After motor vehicle accidents occur, victims can recover compensation from insurance companies representing the driver who caused the collision. Unfortunately, a study by theAmerican Association for Justice revealed that insurance companies use a variety of dishonest tactics to try to get victims to accept less money than they should receive or to try to deny legitimate claims altogether.
One way to avoid getting the runaround from an insurance company is to hire a personal injury lawyer to represent you. Lawyers know your rights and can stand up for you. This is probably why the Insurance Research Council (IRC) recently tried to portray it as bad news that more victims of motor vehicle collisions are hiring attorneys after collisions. The reality is that a report from the IRC showing an increase in people hiring attorneys after accident is a reflection of the fact that more consumers are recognizing their rights and turning to advocates for help when insurers treat them unfairly
More Injury Claimants Hiring Lawyers
The IRC report found that between 1977 and 2012, the number of people who hire a lawyer when making a personal injury protection (PIP) claim has more than doubled. Just between 2007 and 2012 alone, there has been a significant increase in PIP claimants being represented by attorneys. In 2007, 31 percent of people injured in collisions hired a lawyer to help them with a personal injury protection claim and in 2012, 36 percent of injured victims had legal representation.
The rate of victims hiring lawyers when making a bodily injury claim has also increased, although not as dramatically. In 2012, 50 percent of claimants seeking compensation for bodily injuries had attorneys, which was up from 47 percent in 1977 and up from 49 percent in 2007.
Because the report was published within the insurance industry, the data was portrayed as suggesting that it was a bad thing that consumer were hiring lawyers, in part because they waited longer for payment of a claim. The reality, however, is that this wait may be because the lawyer is able to negotiate on behalf of the victim for a better settlement.
One tactic insurance companies make is to offer you a low sum of money right away when they know that they are responsible for compensating you. If you accept the cash, you get and your claim settles quickly but you may end up getting less than you need to cover your motor vehicle accident losses. It is far better to have an attorney help you, take a little time to negotiate a better settlement and get the money that you deserve.
The report also showed that victims with legal representation were more likely to receive MRIs to diagnose injuries than those without lawyers. It is certainly a good thing that victims who may have sustained serious injuries in collisions, some of which don’t always show symptoms right away, are able to get comprehensive medical exams so their injuries are fully diagnosed and can be promptly and properly treated by medical professionals.
Victims deserve to have the best care after a collision and that care should be covered by insurance. Hiring a lawyer can be a step in the right direction towards getting your claim paid in full.
Contact Bell & Pollock at (877) 744-5900 to schedule a consultation with a Denver, CO personal injury lawyer.