If you have been involved in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, it is very likely that the at-fault party will have some sort of insurance policy that covers the damage. For example, drivers have car insurance that compensate others who are injured as a result of the policy holder’s negligence. Homeowners have homeowner’s insurance that may cover swimming pool or slip and fall accidents that occur on the policy holder’s property. This means that you will need to communicate with a representative from the insurance company, known as an insurance adjuster, in order to recover the compensation you deserve.
But, it’s strongly recommended that you allow an attorney to do all the talking. Why? Here are some of the ways that a personal injury attorney can help you fight the insurance company to achieve the best possible outcome in your case:
Protect you from the insurance company’s tricks
Insurance adjusters have a number of tricks that they may use to get you to either admit fault or settle for the lowest amount possible. First, they may try to contact you as soon as possible after the accident to talk to you before you have hired an attorney. This is why it’s so important that you hire an attorney as soon as possible—so you have someone with legal knowledge to protect you right from the start.
Once they get in touch with you, insurance adjusters will try to get you to give a recorded statement about the accident. This may seem harmless, but it’s another trick. Adjusters will try to take your words out of context and use them against you to show that the accident was your fault, or that you are not truly injured. For example, if an insurance adjuster asks you how you are and you respond with “fine,” this could be interpreted to mean that you do not have any injuries. If you have an attorney, he will be able to prevent you from making this statement, since it is not required that you do so, so you don’t hurt your chances of recovering compensation.
If it is not crystal clear who is liable for the accident, the insurance company may attempt to place the blame on you so they no longer have to compensate you for your injuries. A personal injury attorney can fight back against an adjuster who tries to blame you by clearly proving liability. For example, an attorney may use police reports, witness testimony, photographic evidence, and accident reconstruction specialists to prove which driver was at fault in a car accident. Without an attorney, you may not have access to the resources you need to prove liability in your case. As a result, you may end up being partially or wholly blamed for the accident and missing out on compensation that you are entitled to receive.
Prove the value of your claim
Insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. If it is clear that you were not at fault, the adjuster will attempt to get you to settle for as little as possible. If you don’t have an attorney, you may accept the first settlement offer without realizing that it is unfair. But, an attorney will be able to fight the insurance company to ensure that you receive exactly what you deserve. How? By proving the value of your claim.
For example, an insurance company may argue that you should not receive compensation for future medical expenses because your injuries are not severe enough to warrant it. An attorney can use your medical records and testimony from medical experts to prove that it is very likely that you will need treatment in the future, and therefore should receive compensation for future expenses. Good personal injury attorneys have the legal knowledge and experience to prove insurance companies wrong, which is why you will need one by your side any time you have to negotiate with an insurance adjuster.
Prevent delays in the case
If you reject the initial offer, the insurance adjuster may begin to purposely drag the case out for as long as possible. Why? Insurance companies know that medical bills may be piling up, and you may not have the time to wait around until the insurance company meets your demands. By dragging out the case, they hope that you will become so desperate for compensation that you cave in and accept a low offer.
This works with many victims—but not those who are represented by a good personal injury attorney. An attorney may be able to communicate with the hospital or doctor and inform them that you are in the middle of filing a personal injury claim to recover compensation. Most attorneys have strong relationships with the healthcare providers in the community and are able to get their billing departments to offer you a payment plan with low monthly payments until your case has reached a conclusion.
A good personal injury attorney will also make it clear to the insurance company that dragging out the case will not do them any good. An attorney can communicate that if the case continues to be delayed, he will have no choice but to end settlement talks and take the case to trial. An insurance company is much less likely to continue on with these stall tactics when you have an experienced attorney on your side.
If you have been injured by someone else’s negligence, contact Trial Lawyers for Justice today to schedule a consultation regarding your case. Our team of attorneys will communicate directly with the insurance company to prove liability, negotiate a settlement, and help you recover the compensation you deserve.