The insurance industry is a mystery to many people, who have never had to deal with an insurer before. This is particularly true for those with a personal injury claim they are working to resolve. If you find yourself in a situation where you are working with an insurer on your personal injury claim, the insurer and their adjuster and attorney are working from a playbook that no one outside the industry will ever tell you about. It is a playbook filled with secrets and traps for the inexperienced.
Our experienced Illinois injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. want to share some of the industry’s dirty little secrets with you, which we’ve learned in the course of our more than fifteen-year history of representing accident victims and those who have suffered personal injuries in a variety of different settings.
- Insurance Companies Would Rather You Not Hire An Attorney – Insurance companies typically pay much, much less for personal injury claims where the claimant is not represented by an attorney. Therefore, it is not unusual for a claims adjuster or counsel for the insurer to tell you something to the effect of “you don’t need to hire a lawyer, hiring a lawyer will only reduce the amount of money that you take home.”
However, having a lawyer on your side will make them take your claim much more seriously. Our firm has years of experience, and as soon as we get involved in a case on behalf of a client where they are negotiating with the insurer on their own, the amounts being offered by the insurer go up, sometimes considerably. This is because they know you have someone in your corner who truly understands the value of your claim and the insurer will not be able to get away with trying to pressure you to accept a low-ball offer.
- Insurance Companies Factor the Cost of Defending a Claim into Their Decisions – Another secret that an insurer will never share with you is that they factor the cost of defense into settlement decisions and offer amounts. If you have an experienced personal injury lawyer that the insurer knows will be aggressive in fighting for you, the insurance company is more likely to settle your claim and fully compensate you in a way they would not if you hired an attorney that they thought would not offer them any resistance.
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we are willing, and regularly do, file lawsuits on behalf of our clients and take those lawsuits all the way through to the end of a jury trial if the insurer involved is unwilling to compensate one of our clients for the full and fair value of that client’s personal injury claim. The insurers we deal with know this and so our clients come to the negotiating table already ahead of the game because we won’t just take any offer thrown at us to settle our client’s personal injury claims. Instead, we will fight for our client until the insurer is willing to fully compensate our client for the full value of their personal injury claim.
- Insurers Make Money by Paying as Little as Possible in Claims – This one may strike you as obvious, but insurers are in the business of making money. They collect premiums and hope to minimize the number and value of the claims they pay out. This results in insurers wanting to pay out the absolute minimum amount possible on each claim or to deny even meritorious claims. Therefore, it is in the insurer’s financial interest to either deny meritorious claims or to pay as little as possible to settle personal injury or other claims asserted under the policies they have sold to their policyholders. The insurer thus has a built-in financial incentive to pay as little as possible to settle your personal injury claim simply because it makes more money the less it pays out, regardless of the merits of your claim or how injured you are.
- The Insurer Typically Makes All The Decisions – Suppose you are involved in a car accident and the other driver is at fault and causes you to suffer serious injuries. Although the other driver’s insurer has a duty to defend its policyholder and will hire an attorney to defend the driver who caused your injuries, that attorney is conflicted. He or she owes an ethical duty to the driver who caused the accident, but the insurer is the party paying the attorney’s bills. Even though that driver may want your case to just go away, the insurer is the one making the decision as to whether and how much to pay out on your personal injury claim. This obviously puts both the attorney for the other driver as well as the other driver in a difficult position and is one reason why the experienced personal injury attorneys of Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. make it a point to gather all relevant evidence and details regarding your claim before commencing any negotiations. This makes it easier for us to put pressure directly on the insurer through the use of accident reports, medical records, or other evidence that is harmful to their negotiating position.
- Every Policy Contains an Implied Duty to Act in Good Faith and Deal Fairly with Any Claims – Under Illinois law, every insurance policy has an implied duty of good faith and fair dealing connected to that policy. This means that the insurer is required by law to deal with any claims made under that policy against the insured in a good faith manner and the insurer has a fiduciary obligation to make a good faith effort to settle claims made against the insured driver and protect its insured by doing so. Although insurers do not always act in this way, as described above, they are nevertheless required under Illinois law to do so.
Contact Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. if You Have Suffered Personal Injuries of Any Kind
At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we are experienced personal injury attorneys who have successfully represented clients for a myriad of personal injury claims. If you have been involved in an accident in the Chicago area, or anywhere else in Illinois, and have been injured, please call us today for a free consultation with one of our accident and personal injury lawyers at .
Our legal team won’t let you be taken advantage of by an insurer attempting to settle your personal injury claim on the cheap.