15 Things You Must Know Before Filing A Personal Injury Claim
Before your attorney goes to fight for your Personal Injury claim, there are a few things they must keep in mind to ensure things go successfully. Also, check out our post on various techniques used by insurance companies to help prepare your team.
1. Insurance Companies are Fearless
Insurance companies are fearless when being sued in small personal injury claims. Your attorney must keep in mind that some insurance companies will fight to the death over a $2,000 claim just to prove a point that they won’t give in for just any case.
2. Insurance Adjusters Prefer to Close Cases Quickly
Although insurance adjusters prefer to close cases quickly, they won’t do so if the claim is being settled at a price that is more than its worth. The goal of every insurance adjuster is to close files as quickly and hassle-free as possible.
An experienced attorney knows that an insurance adjuster won’t agree to settle for more than a claim is worth, so once the suit is filed, it is out of the adjuster’s hands and onto the next chain of command (usually the defense attorney).
3. Settlement Amounts Must be Justified by a Higher Authority
Settlement amounts must be justified by a higher authority before a check is actually cut. Your attorney has to keep in mind that everything in the legal realm needs justification and documentation. This takes time. You, as a client, must remember that although it seems like your case is moving slowly, your attorney is working as diligently as possible to ensure you get your just compensation.
4. Attorneys for the Insurance Company Prolong the Suit
Defense attorneys for the insurance company get paid to prolong the suit. Insurance defense attorneys are paid by the hour without commission and do not receive bonuses for settling. With that in mind, your attorney will have to be prepared to work hard and committed to going to trial if need be.
5. Some Insurance Companies Will Put Up a Fight Irrespective of the Claim
Certain insurance companies will put up a fight, even if the claim is small or medium. These companies will force you to believe that you have to take their offer or risk not getting anything. Your experienced attorney won’t fall for the scare tactics. They know who these certain companies are and are prepared to file suit no matter what.
6. Sometimes Jumping Straight to Litigation is Your Only Choice
Situations like these may happen when you come across those insurance companies that are known to not budge. Your attorney knows who these companies are and every trick they could possibly have up their sleeves.
7. Liti-GOO. Liti-GAH. Liti-GATE
A good attorney knows how to settle a case. A great attorney knows that maximum damage settlements happen only if you know how to litigate.
8. Documents and Evidence are Crucial for Winning
Pain and suffering do not win cases, proof of medical bills, and documented loss of income does. The fact of the matter is insurance companies believe facts and figures more than testimonies on how much you hurt. With that in mind, trust your lawyer when they tell you to go get checked out by a doctor.
9. Your Attorney Controls the Information When Settling Case with Adjusters
Attempting to settle cases with adjusters means your attorney controls the information they receive, but once your cases reach litigation, the defense team will try to find weaknesses in your case. Your attorney will be prepared to prevent those weaknesses, if any, from being harmful to your case.
10. It’s Better to go to Trail in Some Cases
In some cases, it’s better to roll the dice and go to trial. It’s possible that your attorney could win an amount close to the final offer received before litigation, dead on the amount, or something a little higher. The key is to trust your attorney when they advise you not to take the last offer.
11. Insurance Adjusters are Trained to Look for Weaknesses
Insurance adjusters are trained to look for weaknesses, but your attorney is trained to alleviate the weaknesses. You should understand that sometimes those weaknesses aren’t arguable, but trust that your attorney is still going to do their best to get you the best offer possible.
12. Defense Attorney Will Try to Settle Your Claim for Less Price
The defense attorney is going to try to low-ball your case. Your attorney will be prepared for it by asking the defense attorney questions such as, “How much do you think this case is worth?” Whatever number they give, your attorney will assume 50-100% more.
13. Trust Your Attorney Rather Than Defence Attorneys
Insurance defense attorneys don’t keep their jobs by being friends with Plaintiff lawyers. Defense attorneys will tell you that they are working hard to get you the best settlement when nine times out of ten they really aren’t. So once again, trust YOUR attorney. They have your best interest in mind.
14. Your Attorney Must Fight For an Offer That You Deserve
When you are given an offer “you can’t refuse,” know that your attorney is going to fight for an offer NO ONE can refuse. The offer the insurance company says, “you can’t refuse,” is usually going to be significantly lower.
15. A Case Settled is a Case Won
Just like your attorney will advise you when to reject a settlement and keep fighting, they’ll also be there to advise you when to go ahead and take the settlement. In some situations, going to trial would be riskier and more expensive than settling.