury attorney, you have someone that is on your side. Your lawyer is highly motivated to get you more money because his or her pay is based on your settlement amount.
It’s best to say very little to insurance companies before you have spoken to your attorney. Even the most innocent of statements may be used against you in court. Don’t take chances with your future. It’s a good idea to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. This is in your best interest and the best interest of your family. You are not charged any fees for your legal services if you do not receive a settlement.Categories: