The Biggest Mistake A Personal Injury Victim Makes
Written by Greg on January 19, 2015
In my 30 years practicing as a personal injury attorney in Houston, Texas one of the single largest mistakes that I see personal injury victims make is that of expecting the adjuster to be fair and reasonable on their claim.
Insurance Companies Will Always Seek to Pay as Little as Possible
Adverse insurance companies are not out to pay full and fair restitution for injuries sustained in an accident. Adverse insurance companies seek to pay as little money as possible to settle a claim for personal injury.
Adjusters go to classes to learn how to dispute claims and are taught negotiation tactics as part of their job.
Accepting Responsibility does Not Mean a Fair Offer
The misconception generally occurs when the victim first has contact with the insurance company and is told by an adjuster that their insured was responsible for the accident, or words to that effect. To the unsuspecting consumer, those words mean that the insurance company will offer a reasonable and prompt settlement proposal. Unfortunately, that could not be further from the reality.
In some instances, adjusters will actually discourage hiring an attorney and that usually occurs when the injuries are very severe and a large liability policy exists. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand why an adverse insurance company may not want a seriously injured person to hire an attorney.
Your Odds Go Down Without A Lawyer
Any belief that the insurance company will treat an individual without a lawyer the same as one with a reputable attorney, stands on shaky ground. Frequently, even with an attorney the only time an insurance company gets serious about fair compensation is when a jury is sitting in the box or trial is eminent. In some cases it takes a judge or jury to make the determination.
When Most Victims First Know They Need an Attorney
When attempting to handle a claim on their own, it is usually only after the adjuster first makes an offer of settlement that a personal injury victim realizes that they really need an attorney to help them with the process. The real problem with this approach is that the insurance company has controlled the process with this person since day one and probably has done what is necessary to help defend the case at the expense of the victims claim.
The more serious the injury the more likely a personal injury victim will need the assistance of the best personal injury attorney they can find. It is usually advantageous to obtain an attorney in the location where the accident occurred as opposed to one who lives out of state or far away from the County of the occurrence.