the Insurance Company Said I Don’t Need an Attorney—is That True?
If you sustain injuries in a car crash or other catastrophic event, the main thing you need to keep in mind is that insurance companies—even your own—are not your friend. In fact, the insurance company that issued the policy to the person who caused your accident may turn out to be your worst enemy in the case.
Despite their commercials to the contrary, insurance companies are in business to make a profit, not to pay claims. Consequently, if an insurance company representative calls you or sends you a letter soon after your accident offering you a settlement and saying that you don’t need an attorney, do not believe this.
While such advice may be technically true, it definitely is not in your best interest. Nor is an insurance company representative qualified to give you such advice. Only an experienced lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Cohen & Cohen Attorneys, can properly assess your injuries and the circumstances surrounding them, and arrive at an initial estimate of how much your claim is actually worth, as opposed to the insurance company’s initial settlement offer.
Things to Keep in Mind
Keep in mind the following unfortunate facts about insurance companies:
- Their representatives care about the company, not you.
- They need not treat you fairly or handle your claim promptly.
- They hire or train experienced and skilled settlement negotiators.
- They want to pay you the lowest possible amount you will agree to.
- They will use anything you tell them against you so as to minimize the amount they have to pay you. They most definitely will use any papers you sign against you.
- Their initial offer seldom represents the amount they’re actually prepared to pay.
- If you reject it, however, they may start to ignore you, hoping you’ll either forget about suing their policyholder or miss your state’s statute of limitations deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit.
Hiring Your Own Champion
You have every right to hire a personal injury attorney to represent you after an accident, look out for your best interests, and strenuously negotiate for a higher settlement amount — regardless of how strenuously an insurance company representative may try to convince you otherwise.
In addition, only your attorney can make sure you file a lawsuit within the period of time specified by your state’s statute of limitations. Finally, if you hire an attorney with a long track record of favorable personal injury settlements and jury awards, you can be assured that he or she knows all about effective negotiation tactics. He or she, therefore, stands a much better chance of obtaining a fair and equitable settlement for you than you do by attempting to deal with the insurance company all by yourself.