If you’re wondering whether your lawyer and the insurance company can work together, the short answer would be maybe. Lawyers and insurance companies represent vastly different interests when it comes to claims.
But if they never work together, how do they reach a reasonable settlement deal for everyone? One reason is that there are many interwoven interests in the negotiation process. As veteran lawyers here at Pacific West Injury, here is how we reach deals that maximize client interests.
Settle the Claim as Fast as Possible
Quick settlements are one way for lawyers and insurance companies to have similar goals. For the client, a faster settlement allows them to get money quickly to pay medical expenses, bills, and other costs caused by the injury.
Insurance companies want to settle as quickly as possible to avoid any future medical and personal expenses. They know that future complications can arise, increasing the settlement amount.
In addition, most states require insurance companies to settle quickly—usually within a month of accepting a claim. Unless there are contentions around the claim, you could settle as soon as three months from the date of filing.
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According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, insurance fraud costs the US more than $40 billion per annum. Common examples of this fraud include padding, misrepresenting claims, and even staging accidents.
Inflating injuries also occur, especially when dealing with intangible, unquantifiable metrics such as “pain and suffering.” When there are contentions about such things, documentation and expert witnesses will be necessary, together with a level of cooperation from both parties.
While the lawyer represents the client’s interests, they may have to work with the insurance company to solve this issue. Claims of dishonesty and fraud, even if unproven, can soil the reputation of everyone, so all parties have to work together to iron out doubts.
Avoid Going to Trial
Personal injury claims can drag on for years. For the insurance company and the attorney’s firm, this can get expensive and impractical, especially since personal injury attorneys are paid on a contingency fee basis—that means they only get paid if they win the case.
If the case gets thrown out or drags on for too long, the claim becomes a financial burden to all parties. As personal injury lawyers, we know that settling the claim sooner ensures satisfaction for the client so we can collect our fees.
Settling the claim sooner is also in the insurance company’s best interest. If the claim goes to trial, there are more chances that things could work against the insurer. Thus, it is in their best interests to settle sooner and avoid the courts altogether.
Ensure You Go Back to Work Sooner
Your lawyer and the insurance firm can work together to ensure you get back to work sooner. The lawyer’s objective is the protection of your interests as a valued client. If you have recovered fully or can work, going back to work is your best course to ensure financial stability.
For the insurer’s part, getting the victim back to work sooner reduces the chances of future claims and escalating costs. It also reduces the settlement amount, which often includes lost income and benefits.
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Retain Control for a More Predictable Outcome
According to The Law Dictionary, about 95% of personal injury cases in the US are settled pre-trial. Lawyers and adjusters know that no matter how confident they feel about their side of the story, surprises can arise. When a lawyer doesn’t work with the insurance company, anything can happen.
As lawyers, we prefer to minimize uncertainty and risk for your best interests. When your lawyer and the insurance company aren’t on the same page, either party can pull a surprise on the other and turn the tide on the whole process.
Even when the case doesn’t go to trial, disagreements can extend the claim for months or years. It is much easier for your lawyer to work with the insurance company to reach an agreement sooner because it reduces uncertainties and additional costs for the parties.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer Before You Talk to the Insurance Company
Did you know that the majority of the insurers contact victims within 24 hours? This is when you’re most vulnerable, which means they can lure you into accepting a lowball offer. They don’t want you to talk to a lawyer when negotiating with them.
The sweet-talking adjusters are masters of their craft and will use any means. For one, the agents will encourage you to talk to them, knowing that any information you share will be used against you to reduce the settlement amounts or even throw out the claim entirely.
The truth is, initial settlement offers are seldom in your best interests. And, once you accept them, legal clauses prevent you from ever filing a claim on the same injury again.
Should You Get Involved with the Insurance Company?
You should always talk to a lawyer before negotiating with the insurance company. Let the lawyer handle all communications with adjusters. If you must speak with insurance agents, keep everything basic and factual and only tell them the following:
- You were in an accident
- You informed the police
- You exchanged insurance information with the other person in the accident
- You filed a report with the police
- You sustained injuries from the accident
- Stick to facts contained in the official statement about the accident and avoid speculation
Keep in mind that insurance companies are in business, and it’s their goal to reduce the claim amount as much as possible. Therefore, they will try to trap you with your own words, actions, and even social media activity and use it against you to turn things in their favor.
Let Us Help with Insurance Negotiations
Our skilled lawyers are knowledgeable in personal injury and know all the tricks insurer agents use. We help you get a reasonable settlement in an accident claim.
As lawyers, we work together with insurance companies to hasten the claims process so that you can settle and return to work sooner. Our attorneys at Pacific West Injury can guide the claims process and protect your interest. Contact us today to get started.