Archive for the ‘Hiring a Lawyer for a Personal Injury Claim’ Category

My Adjuster Suggests I don’t Hire a Lawyer

I guess it’s not too surprising, but this is the most read article on this blog.

Here are the reasons insurance adjusters suggest you don’t hire a lawyer:

1.    It will drag things out

2.   This is our final offer and we won’t pay more

3.   Why pay a lawyer 1/3 of the claim when we are willing to give you the full amount without a lawyer

4.    You don’t really want to go to court

If there are other reasons an adjuster gave you, please let me know so we can update this blog

It will drag things out

It is true that with a lawyer, your claim will take longer to settle. Once you settle your case you can’t go back for more, so the lawyer wants to make sure that you are aware of all the different claims you can make.

A lawyer’s biggest concern is that if you don’t recover as expected or suffer a relapse that is from the injuries the collision caused or aggravated. As such, a lawyer will want to ensure that there has been proper investigation, and that you are aware of the full nature and extent of the injuries you suffered so that you are fully informed when if you accept a settlement.

To do this, it’s best to review how the collision occurred, the medical information, especially if there are pre-existing conditions that were made worse, or if you are not fully recovered.

This is the final offer and we won’t pay more

This may be the case, though it’s unlikely. If you are fully recovered, then a lawyer can advise if the amount seems fair.

An adjuster needs documents and reports to justify the amount they pay. A lawyer can make sure that the case was properly assessed with the proper documentation.There are many instances where ICBC has paid way too little. One example is shown in the case of Doan v. ICBC.

Why pay a lawyer 1/3 of the claim when we are willing to give you the full amount without a lawyer

Most lawyers will give an initial consultation for free or a small fee. If the amount seems fair, many lawyers do not expect you to hire them.

Settlements with lawyers usually exceed the amount offered by the adjuster, even when the fee is taken into account.

Lawyers who do ICBC work on a regular basis have lots of examples of getting many times more than the amount offered by ICBC to the claimant.

Lawyers do not always charge 1/3. Some charge different rates depending how far the case progresses. Others charge a percentage that decrease as the amount of the settlement increases.

So even if you end up not hiring a lawyer, you get the peace of mind of knowing all your bases have been covered

You don’t want to go to court

Less than 5% of cases go to court. By seeing a lawyer doesn’t mean that your case will go to court. It means that a lawyer can assess your case to make sure you are aware of all you can claim for, and to make sure that you have all the information you need to make an informed decision as to whether you should settle.