We’ve all seen insurance ads full of compassionate agents, catchy slogans and talking lizards.Insurance companies spend millions a year on advertising. According to an insurance report, GEICO spent $1.2 billion, Allstate spent at least $900 million, and State Farm spent $800 million on advertising alone in 2013. However, while advertising and catchy songs try to convince us that these insurance companies are “on our side” after the accident, this can’t be further from the truth.
Insurance companies have one main goal – to make money for their shareholders. They often use a tough “take it or leave it” approach even with their own policyholders and put pressure on accident victims to settle down quickly for much less than they need and deserve.
When this happens, accident victims need an experienced and qualified Colorado accident lawyer on their side to protect their rights and negotiate fair settlements with the insurance company. At McDivitt Law Firm, our lawyers know all the tricks insurance companies use to reduce settlements and we know the secrets they don’t want you to know.
Official statements can be traps
After the accident the insurance company will want to contact you and make an official statement. Although it may seem that they are simply investigating your accident, the truth is that they are looking for any reason to deny your claim or reduce your payout. This formal statement can be made over the phone with the claims regulator and should be treated with caution. Remember that what you say will be on your record and may limit your claim. Therefore, you have every right to contact an attorney before making a formal statement or talking to the claims regulator.
First billing offers are often too low
Insurance companies want you to accept the first offer. That’s why they start with a low dollar amount and press you to accept it quickly. Never accept their first offer without first talking to your lawyer. Even if the insurance regulator says it’s the best and it’s the final offer – that’s not true and the lawyer can probably negotiate a much higher settlement amount. Don’t let them get you to sign your first offer.
Issue forms can destroy your case
Insurance companies often say they can’t cut your check unless you sign an exemption form. This gives you the right to make additional claims and get further compensation for your injuries. Most injured accident victims are quick to sign these release forms because they need their money to pay their medical bills quickly. Unfortunately, this can be devastating, especially when accident victims later realize that they need more money to continue recovering from their injuries. Never sign a release form without consulting your lawyer. The release conditions can potentially destroy your case and prevent you from obtaining further compensation – even from other parties.
Insurance companies must act in good faith
They don’t want you to know this, but insurance companies are obliged by law to act in good faith. They are obliged to comply with insurance contracts and pay policyholders in good time. They must also act in the best interests of their policyholders and not in their own interests. If they engage in bad faith practices, they can be held responsible. In this case, a lawyer can file a lawsuit against the insurance company and keep your feet on the fire.
Hiring a lawyer can increase settlements
Insurance companies want to settle down quickly because they do not want accident victims to seek legal representation. Why? It’s simple. Accident victims who retain a lawyer are more likely to get much higher settlements than those who do not. According to data from the Insurance Research Council, accident victims who were represented by an attorney received almost 3.5 times more money than without an attorney! It is always in your best interest to review your case with an experienced lawyer in a car accident. At McDivitt Law Firm they offer all our services on an emergency basis. This means that you don’t owe us a penny unless they can win your case! They do this because they believe that everyone deserves justice – not just those who can afford it.