The bottom line is this: you want a fair settlement for your car accident case. An essential question is what do you mean by “fair”?
If you have been victimized in a Pennsylvania traffic accident due to someone else’s actions, defining “fair” is pretty straightforward. You want to be restored as closely as possible to your pre-injury condition. If a 100 percent recovery isn’t possible, then you want appropriate additional compensation for the damage that you have to live with the rest of your life.
To the insurance company, “fair” doesn’t really enter the equation. The company wants to pay you the lowest possible amount that it and its insurance adjusters can browbeat you into accepting. It’s not just a contest of wills. The adjuster has enough expertise, legal assistance, and years of experience to make dealing with the adjuster after your Pennsylvania traffic accident a nightmare.
When Goals Collide
The insurance company is a business, and its overwhelming drive is pursuit of profits—not doing what is right, or serving the community interest, or even making sure that policyholders get full return for the premiums they have paid. An insurance firm gets profits by collecting premiums; paying out benefits reduces its profits. Therefore the insurance company and its employees are motivated to pay out as little as possible.
That doesn’t mean they’re out to cheat you. Most insurance adjusters are decent human beings who are just doing their jobs. But minimizing payouts is the way to get attention from their bosses, and maybe promotions or bonuses. Therefore, if you can be persuaded to sign a legal release in exchange for a relatively small check early on, they will be happy.
The adjuster will have been given instructions to offer you a settlement figure that seems adequate, but represents the smallest amount that his bosses think you might accept. Remember, the adjuster knows what the average cost is for a hospital stay for your type of injury. He knows how much it will cost to replace your vehicle, to mend your broken clavicle, or to pay for occupational therapy over the next two years.
Do you have those statistics at your fingertips? Probably not.
Who Can Match the Insurance Adjuster’s Expertise?
You’re hampered in getting a fair settlement for your claim because you simply don’t have the experience. At most, you have handled negotiations with an insurance adjuster a handful of times in your life. The insurance adjuster deals with claims every day. What can you do to make the contest more even?
That’s right: you can get someone on your side with an equal storehouse of information and experience. That’s why you want to speak with a Dauphin County insurance attorney early on—before you start talking to the insurance adjuster.
Now, obviously we think Schmidt Kramer can be the right choice for you, but you get to make that decision on your own. Call us toll-free at (717) 888-8888 to schedule a free attorney consultation. Even if you decide to handle your settlement on your own or seek another law firm, we’ll give you a free copy of our client report Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident?, and give you great advice about dealing with insurance adjusters.
Come visit us. There’s no obligation, and we may be able to give you the leverage you need to get the fair, full settlement your case deserves.