Pursuing your personal injury claim when you do not have an attorney can be among the more complicated tasks you may take. From the beginning, there can be complications that affect how your injury claim pans out. Even a relatively straightforward auto accident claim can get difficult due to interferences from an auto insurance adjuster during negotiations.
Does negotiating with an auto insurance adjuster automatically mean you need to hire a car accident lawyer, though? Before you dive headfirst into one decision or another, our attorneys from McGowan & Cecil, LLC in Laurel, Maryland would like to take a moment to go over a few key considerations about insurance adjuster negotiations.
Insurers are Not on Your Side
The insurance company does not work for you. The insurance adjuster that you are dealing with, even if it is your own insurance company, will still work in the insurance company’s best interest and not yours. They will do everything they can to minimize your case and pay as little as possible.
Insurance adjusters do not impress their bosses by paying out lots of money. While it is true that insurance adjusters have a duty not to operate in bad faith, they are experienced in this field and know all the ins and outs of insurance company laws and regulations that you do not. They often do not have to volunteer important information to you unless asked, for example.
A few hours reading on the internet will not provide you the level of knowledge necessary to counteract the attempts of the insurance company’s “expert” insurance adjuster. If you want to make certain who have an answer to all of their tactics, then you will want to hire a lawyer as soon as possible.
Multiple Sources for Medical Bill Coverage
You may obtain PIP payment for your medical bills and receive payment from the liability insurance carrier for those same medical bills. Do not let the insurance adjuster lead you to believe because something is already paid, then they do not need to compensate you again. The law is clear that the collateral source rule in Maryland permits you to recover medical bills that were already paid.
Furthermore, your PIP contract allows you to recover payment for bills incurred. This important language does not mean the payment is only to be made for bills outstanding. You paid for a promise written with specific language, and you need to get what you paid for. Do not let the adjuster tell you that’s “double-dipping.” Even if your health insurance paid for your medical bills, you are still entitled to PIP payment. This is important because you are not necessarily getting a windfall. You will still likely have to pay back your health insurance company for their lien.
Understanding Accident Attorney Fees
“You don’t want to hire an attorney because half of what I am offering you will go to them.” Did you hear this line from an insurance adjuster? It is sometimes repeated by claimants who come to our firm for a case review, and who had been misled by an insurance adjuster.
While it is true a car accident attorney is deserving of a fair portion of winnings, it is incredibly misleading to say that they will ultimately reduce what the claimant could have been paid without them. Insurance adjusters try to convince inexperienced claimants into believing that they are getting the best deal and that hiring an attorney would only result in losing a substantial portion of that deal. What the insurance adjuster does not tell you is that there is a high probability that what they are offering you is nowhere near the true value of your case. An experienced personal injury attorney can not only significantly maximize the recovery, but often also reduce what you are legally required to pay back out of that recovery.
Don’t be quick to sign the settlement documents. You often don’t know what the “bottom line” is until you have first determined what you have to pay back to lienholders and doctors out of the insurance company offer.
Should You Hire an Auto Accident Lawyer for Negotiations?
You can think of hiring an attorney for your insurance company negotiations like hiring a professional in any other situation in which you are not experienced. For example, you probably hire a professional to handle all sorts of tasks around your home, like calling a plumber when the kitchen sink won’t stop leaking water. You do not want your inexperience to make the situation worse by increasing the damage while trying to “fix” it yourself. Attempting to negotiate with an insurance company representative on your own can end up doing more harm than good, causing you to lose a significant amount of your financial recovery that you would never even know you had if you never worked with a lawyer.
To see what McGowan & Cecil, LLP can do for your auto accident case, including negotiating for a fair settlement amount, please call (301) 761-2007 today and arrange a free consultation. With more than 100 years of collective legal experience, we know you will be happy to have us by your side.