When an insurance company tells you, “you don’t need a lawyer to handle your case,” you should turn around, run, and get an attorney.
Why? The insurance company is trying to get the best of you. They are hoping you will not assert your rights.
Even when the adjuster “seems really nice,” be careful. That same Insurance Company Representative may later say, “You Don’t Need A Lawyer!”
Why? Isn’t it obvious. You have no expertise in settling claims. They have all expertise in settling claims. You need to level the playing field. The adjuster handles claims like yours every day, and you don’t. Hire a lawyer to protect you. Otherwise, the insurance company has the upper hand. They know the law. They know the loopholes. You don’t.
If you have received a letter from an insurance company or advice from an adjuster that “you don’t need a lawyer,” we want to hear about this. They may try to tell you that claims are settled faster when a lawyer is not involved. It’s not true. And even if it were true, the amount different in settlement does not make up for the saved time. And sometimes waiting is to your advantages, since you may only later know the full extent of your injuries. They may also say that lawyers charge a percentage of the recovery plus expenses but if you settle with the adjuster you keep the entire amount. True enough, but the fact is that records show they pay less to people who are not represented. They will certainly argue that you can hire a lawyer at a later date if they are not satisfied with the offer to settle your case. But evidence may be gone, witnesses memories faded. Too much time may have passed for effective representation to take place.
Finally, they may say that you can negotiate a settlement with the insurance company first, then hire an attorney and insist his fee be based only on the amount recovered above that amount. In all casesthe insurance company is not looking out for your interests.
Industry statistics demonstrate that it costs the insurance company an average of $9,000 more per claim when an attorney is involved.
Adjusters work for insurance companies, and their only goal is to pay you less.
You don’t need a lawyer. This is the first step they are taking to take money away from you. If they win that battle, the battle is almost over. You are left without any weapons with which to fight back.
Even your own insurance company is not going to be your friend. When dealing with UM/UIM coverage, you will be suing your own company for any damages, and they will defend it just as hard as if they were not your insurance company.
If you are asked to give up your right to an attorney, consider it a red flag and consult an attorney!