Updated on: 2/19/2019
Your personal injury claim could be worth much more than what your insurance company is telling you. If you are ever injured in a car accident, your insurance adjuster will never tell you that the insurance industry's own research has proven that people who are represented by a personal injury attorney end up with settlements that are almost three-and-a-half times more than people who try to settle with the insurance company on their own.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. There is a reason these massive companies continue to grow year after year. One of the easiest ways for insurers to improve profitability is to pay out less money on injury claims. Quite simply, their goal is to settle your claim for as little as possible.
In 2004, the Insurance Research Council — a research organization created and funded by the insurance industry — did a comprehensive study comparing the value of settlements people received for the same injury when they were represented with and without an attorney. The IRC determined that people who were represented by an attorney received almost three-and-a-half times more, even after the attorney's fees were paid.
As more people learn of this startling information, personal injury law firms have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people who hire an attorney to handle their insurance claims. Another study from the IRC found that from 2007-12, the percentage of car accident injury claimants represented by attorneys rose to 36 percent, a 5 percent increase. In a separate yet related report from the IRC titled “Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs,” it was concluded that 85 percent of all money paid out by insurance companies for bodily injuries goes to clients with an attorney.
What Does A Personal Injury Attorney Do For Clients?
- The type of services provided by attorneys for personal injury victims are broken down as follows:
- Filing a claim and/or lawsuit on behalf of an auto accident victim.
- Negotiating settlement with the at-fault driver and/or their auto insurance company.
- Advising medical treatment, including specific doctor, chiropractor or clinic referrals for recovering from injuries sustained in an auto accident.
Additional reasons for hiring an attorney include:
- Insurance company denied victim’s auto accident claim.
- At-fault driver did not have an auto insurance policy.
- Victim was dissatisfied by the insurance company’s settlement offer.
- Insurance company appears to deliberately delay the settlement process.
Hiring A Lawyer, By The Numbers
Let’s use an example. If the insurance company was willing to pay someone who is not represented by an attorney $7,000, then a person with the exact same injury who is represented by an attorney would have received almost $25,000. That is an extra $18,000 in the pocket of the injured person, after attorney's fees were paid. Why? Because with an attorney, the same case that settled for $7,000 would instead settle for $35,000 and, after attorney's fees of one-third of the settlement, the injured person would have pocketed $25,000.
The table below gives a breakdown of the average insurance payout for specific injuries, both with and without an attorney.
A study conducted by the All-Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC), “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims,” took a look at the factors accident victims considered when deciding whether to hire an attorney to represent their claim. The study found that victims who reported higher amounts of monetary loss were more likely to hire an attorney.
The study found that claimants who hired a personal injury lawyer received a higher rate of reimbursement per dollar of economic loss. In cases involving between $5,000 and $10,000 in economic loss – a relatively low range when it comes to personal injury claims – claimants who hired an attorney received $1.59 for every dollar of economic loss. That is compared to a rate of $1.26 per $1 of economic loss for claimants who did not hire an attorney.
It is important to remember that this is the insurance company's own research that shows that people that have hired an attorney to represent them receive more money than those that do not have an attorney. The insurance company won’t share this information, because if you knew this, you would hire a lawyer and the insurance company would end up paying you a lot more for your injuries.