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  • Three Times More?

    Fact or Myth: Is There More Money in a Settlement If You Hire an Attorney?

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    Fact or Myth: Is There More Money in a Settlement If You Hire an Attorney?

No matter how careful you are or how much you try to avoid any accident, it may happen because of another’s negligence or recklessness. With medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, an accident can make you vulnerable. If you’re not prepared for the pressure and stress that follows after filing a claim, you’ll recover much less than your case’s total value.

Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have pursued over 3,000 personal injury cases since 2005. We’ve worked with clients who received lowball settlement offers from insurance clients, and with our help, we’ve negotiated a better deal for them. 

With a skilled attorney by your side, you can recover more settlement than if you were without legal representation, and that’s a fact we will discuss here.

Evidence of More Money in a Settlement with an Attorney

Victims often do not believe us when we say there is more money in a settlement if you hire an attorney. They feel like attorneys are looking to grab a piece of the settlement pie. To avoid that, they head into a personal injury claim without legal representation, often leaving money damages on the table.

Don’t take our word for it; three studies and reports provide concrete evidence of securing more compensation when you head into a personal injury claim with an experienced personal injury attorney.

In 1999, more than 20 years ago, the Insurance Research Council researched “Paying for Auto Injuries: A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims,” examining the settlements and compensation recovered across 6,000 injured victims. The research study’s findings revealed that injured victims with skilled legal representation recovered 40% more than those without one.

Another report published by the Insurance Research Council in 1994, “Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs,” assessed nearly 62,000 paid insurance claims across 61 major auto insurance. The research found that around 85% of the claims processed by the insurers were paid to injured victims represented by experienced personal injury attorneys.

In 2014, the Insurance Research Council released a report titled “Medical Costs for Auto Injury Claims Outpace Inflation,” which evaluated 35,000 personal injury claims across 12 insurance companies. The findings suggested that insurance companies were more likely to pay injured claimants for medical expenses when there was an attorney involved.

Another report published by the Insurance Research Council in 2014, “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury,” examined trends in the rate of attorney involvement in auto injury claims. The report revealed that victims with legal representation recovered $1.59 per dollar in damages following their accidents compared to those without legal representation, which only obtained $1.26 per dollar in damages.

Should You Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer after Your Accident?

After an accident, injured victims spend their days, weeks, and sometimes months in and out of the hospital for their medical treatment. Some victims have to routinely visit for therapy and rehabilitation, while others have surgeries and doctor consultations.

During this time, you may not even think about pursuing a personal injury claim until it’s too late. Injured victims who bring a lawsuit against the negligent party’s insurance company struggle to handle the insurance adjuster, with their stress levels reaching the roof.

Although you may feel that the insurance adjuster is taking pity on you when talking to you about your claim, what they’re doing is taking advantage of your vulnerability. They’ll cozy up to you, and through their polite talk, they’ll lowball a settlement offer telling you that that’s the best they can do. It’s all a lie!

Claims adjusters have the training to feed off the victim’s vulnerabilities and coerce them into accepting lower settlements, which means more profit for the insurance companies and payday for executives for making their shareholders happy.

Whether you feel the offer is fair or not, you may feel compelled to accept it as the medical debt rises and unpaid bills start coming your way. The financial pressure is enough for you and any other injured victim without legal representation to accept the settlement offer and move on with the recovery.

Another thing to remember is that when you accept the settlement offer, the insurance company will have you sign a document that bars you and the insurer from suing each other later on. When you sign the document, you’re signing away your rights. Little do you realize that the settlement won’t even cover your medical bills, and you won’t be left with any after the medical providers come knocking on your door for payments.

Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential to help avoid all the challenges associated with pursuing a personal injury claim. When an insurance company knows that the claimant has legal representation, especially if the attorney is reputable, they won’t make any ridiculous offers.

Another advantage to having an attorney is that you focus on your recovery while the attorney and their legal team handle your claim’s administration and legal aspects.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Increase the Value of Your Settlement?

An experienced personal injury attorney knows how the insurance companies operate and the strategies they use, which means an insurance company will not bully or push you around if you have legal representation.

Here are a few ways our personal injury lawyer can help increase the value of your settlement.

Represent Your Best Interest

When you hire a personal injury attorney, they will work with your best interests in mind, allowing you to spend time recovering without worrying and stressing about the legal process. 

Suppose your personal injury attorney believes that the compensation offered is not a fair settlement. In that case, they will fight and negotiate a better offer rather than accept it and move on to another case.

Collect All Evidence

Evidence plays a critical role in substantiating bodily injury claims. Some essential evidence includes police reports, photographs and videos of the accident scene, medical reports, medical bills, and communication between all parties involved.

Every personal injury case is unique, and the evidence required to substantiate bodily injury claims will vary from one claim to another. For example, in a car accident case, an attorney may get access to CCTV footage to prove the other party’s negligence.

Without legal representation, you may end up handing in evidence that jeopardizes your case. Experienced personal injury lawyers know the type of evidence that can bolster your case and work towards gathering it.

Handle the Paperwork

When pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent party’s insurance company, it is crucial to have all the necessary paperwork, correctly fill out claim forms, and adhere to the process requirements.

An injured victim who is not accustomed to pursuing a claim can make a mistake that can adversely affect their claim.

Thoroughly Evaluate Your Losses

Insurance companies will evaluate the claim and assess the damages incurred when they receive a claim. In most cases, their evaluation is often lower and unfavorable for injured victims.

Skilled personal injury attorneys can assess and calculate the damages following the accident and provide supporting evidence to prove it. They may also bring in medical experts who give their views on the damages and even use prior case verdicts to support the value of your claim if the insurance company starts acting up.

Pursue the Lawsuit on Your Behalf

Filing a personal injury lawsuit is tedious, and injured victims must abide by the legal process. If you’re unsure what you’re doing, you may make mistakes and jeopardize your case. 

Reputable personal injury attorneys do this daily, and they can help navigate the legal process, ensuring you avoid all the hurdles or errors that victims without legal representation face.

An insurance company will try to stretch out the negotiations phase so that you run out of time to pursue a personal injury lawsuit (statute of limitations).

Focus on Reducing Your Fault

In states with a comparative negligence rule, insurance companies like to pin the blame for the accident on the injured victim to reduce their policyholder’s liability. 

With an attorney on your side, they can work by gathering evidence to reduce your fault as much as possible to ensure a maximum settlement.

Build a Trial-ready Case

An experienced attorney not only builds a strong case but focuses on building a trial-ready case because you never know when the insurance company may disagree over a fair settlement. The attorney can threaten or immediately take the personal injury case to trial if that happens.

Most cases do settle outside of court, but it is best to let an attorney with trial experience build a trial-ready case so they are ready to represent you in court whenever needed. A successful trial can result in higher compensation than a settlement, but it can take time and require your patience throughout the lawsuit.

Most accident victims are not familiar with the laws that apply to their case, nor do they know how to tackle the pressure from insurance companies. Hiring an experienced attorney after your personal injury accident is the best move you can make, as they can help you get more money out of the insurance company and let you focus on your recovery rather than stressing over the legal process.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

Ehline Law is a leading personal injury law firm with offices in California and Texas. We have handled over 3,000 personal injury cases and compensated our injured clients with over $150 million.

Our personal injury attorneys will help assess your case, and if you have a valid claim, we will aggressively pursue the insurance company to get you the compensation you deserve.

Whether you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident, a slip and fall, or any other accident, contact us at (833) LETS-SUE for a free consultation to discuss your case, as you may be eligible for compensation.

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Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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