Some 90 percent of personal injury cases are settled out of court, but that doesn’t mean all these plaintiffs handle negotiations with insurers on their own. Having legal representation by an auto accident lawyer can be important for obtaining the financial compensation the person deserves when someone else caused a vehicle collision.
The Initial Process
Insurance companies have guidelines their adjusters are to follow when evaluating claims. Naturally, the companies want to minimize payments. If the claimant does not accept the first settlement offer and demands a higher amount, the company may delay a response, offer an amount that is still too low, or refuse to negotiate further. After an attorney becomes involved in the case, the insurance company tends to take the matter more seriously. Now there is an actual risk of a lawsuit and going to trial.
Reasons Insurers Want to Settle
For several reasons, insurers do not like going to court and encourage their adjusters to come to an agreement on settlements with plaintiffs. First, there is no telling what a jury might decide. They could find in favor of the plaintiff and award more money than the person had been asking for a settlement. The insurer is only obligated to pay the maximum amount of the policy, but that maximum can be substantial.
Second, there may be negative publicity about the insurance company. The plaintiff’s lawyer may dig up some unfavorable details during the discovery process that will be made public. In addition, the public response toward big corporations seemingly acting unfairly toward unfortunate individuals is overwhelmingly negative. The policyholder also may not be happy about any of this. A trial means publicity about a serious accident that he or she may have caused.
Why Personal Injury Lawyers Are Important
The insurer would much prefer to negotiate a settlement with a lawyer such as Doug Allen, personal injury attorney, who is representing the plaintiff. The lawyer is better able than the individual to prepare documentation and any persuasive written arguments that will convince the corporation to accept the plaintiff’s monetary demand. Injured persons who need money tend to become impatient and more likely to accept a low offer.