While insurance adjusters by and large are not bad people, they are employed to settle claims and ultimately save the insurance company money. They do this by lowballing the value of your case or by taking a larger cut of your settlement than they have a fair right to.
So how do you protect your interests and your pocketbook? You need a lawyer! Read on for three ways the right attorney can save you thousands.
- The Initial Settlement
You’ve been injured in a wreck. The other driver was at fault and his insurance company wants to settle. Don’t think for a second that you will get fair value for your case without a lawyer’s help! More times than not the adjuster will offer to cover your medical bills, and a few thousand for your pain and suffering. That may seem fair enough, but what if you require surgery in 10 years as a result of this accident? What if the offer doesn’t cover the time you were out of work?These are the types of things your lawyer should take into consideration when settling your case. The cash value difference could be tens of thousands of dollars!
- Your Own Insurance
Quite often we pay our monthly premium for car insurance and never even look at what we pay for. The options to increase your bill are staggering, and while some are worthless, other add-ons carry real value. None more so than uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage. If you choose to carry UM/UIM coverage the state minimum is $25,000. This is money your own insurance company will pay you if the other driver’s insurance isn’t enough to cover it. Since the state minimum liability coverage is only $25,000 this extra coverage could be invaluable.
But it’s not always as simple as a phone call to get paid. Before you can access the cash you may have to let your insurance carrier in on the decision making process regarding the person who hit you. For example, if you settle a claim against the other party without consulting your own insurance the UIM/UM policy could be void! An experienced lawyer knows how to get you the most cash out of the most pockets.
- Your Health Insurer
This is perhaps the most difficult part of the settlement process, and certainly the most confusing for our clients. Most people don’t understand that just because you pay your deductible that that is not necessarily all you’ll have to pay your insurer for your recovery. If you have several thousand in medical bills and you suddenly get a lump sum of cash in a settlement, your insurer has a right to some of your settlement to pay them back for the money they paid the hospital on your behalf. This is known as subrogation, and it stinks!
How much you’ll have to pay back, if any, is the result of a complex back and forth between your experienced lawyer and your insurance company. There are numerous legal principles that your attorney can employ to argue that you either don’t owe any money at all, or in the very least you owe pennies on the dollar.
Unfortunately in the worst case you might end up owing a large chunk of your settlement to your insurance company, but it takes a lawyer who is in the know to make sure you get to keep the most out of your check. Before you accept the first offer from the insurance adjuster your attorney will make absolutely sure you have gotten the most money possible. While you’ll have to share some of your reward with your lawyer, the odds are excellent that the right attorney can get you enough to more than cover his fees.
Do you know an experienced attorney? Would you like to speak with one? Contact us today!