Insurance companies’ own research shows that accident victims who retain a personal injury attorney receive an average of forty percent more money than those who attempt to settle their case on their own, even after the legal fees are deducted from the final settlement.
The Insurance Research Council, funded by leading property and casualty insurance companies and associations, conducted a study comparing the values of final settlements for people with and without attorney representation. Overwhelmingly, those with attorney representation received higher settlement offers. In fact, when looking at the money paid out in liability bodily injury claims, plaintiffs with attorneys (less than half of the overall claims) received 79% of the total payouts.
Allstate Insurance Company is known to instruct its insurance adjusters to dissuade claimants from hiring an attorney. The reason why is clear from their own statistic: for claims with a policy limit of $15,000 (the minimum policy required by the state of California), plaintiffs who represented themselves averaged $3,464. Those who had an attorney averaged $7,450, more than twice as much.
It is crucial for claimants understand that each and every insurance adjuster is trained to think of the company’s bottom line. In other words, the less money they hand out in claims translates to more profit for the company at the end of the year. Adjusters are trained to make low ball offers, regardless of the amount of medical bills and lost wages, knowing that uninformed accident victims are likely to accept any amount.
These facts are why an experienced personal injury attorney can make a world of difference to your case and final settlement. An attorney such as James M. Bergener has seen and fought off every tactic the insurance companies have in their book. In addition to expertise, our law firm has the resources to fight each claim as aggressively as necessary. We do not hesitate to file a claim if we believe it will benefit your final settlement.
A consultation with us at Bergener & Associates is completely free, so you have nothing to lose. We can help you determine whether or not you have a claim, and can advise you on how best to proceed. We are happy to answer any of your questions, even if you’re hesitant about hiring an attorney.