Should You Talk to a Lawyer Before Talking to Insurance?
If you have been injured in an accident that was the fault of someone else, you may be contacted by the other party’s insurance provider. The representatives of the insurance company may want to ask you about the nature of the incident in detail. They may try to offer you a monetary settlement for your agreeing to waive your right to file a suit in court. You might be wondering if you should be talking to a lawyer.
You should absolutely have the advice and assistance of legal counsel before engaging with the insurance company in any way. The insurance company’s efforts are on behalf of their own bottom line. They are trying to find ways to give you less than what you deserve, whether by tempting you to take a lower offer than you deserve or catching you in a statement that they can use against you in court. An attorney can help you avoid giving them what they want.
The experienced Arlington personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. have years of experience battling with insurance companies on behalf of our clients. We know all of the common traps and pitfalls, and we can help you steer clear and get you the settlement that you deserve. For a consultation on your options, call our offices at (817) 476-1797.
Consequences of Talking to Insurance Companies About Your Personal Injury Claim Without a Lawyer
Insurance companies who may be liable to you as a result of an accident are not interested in acting in your best interest. Their goal is to limit or fully extinguish any monetary liability that they owe to you. The insurance business is profitable due to the ability of insurance agents to find ways around paying you. These strategies may seem innocent and by the book at first. Unfortunately, many don’t realize what is happening until it is too late.
Representatives of insurance companies will often attempt to get you to describe the accident in detail. They’ve already gotten a description from their own client, but now they want one from you. Why? It’s not because they are interested in your side of the story. Rules of evidence allow for the insurance companies to introduce statements that you make about the accident if they are made against your own interest. In other words, if you say anything that delegitimizes your claim, they can present it in court against you.
Claimants often get into trouble where they make any assumptions of blame. Never admit that any part of the incident is your fault. Even though it is instinctual for many of us, you don’t need to apologize for anything. Any statement you make that may seem like an apology can be construed as an admission of your own fault in the matter and can hurt your case.
You are allowed to have an attorney in any conversation with insurance agents. You may even direct the insurance companies to contact your attorneys directly and remove yourself entirely from the process. With the help of a Dallas personal injury attorney, you won’t have to give a second thought to whether you said the wrong thing.
Consequences of Negotiating Settlements with Insurance Companies Without a Lawyer
An insurance company may decide to offer you a settlement deal in exchange for your waiving of any potential claims. In other words, the insurance company wants to pay you if, in return, you legally agree to give up the option to bring your case to court.
Settlement agreements are common when dealing with insurance companies, because the process of pursuing your claim through the rigors of court can be financially and mentally taxing. For this reason, settling isn’t always a bad thing.
However, an insurance company that initially offers to settle with you over your personal injury isn’t necessarily interested in an equitable solution to your claim. They want the claim to go away with as little financial penalty to them as possible. For this reason, the first offer that you receive is often substantially lower than you might stand to recover in court.
Our Fort Worth personal injury attorneys have the experience necessary to determine if an insurance company is lowballing you. We can provide a reasonable assessment of the merits and value of your case, and present you with all of your available options. If you decide to settle, an attorney can examine the language of the fine print to ensure that you aren’t being taken advantage of.
When Is It Too Late to Call a Lawyer About a Personal Injury Insurance Settlement?
You may have already spoken to an insurance company or even agreed in principle to a settlement offer. However, you can still benefit from the advice of legal counsel. The simple fact is that, until the ink is dry on the settlement agreement, you have options, and the advice of our seasoned attorneys can only help your cause.
Even if for no other reason, getting an attorney involved in your case will demonstrate to the insurance companies that you mean business. Insurance settlements where the claimant involved legal counsel are likely to be substantially higher for just this reason.
Sick of Insurance Companies? Let Your Attorneys Handle It
If you aren’t sure how to respond to questions from an insurance company about your personal injury, or are stuck in the mud on settlement negotiations, you deserve the assistance of the dedicated Houston personal injury attorneys at The Queenan Law Firm, P.C. To get started, give us a call at (817) 476-1797.