Trying to handle your own personal injury case without a lawyer is like putting a baby bunny rabbit into a cage with a hungry, full grown lion. The outcome is not only predictable but painful, especially if you’re the rabbit!
Insurance is Big Business
Insurance companies are in business to make money. Each year the major companies earn billions of dollars in profits and their claims adjusters earn huge end-of-year bonuses for minimizing what they pay out in claims and maximizing how much money they help the company executives put in their pockets.
A fact that you need to know is that claims adjusters are highly trained professionals. Their job is to do what’s best for their company, not what’s best for you.
As with any profession, you get the good with the bad. The tough part is that it’s difficult, if not impossible, for most people to tell the difference.
Claims Adjusters Receive Hundreds of Hours of Education
The problem is that both the good and bad claims adjusters receive hundreds of hours of specialized education about how to handle the claims process. They are also taught how to “become your best friend” and how to minimize the amount of money they pay out to you on a claim.
The very worst claims adjusters pull out all the stops and dirty tricks to try and avoid paying any money on your case. They’re so good at manipulating the situation that most victims don’t realize that the smiling claims adjuster is stabbing them in the back with a sharp knife while using his other hand to give them their small and insignificant settlement check.
Experienced and cagey adjusters use their training to try and get you to settle cases early during a claim and for an amount substantially less than what you may be entitled to. They are instructed to try and get an injured person or his family to sign a written and binding full and final settlement release before all of your injuries are diagnosed, before you have fully recovered from all of your injures and, before all of your future medical treatment and bills are reasonably determined by your doctors and other specialist.
Insurance claims adjusters are highly trained to do whatever they can to get claims settled early and for pennies on the dollar before all of your damages have been determined. Unfortunately, we’ve had injury victims who never talked to a lawyer before settling their case call us. They’ve spent all of their settlement, and now need more money. They continue to have medical problems and now can’t afford the expensive care or treatment.
Bad Settlements by Good People
In some instances, clients told us they entered into what they thought was a good settlement only to find out later that their case was worth hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars more. Frankly, for obvious reasons, these stories make us sick to our stomach.
We know that because of the low settlement, the client is now forced to live the rest of her life with a debilitating injury and has no funds to pay for her medical treatment. We also know that the insurance company did not negotiate at arm’s length with the injury victim and placed its own best financial interest before everyone else.
When this life-changing realization happens and the victim asks for our help, in most cases, there’s nothing that can be done to help because of the written settlement agreement.
You see, when you settle your case incorrectly and later find out later that you need more treatment or surgery, too bad. If you are later fired because you can’t do your job and because of this, loose earnings or worse, the ability to work at any job in the future, too bad. Unless these factors have been included in the settlement negotiations and supported by expert opinions and testimony, you’ve waived your right to this compensation forever!
Experience Counts When it Comes to Settling Your Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Case
The bottom line is that we’ve been helping victims of personal injury and wrongful death for almost 3 decades. Together, our Senior Partners have more than 57 years of combined experience.
What we’ve seen during this period of time is victim after victim calling our office for help after they settled their case with the insurance company years earlier. Tragically, when this happens, there’s nothing we can do. It’s too late. The case is done.
What we can do and what we feel we need to do is stand up on top of our desk and SHOUT AS LOUD AS WE CAN that injury victims need to be careful and smart about protecting their rights. Victims need to get their questions answered and be made aware of their legal rights so they can make smart long-term decisions.
What we can do is make sure that if you or a loved one has been hurt and is in the process of bringing a claim for damages, you need to know that it’s OK to level the playing field and to make sure you fully understand the extent of your injury and what kind of treatment or surgery you will require. What we can do each and every day is work as hard as we can to protect all of the injured rabbits in the world from all of the hungry and mean spirited lions.
Look, our simple and straightforward recommendation is not to talk to any insurance representatives or investigators until you’ve found, interviewed and hired an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer to help you with your case. Our recommendation is to not provide any oral or written statements to anyone. We also insist that you not sign any documents until you know your rights.
Our advice is to make sure that before you even think about settling a case, you fully understand the extent of your injuries and fully appreciate whether or not you are going to have any future long-term problems or medical needs. Information is power and when used correctly, it can help you avoid becoming the main course inside the cage.
So what’s the motto of this story? Well, if nothing else, it’s to make sure you understand how important it is to be well informed and surround yourself with legal experts. It’s to show you how to level the playing field with the billion dollar insurance companies and to make sure your legal rights are protected. It’s to make sure you know who the lions are in the world of personal injury and wrongful death.