Why Trying to Handle Your Own Personal Injury Case is a Big Mistake!
Insurance companies are focused on one thing — making money. And trying to handle your injury case without a lawyer is like putting a baby bunny rabbit into a cage with a hungry, full-grown lion. The outcome is not only predictable, but painful (especially if you’re the rabbit!)
Here’s a fact: claims adjusters are highly trained professionals. Their job is to do what’s best for their company, not what’s best for you.
Claim adjusters help major insurance companies make billions of dollars each year. They earn end-of-year bonuses for minimizing what they pay out in claims and maximize how much money they help company executives put in their pockets.
Claims Adjusters and You = Lion and the Rabbit
It’s difficult — if not impossible — for most people to tell the difference between the good and bad adjusters.
The problem is that both the good and bad claims adjusters receive hundreds of hours of specialized education about how to handle the claims process. Regardless of what the law says, they are encouraged to “become your best friend” and taught how to minimize the amount of money they pay out to you on a claim.
The very worst claims adjusters — the lions, as I like to call them — pull out all the stops and dirty tricks to try and avoid paying money on your case. They’re so good at manipulating the situation that most victims — the innocent rabbits — don’t realize that the smiling lion is offering a tiny carrot (a small, insignificant settlement check) while keeping the rest of the garden for himself.
Experienced and cagey adjusters use their training to get you to settle cases early during a claim for an amount substantially less than what you may be entitled to. They try to get an injured person or his family to sign a written and binding full and final settlement release before all of their injuries are diagnosed, before they have fully recovered from all of their injuries and before all of future medical treatments and bills have been reasonably determined by doctors and specialists.
The Risks of a Bad Settlement
Insurance claims adjusters are highly trained to do whatever they can to get claims settled early — for much less — before all damages have been determined. Insurance companies do not negotiate at arm’s length with injury victims and place their own best financial interest before anything else.
Unfortunately, we see it all the time. We’ve had accident victims call us with questions after settling their case (and before ever speaking with a lawyer) only to find they’ve spent their entire settlement on medical bills. Often, they find themselves needing more money to cover expensive care of treatment for their injuries.
In some instances, clients entered into what they thought was a good settlement only to find out later that their case was worth hundreds of thousands (and even millions) of dollars more.
What’s worse is when nothing can be done to help a victim who is later fired, loses earnings, or doesn’t have the ability to work any job in the future due to the injuries.
When this life-changing realization happens, and the victim asks for our help, in most cases, there’s nothing that can be done because of the written settlement agreement. Unless these factors have been included in the settlement negotiations and supported by expert opinions and testimony, the victim has waived their right to related compensation forever!
This is How We Help Keep Rabbits Out of the Lion’s Cage
• Raise awareness -- we stand up on our desks and SHOUT AS LOUD AS WE CAN that injury victims need to be careful and smart about protecting their rights. We do this by getting their questions answered and making sure consumers are aware of their legal rights so they can make smart, long-term decisions.
• Inform consumers -- we make sure that those who are hurt and who are in the process of bringing a claim for damages fully understand the extent of their injuries and the kind of treatment or surgery required (and its cost).
We’ve been helping victims of personal injury and wrongful death for more than three decades. Together, our Senior Partners have almost 70 combined years of settlement, litigation, and trial experience. We work together to protect all of the injured rabbits in the world from all of the hungry and mean-spirited lions — the claims adjusters.
Our Advice To Any Injured Rabbit
• Avoid talking to any insurance representatives or investigators until you’ve found, interviewed, and hired an experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyer.
• Do not provide any oral or written statements to anyone, and do not sign any documents until you know your rights.
• Before you think about settling a case, make sure you fully understand the extent of your injuries and appreciate whether or not you are going to have any future long-term problems or medical needs. Information is power, and when used correctly, it is your key out of the lion’s cage.
So what’s the bottom line? If nothing else, make sure you understand how important it is to be well informed and surround yourself with legal experts. It’s our right to level the playing field with the billion-dollar insurance companies and make sure your legal rights are protected.
Know who the hungry lions are in the world of personal injury and wrongful death, and fight back the right way.
Mitch Jackson and Lisa Wilson are the founding partners of Jackson & Wilson, Inc., a top-rated (ability and ethics) California litigation and trial law firm. Learn more and get your questions answered by visiting their website at https://JacksonandWilson.com