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People often associate a personal injury lawyer with a negative sense. Ever since the old stereotype of the ambulance chaser, there have been a lot of pejorative terms thrown around when personal injury comes up.
When accident attorneys help injured people, it’s easy to wonder why they have such a bad reputation. Unfortunately, this is due in large part to industry lobbyists. Read on to find out how personal injury attorneys got such a bad reputation.
Companies & The Bottom Line
Anyone who has filed a claim with their provider knows how challenging it can be. In many claims, providers start to nickel and dime the people they cover. Often, when you file a claim, they require you to submit three separate estimates of the costs needed to ensure you are whole.
Even with multiple estimates, though, they often settle for the lowest amount possible. In some claims, the difference isn’t worth arguing over. However, it’s quite different if you sustain a severe injury in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
In part, this is due to how the companies earn and retain profits. A customer pays a premium to have coverage. Whether they pay monthly, quarterly, or annually, it improves the company’s bottom line.
When they have to pay out a settlement, that means the bottom line takes a hit.
Their Legal Responsibility
In some states, there’s a Consumer’s Bill of Rights to dictate how these companies protect their clients. These laws require that they address claims quickly. If they fail to do so, they face the consequences of a complaint.
Unfortunately, the law doesn’t fully govern the tactics that companies use as they address claims. In fact, this is one reason these companies tend to reach out with a quick, lowball offer. They know that an immediate settlement often means they pay less.
Remember, the company’s goal is to preserve earnings. If they settle quickly and for a low amount, it’s a win for them. That’s why the companies lobby against personal injury firms.
Working With an Attorney
You might wonder how all this connects to how people view personal injury attorneys. To see this, it’s important to understand what a lawyer provides when you file a claim.
Understanding Your Rights
Not everyone understands their rights after an accident. Adjusters know this and use it to their advantage. If you work with an attorney, you have someone ready to fight for your rights.
Proper Evaluation of Settlement Offers
Adjusters don’t base their offers on the individual who sustains an injury. Instead, they use a program that calculates an offer. Oftentimes, this is what they claim is their “best” offer. Any injury attorney can tell you that this is rarely true. More often than not, the initial offer is an intentional lowball offer to conserve time and profits.
Negotiation & Communication
If you try to negotiate with a company on your own, they are likely to pile a mountain of paperwork on top of you. Alternatively, they might stick to the initial offer without budging. When you have an attorney on your side, they issue a demand letter to the provider after calculating a fair settlement.
These are just a few of the reasons that these companies prefer to make a quick offer.
How a Lawyer Helps & Why Companies Don’t Like Them
When you work with your attorney, their goal is to ensure you have the financial compensation to move forward in life. Your attorney begins by obtaining information about your injury and the accident. The more severe the injury, the more significant its impact is on your life.
All of this information is essential because some people never fully recover from an accident. While a quick settlement might cover the initial costs, it may not cover the long-term impact of your injury.
These are just some of the reasons lobbyists spent so much time giving personal injury attorneys a bad reputation. When you sustain an injury or lose a loved one in an accident caused by someone else, it’s a good idea to work with an attorney.
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