An insurance attorney typically is and should be involved in every step of the insurance claim process. The earlier you hire an insurance attorney, the more they can do for you, and the more likely it is that you will get every dollar you deserve.
While you may not think you need an insurance attorney to file a claim, you might be surprised to learn that the best time to hire an insurance attorney is before you file your claim. This is because it isn’t always obvious what insurance company you should be making your claim with or what insurance policy you should be making a claim under. Your insurance attorney will carefully evaluate your case and ensure that you make the proper claims from the start.
Furthermore, your insurance attorney is experienced at collecting evidence critical to your claim. All too often, people will fail to preserve important evidence, making it hard for them to prove their claims. But your insurance attorney will gather that evidence immediately and preserve it for as long as it is needed. The right evidence can go a long way toward convincing an insurance company to pay you the money that you deserve.
Another important benefit of an insurance attorney is that they can take the lead in communicating with the insurance company, police, witnesses, and other involved parties. This benefits you in two ways: It reduces your stress during the insurance claim process, and it ensures that you don’t accidentally say something or sign anything that harms your insurance claim.
You should always carefully follow the instructions of your insurance lawyer. Plenty of people have been reckless with what they say or do after filing an insurance claim and have lost money due to that recklessness. Something as simple as a post on social media or a seemingly innocent statement to an insurance company can cost you thousands of dollars in potential compensation. Your attorney will make certain you don’t accidentally cost yourself money.
But possibly the most important value your insurance attorney brings is the ability to negotiate. The experience your attorney has with the insurance industry and with insurance law allows them to accurately determine the value of your claim. This value determination includes the value of:
- Current and future expenses
- Current and future wage losses
- Loss of reputation
- Mental and/or physical pain and suffering
- Decrease in life expectancy
- Replacement costs
Your insurance lawyer calculates all of these values before negotiating with the insurance company to get you compensation. An attorney can negotiate better than you because they have the facts, statistics, evidence, and records of past claims to make a compelling case.
Also, the fact that they are an attorney implies that you are willing to go to trial if the insurance company refuses to negotiate in good faith. The implicit threat of a lawsuit encourages insurance companies to negotiate a fair settlement just to avoid the time and expense involved in a trial.
Finally, if the insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, your insurance lawyer will represent you in the trial. Insurance attorneys do all the work during a trial, responding to and filing all paperwork in your stead. In fact, much of the work will happen behind the scenes, without you having to do any work. Your lawyer will keep you informed, but you won’t have to spend unreasonable time on the case.
If your case goes to trial, it is absolutely critical that you have an experienced and proven insurance attorney in your corner. If you win a trial, you will probably get more compensation from a jury award than you ever could have gotten from an insurance settlement. If you lose, however, you get nothing.