Why you shouldn’t accept an offer directly from the insurance company
The insurance companies want to make every effort to get you to settle your case before you hire an attorney. If they think you have a good case or valid claim, they will offer you money to settle, but it’s typically much less than you deserve.
Take for instance a call one of my employees received from a potential client who had been paralyzed in a truck accident involving huge discount retailer. The individual was an employee pedestrian who had been struck by the driver who was backing up and pinned him against a loading dock. His case was worth millions and the retailer and its insurance provider knew it.
The injured man was poor, he had mounting bills to pay and found himself struggling to survive in the aftermath of his accident. The insurance adjusters knew how desperate he was and they flew to his home and offered him $300,000 to settle his case if he signed away his right to sue them. They brought with them medical supplies he desperately required to sweeten the deal.
The injured man knew in his heart that he deserved more so he reached out and called a personal injury attorney to ask what he should do. Despite advise to the contrary, the man decided to take the offer in front of him and settle his claim. The man’s medical bills were $180,000 so his net award was $120,000. This is a man who will never walk again and is unable to perform his job as a dock loader due to the loss of his legs. The retailer and its insurance company were off the hook for millions.
Insurance adjusters know you are at a disadvantage if you do not retain a lawyer to represent you in a legal claim. Most people do not know the value of their claim and may settle for a small amount because they think that’s all it’s worth.
A lawyer will demand the full policy limits to compensate you for your losses and if they refuse, will file a lawsuit on your behalf and the insurance company doesn’t want that to happen because they could end up paying more than their limits if the case is decided by a jury.
So what do you do to protect yourself?
First of all, never exaggerate your injuries suffered in a car accident. Always be truthful and don’t leave out any injury no matter how minor it may seem on that first visit to the doctor. The first time you see a doctor it’s important that you do not only focus on the worst injuries, but that you tell your doctor everything that hurts you no matter how minor.
The reason this is so important is the insurance adjuster will see all your medical reports and if you fail to mention an injury on that first visit they will try to decline compensation for that injury. They could argue that the injury was not caused in the crash. The reason they do this is to lower the value of your claim so they don’t have to pay you out as much as your case is worth.
Next, it’s important that you find legal representation if you are injured in a car accident. You are at a disadvantage if you attempt to negotiate with an insurance adjuster directly because you don’t know what your rights are or the value of your claim and they do.
“Typically, an individual who is represented by a lawyer is likely to obtain 3.5 times more compensation than one who works directly with an insurance adjuster,” Johnson said. “You have a right to be made whole again after being injured in a crash.”
A consultation with a personal injury attorney is always free of charge and if you decide to hire Johnson Attorneys Group there are no attorneys fees unless we are able to obtain a settlement on your behalf. Call us today at 800-235-6801.