Settling with an insurance company after an accident or injury can take some time. Getting a fair settlement from the insurer can drag on for years. Negotiations with insurance companies can be difficult and time consuming. Although insurance is supposed to protect you when something unexpected happens, companies don’t just haphazardly pay the full amount to everyone who makes a claim; they are also in the business of protecting themselves and try to minimize any payouts to claimants, legitimate or not. If you attempt to represent yourself, you may have a very long time to wait and may still not get your fair settlement. But how do you really know if you should you hire an attorney or take the settlement? The truth is, in this day and age, even the simplest of cases may require the services of an attorney.
Here’s the general test of when to seek an attorney’s help: If you truly are not hurt, and there is little or no property damage, then you probably don’t need to hire a lawyer if the insurance company is willing to give you money to cover any expenses. However, if it is anything more than that, consulting with an attorney can help tremendously. Although you could get an increased offer by negotiating with the insurance company yourself, it is a difficult undertaking.
Indications of when you certainly should not take a settlement offer by an insurer:
- There is a question of who is at fault: If there is some debate as to whether you may have contributed to the accident, an attorney can analyze the legal consequences of the specific facts of your case.
- You are seeking money for serious injuries beyond a few thousand dollars: An insurance adjuster is likely going to offer you a shockingly low settlement hoping you will take it, especially if they know a lawyer does not represent you.
- You are pursuing future damages: If you are claiming money for future losses, such as future medical treatment or lost wages, an attorney can help you value what those parts of your claim are worth.
Most insurance attorneys offer free consultations, and contacting one does not obligate you to hire that attorney. Consulting with Rankin & Rankin in Conway, South Carolina before taking a settlement can give you a better idea of the strength of your claim and your legal options without costing you money.
At Rankin & Rankin, we will be able to:
- Review your settlement offer to determine whether or not it is fair;
- Negotiate with the insurance company in an effort to increase the settlement;
- File a lawsuit should your insurance company delay negotiations or should negotiations fail.
The decision on whether to hire an attorney almost always depends on your specific injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Consulting Rankin & Rankin by calling (843) 248-2405 can provide guidance on whether you should pursue settlement negotiations on your own or hire a professional.