Should I Take the Insurance Company’s Offer Without Consulting an Attorney?

July 24, 2018

Should I Take the Insurance Company’s Offer Without Consulting an Attorney?

By Chris Hendricks, Fox Law APC

If you, a family member, or a friend is involved in an accident and suffered injuries, you may be curious whether you should seek out an attorney to represent you in your claim with the insurance company. This dilemma often comes to the forefront after a “friendly insurance adjuster” reaches out to an injured person in order reach a quick settlement.

While accepting a quick settlement offer may appear to have its benefits, there is mounting evidence that individuals who retain an attorney receive significantly higher value settlements than those that try to go it alone.

A study from the Insurance Research Counsel (IRC) issued by the IRC looked at insurance payouts for auto accidents and its relationship to attorney representation.  This report showed a large disparity, where injured individuals with attorneys recovered 350% more than those who did not hire an attorney[1]. The All-Industry Research Advisory Counsel (ARAC) came to a similar conclusion, that when an attorney is involved in a claim, the settlement or overall award an individual receives is significantly higher per dollar of economic loss than if they try to resolve their claim without an attorney[2].

Simply put, insurance companies make money by paying out as little as possible, it is not in their best interest to pay for the entirety of a claimants’ injuries or to adequately value the pain and suffering endured by individuals who have been injured. All too frequently, injured individuals do not know how to properly value their claim and receive offers and settlements far lower that what they would achieve if they hired a skilled attorney to represent them.

[1] Insurance Research Council. (1999). Paying for Auto Injuries: A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims. Malvern, PA: The Institutes.

[2] All-Industry Research Advisory Council. (1988). Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims.