Q: The trucking company’s insurance adjuster says I don’t need a lawyer in order to settle my claim. Is he right?
You may be tempted to just accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, since dealing with insurers can be a time-consuming nuisance. However, taking that settlement offer may be a very expensive mistake.
Don’t Simply Settle
You should contact an attorney before you settle your truck accident claim. If you accept the insurance company’s offer without talking with a lawyer first, you may:
- Settle for too little. You’re at an inherent disadvantage when you attempt to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. Insurance adjusters negotiate claims for a living, and they are very skilled at doing so. You need an attorney who is equally skilled, and who recognizes the true value of your case. Your lawyer can also identify other types of insurance coverage that may be available to you, such as underinsured motorist, medical pay, and employer policies. On average, personal injury victims who have legal representation receive considerably larger settlements than victims who negotiate their claims themselves.
- Settle too quickly. It’s understandable to want your personal injury case resolved as soon as possible, but this can be a big mistake. When you accept the insurance company’s settlement offer, you’ll sign a release that absolves them of any future responsibility. This means that if you later discover that your injuries are more serious than you originally thought, you won’t be able to pursue additional compensation for your medical bills or lost income.
- Say the wrong things. If you’re negotiating with the insurance company yourself, you’ll likely be required to provide a recorded statement before the company makes a settlement offer. The insurance adjuster may prompt you to say things that are damaging to your case. You need legal representation to protect your interests by helping you avoid making statements that could jeopardize your claim.
Speak With an Attorney
Before you negotiate with the insurance company, you should contact at least one law firm for a free, no-obligation consultation. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.