After a motor vehicle collision, victims experience financial and non-economic costs including loss of wages, medical bills and pain and suffering. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, private insurance companies pay for approximately 50 percent of the costs associated with losses from motor vehicle collisions. Crash victims end up covering around 26 percent of the costs of motor vehicle accidents and the remaining losses are paid by taxpayers, by charities or by healthcare providers.
Unfortunately, a personal injury lawyer knows that it can be a challenge for victims to actually receive the money they need from insurance companies. In fact, a report from the American Association for Justice shows that major insurers throughout the United States have developed entire business models around denying victims coverage for losses that insurance should pay for. These insurance companies use the 3 D’s to prevent victims from getting their losses covered. The 3 D’s stand for delaying payment of claims; denying covered claims; and defending vigorously against any accusations that the insurance company should be paying more.
Victims need to get help standing up to big insurance companies in order to have their financial damages covered by insurance after a collision. Fortunately, a report from the Insurance Research Council suggests that more victims are actually getting the help that they need from qualified attorneys after accidents occur.
More Accident Victims Getting Legal Help After Collisions
According to the Insurance Research Council, only 17 percent of personal injury protection (PIP) claimants got help making a claim from an insurance company back in 1977. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of PIP claimants who recognize that they need help and who seek legal representation. In 2007, 31 percent of crash victims making a personal injury protection claim had a lawyer. In 2012, the number of claimants represented by an attorney had grown to 36 percent.
The number of people getting help making a bodily injury claim has also increased, although not by as much because a good number of bodily injury claimants have always had legal representation. In 2007, 49 percent of people making a bodily injury claim had an attorney. By 2012, this number had reached 50 percent of claimants.
The Insurance Research Council seems to suggest that it is a bad thing that more people are getting legal help to protect themselves. The IRC points to the fact that it can take longer for victims to get paid damages as evidence of why victims are hurt by hiring a lawyer.
In reality, however, one tactic that insurance companies frequently use is to make a very low settlement offer to plaintiffs when they are first injured and need compensation. Plaintiffs may be pressured to accept this low negotiated settlement and give up their rights to sue. This can result in a victim receiving far less money than is necessary to cover losses. It is much better for a victim to have a slight delay in getting paid, but to actually get the money he needs for his motor vehicle collision damages.
Accident lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama can help if you have been injured in an accident. Contact the Mike Slocumb Law Firm at 1-800-HURTLINE or visit http://www.slocumblaw.com.