Contrary to the ads we see on television where insurance companies portray themselves as always being there when you need them, the experience of many accident victims today is quite different.
What Has Changed?
In the past, an insurance company’s claim department had only one concern – to determine what you are entitled to receive under your policy. But today, many insurance companies have figured out, with the help of some of the nation’s largest consulting firms, that their greatest concern is how to limit the amount of money they need to pay out in claims – the less they pay out, the more they keep in profit. It has become increasingly more difficult to get what you have paid for under your auto and homeowners policies.
Insurance as Business
Insurance companies are investment companies. Instead of getting their investments from deposits like banks, or from investors like mutual funds, they get the money they invest from your insurance premiums. The longer they hold on to this money and delay paying your claim, the greater the investment income it creates for them.
Insurance companies are also corporations that are owned by stockholders who wants to see the value of their stock go up. But, if an insurance company pays the maximum on every claim, they would make less profit; and as a consequence, the value of their stock would decline.
One of the ways that these adjusters save thousands of dollars for the insurance company is by offering quick and early settlements to claimants who are not yet represented by an attorney.
Shortly after an accident, the insurance company will contact you to get information regarding the accident and to find out what their risk is financially. If they find that they will ultimately have to pay you a substantial amount in damages, they will attempt to settle with you early and cut their losses. Once you accept and sign a release, you will have effectively given up your right to pursue a lawsuit and obtain more than what you settled for.
Unfortunately, you may not know the full extent of your injuries shortly after the accident. You may not know if your injuries will require surgery in the future, you could require long-term treatment or you may have suffered permanent injuries. By accepting a settlement early, the insurance company can stick you with the bill for all of your future medical expenses and save themselves thousands of dollars, since you cannot ask for a dime over your settlement.
Therefore, you should never accept an offer from an insurance company without first speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you determine if it’s the right thing for you to do. You might find that, given the circumstance, the settlement offer is fair. On the other hand, you may find that their offer is insufficient to compensate you fairly for the damages that you have sustained in the accident. In either case, you will need the help of an experienced professional to accurately arrive at that determination.
Contact Herman Herman & Katz, LLC Attorneys
By consulting with a knowledgeable and qualified injury attorney, you may be able to get an idea of the case’s value, based on similar cases that the attorney has successfully pursued in the past. Learn about your legal rights from an experienced lawyer by calling Herman Herman & Katz, LLC at 504-581-4892 or by filling out our free, no-obligation case review form.