WHY DO YOU CALL AN ATTORNEY?
There are various reasons to call an attorney. These include:
- You want to be on equal footing with the multi-billion-dollar insurance company which will direct the defense and attempt to defeat your claim in the usual case;
- There is an aggravation factor like a Chinese water drip for persons who have been involved in an accident not wanting to have to deal with a trained adjuster. They usually, in various ways, attempt to stack the deck in favor of the insurance company in obtaining evidence to help their insured. Most injured people would rather concentrate on their healthcare concerns and what needs to be done to treat their injuries;
- It is true that it is difficult for anyone to represent themselves legally. The old saying among law firms is that “a lawyer who attempts to represent himself has a fool for a client.” This extends beyond lawyers and extends to most folks. Calling someone a fool is not very polite but the point taken is that it may not be the wisest course to attempt self-representation. It is hard to be objective. This is especially true where you have no legal training nor have the training of an adjuster who has been through various schools to learn ways to defeat or to suppress the value of the claim;
- The rules applying to car wrecks should be simple, but they are not. In the usual care, there are issues as to what coverages apply to what part of the claim and from whose insurance. For instance, if you are a passenger in someone’s car, did you know that your uninsured motorist coverage would pick up to potentially pay part of the claim even if the other party has insurance. Therefore, if the driver has $25,000 in liability insurance, runs into a ditch in a one car accident and you have $35,000 in medical expenses as a passenger, then your un insurance/underinsurance coverage would kick in to pick up additional compensation so that your medical bills could be paid and your other injuries compensated for, for pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life and wage loss if you have adequate coverage;
- I often have people come in and say “I have been in an accident and I am in terrible trouble because I have no health insurance.” Well, you may have what is referred to as medical payments coverage which runs in increments of $1,000.00, $5,000.00, $10,000.00, $25,000.00, $50,000.00 and $100,000.00. The point to this is that without training as an insurance agent or other specialized training which would make you knowledgeable of the different coverages available, you may very well miss coverages and not understand which coverages apply;
- Another difficult area that persons encounter is in subrogation. Subrogation is a Latin term which means to stand in the place of. Your health insurance company, if it pays part of the medical bills for the accident, would expect to be reimbursed. This is usually subject to negotiation. It is almost always subject to some negotiation to get a reduction. Therefore, having an attorney can not only maximize the recovery through guiding through what coverages apply to a particular situation to maximize the coverages, but the bottom line of what you get can be significantly increased by negotiation of the repayment obligations to health insurance.
These are the six reasons that immediately come to mind when I am asked the question of why you need an attorney. All of these reasons revolve around a single bottom line, you want to increase your chances of playing on a level playing field against a multi-billion dollar insurance company which has trained adjusters and agents. Without that training, it is not a level playing field and the insurance companies will take advantage of you if you let them, to deny the claim or suppress the value of the claim. Good luck to you in these matters. If we can ever be of assistance, feel free to call.