Insurers Will Try to Discourage Legal Representation
This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015
Posted in News & Articles | Posted by: George Heppner - San Diego Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured as the result of another’s negligence in an auto accident, it is important to fully understand the nature of the insurance business as you move towards receiving fair compensation for your damages. And yes, an experienced San Diego injury lawyer will emphasize that insurance is indeed a business, which is primarily interested in bottom-line profits. Consequently, the adjuster in your case is highly motivated to avoid dealing with legal counsel.
There are fundamental differences between an auto accident case handled solely by the injured victim and one where a San Diego injury lawyer is involved, such as:
- The insurance adjuster must deal directly with the attorney and will have no contact with the plaintiff
- The case will likely take longer to settle
- The case will almost certainly be more expensive to settle
- The case may end up in a courtroom All these factors are a negative to the adjuster; he or she is strongly encouraged by the insurance company to move cases quickly through the pipeline and avoid costly pay-outs.
What the Adjuster Will Tell You
As the injured plaintiff, you probably have little or no experience in settling a claim. Typically, a representative from the insurance company will try to get to you quickly, often within 24 hours of the accident, before you have had the opportunity to speak with a San Diego injury lawyer. While this may seem to be good customer service and show a concern for you situation, the adjuster will more often than not use this contact to try and convince you not to seek counsel. For instance, you may hear such things as:
- The insurance adjuster will look out for your best interests; you don’t need a lawyer
- A lawyer will take at least one-third of your settlement
- A lawyer will slow things down
- The insurance company may have to bring in lawyer of their own
In reality, however, not every case requires a lawyer.
When You May be able to Handle a Case on Your Own
Thankfully, many auto accidents are of the minor, fender-bender type and do not involve physical injury to either the respective drivers or passengers. Where this is true, the vehicle damage is not too great and the issue of liability is straight forward, you may be just fine dealing directly with the insurance company. If you do, there are nonetheless some important considerations to be aware of.
Dealing Directly with the Insurer
Just remember that although the adjuster is not necessarily evil, it is not his or her job to be fair; if you’re handling the claim yourself, you must be your own advocate. With this in mind, be aware of the following:
- Don’t assume the adjuster will stand behind an earlier claim of liability; you have to gather evidence to establish proof despite what the adjuster may have indicated
- Don’t ask for too much or too little; having a realistic idea of the true value of your case is important
- Don’t settle until the full extent of your injuries are known; this can be tricky, even in cases where the injuries seem minor. Too often, in an effort to push for a quick settlement and a return to normalcy, a final settlement is reached.
Subsequently, if latent injuries appear or some complication arises, it may be impossible to receive compensation.
When You Need a Lawyer
If you have sustained a serious injury, don’t even think about going it alone. The nature and extent of your medical bills and other damages, such as lost income, can be difficult to fairly evaluate and prove. If more than one party may share responsibility or if you in some manner contributed to your own injuries, the matter becomes even more complicated.
Contact an Auto Accident Attorney San Diego Residents Trust for Legal Advice
Don’t allow an insurer to talk you out of seeking counsel; understand and protect your rights. Call George C. Heppner, a San Diego injury lawyer, at (888) 503-6473.