Insurance companies fulfill a valuable service, but a person that was seriously injured in an accident needs to keep this truth in mind: THE INSURANCE COMPANY DOES NOT CARE WHAT IS FAIR, ONLY HOW LITTLE THE COMPANY CAN PAY.
Because of this, the insurance company’s adjusters and attorneys often take advantage of some common myths and emotions. Here are some of the most common:
- The other driver’s insurance company will treat me fairly because I am cooperative.
Not true. The opposing insurance company has little obligation to you and is your adversary in this matter. The company’s system is designed to pay as little as possible to resolve the claim.
- The insurance company will treat me fairly because the accident was not my fault.
Not true. Even if the fault for the accident is clear, the real fight is over what the company should pay for your injuries and losses. Again, the company will try to pay as little as possible.
- The insurance company will treat me fairly because I am seriously injured.
Not true. The company has been practicing ways to make catastrophic losses seem like no big deal for centuries. Proving the consequences of this accident on your life is harder than you think.
- The insurance company has lots of experience with injury claims and I do not. The company’s representatives will know what is fair for my claim and will offer me that amount.
Do I really have to tell you this is not true? Again, they won’t offer you a fair amount unless they have to.
- I am not a greedy person, so I don’t need an attorney.
Not true. You are not a greedy person but you do need an attorney. Receiving fair compensation is not greed. You need an attorney to get fair compensation. If you feel like the insurance company is offering you too much, just let us know. We’ll call a press conference.
- My claim will resolve faster if I don’t get an attorney.
Partially true. You can settle immediately for less than you deserve. Getting a fair amount takes more time, but not because you hired an attorney—only because you refused to get ripped off.
- The insurance company will stop being nice to me if I get an attorney.
Not true. The company representatives will stop being nice to you when you start asking for fair compensation, whether you have an attorney or not. You just won’t be able to do much about it without an attorney. If you are outsized by the bully on the playground, having a big stick and knowing how to swing it is a great equalizer.
- I am not a litigious person. I just don’t sue people. The company will appreciate that and will pay me fairly for my injuries and losses.
The first two sentences are true. The last one is not. The insurance company wants people to feel guilty if they pursue lawsuits, so it can pay you less than you deserve. By the way, insurance companies are litigious—and rich. Who are you protecting by not pushing for fair compensation? Also, your best chance of not going to court usually comes by being properly prepared to go to court. We know you don’t want your case to go to a jury trial if it can be avoided, and we work with that in mind.
- I need to get this claim settled quickly so I can move on emotionally.
Probably not true. If you are seriously injured, there is usually no reason to settle before you have done all you can to heal. If you settle, but still continue with medical issues, the settlement doesn’t much help you to move on—you still have your injuries. Settling for less than what is fair in order to “wrap it up” will probably irritate you for years, not help you move on emotionally. The better course is to fully address your injuries before deciding what to request as fair compensation.
- I need to settle quickly so no legal deadlines expire.
Not true. Yes, there are deadlines, and you need to make sure you know what they are by consulting with an attorney. Even the shortest of these in Arizona gives you several months to two years after the accident before you would be in trouble. Don’t let the insurance company make you feel like you have to reach a fast settlement or they are going to not pay you, or pay you less later. Early settlements generally mean less money to you, not more.
- I will end up with less money if I hire an attorney.
Usually not true, at least in our firm. Having the right attorney can make a remarkable difference in proving the full extent of the harms and losses you have experienced. That increase will far exceed the percentage you pay your attorney, so you will be money ahead. More importantly, you will have greater peace of mind knowing that someone knowledgeable is on your side.
Help That Will Really Matter
So, if you have been injured in a way that has really altered your life, and you want to get some help, how do you know who to hire? There are probably more than a thousand personal injury lawyers in Arizona, and they are not equally capable of helping you. Obviously, we think we should be high on you list for consideration, and we have sound reasons for believing this. The article entitled 10 Qualities That Really Matter in Finding The Right Lawyer will help you know what you are looking for among those many attorneys out there.