Most personal injury cases settle out-of-court. Typically, what occurs is that the at-fault party’s insurance company admits that they are liable for a victim’s losses and enters into a settlement agreement through which the victim agrees to release them from liability for a certain amount of money. In many cases, this entire process occurs even before a lawsuit is ever filed.
So, if a case isn’t going to court and the insurance company is conceding liability, why hire a lawyer? The answer to this question is one of the most straightforward you’ll ever get from a lawyer: The insurance company is not on your side. Insurance companies make money by collecting more money in premiums than they pay out in claims, which means that they are actively trying to minimize the amount they are going to pay you from the moment your claim begins. In fact, in some cases, they may even try and deny your claim completely.
Here are some of the ways that a lawyer can help you get the settlement you deserve.
A Lawyer Will Establish Your Damages
Under Maryland law, people are entitled to compensation for both their economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are those to which you can determine by looking at hard numbers—for example, the amount of income you lost because of missing work or your medical bills. On the other hand, non-economic damages are those that are more subjective and do not involve financial loss but are nonetheless compensable. Pain and suffering may be the most well-known noneconomic loss that is often sought in personal injury cases.
Not surprisingly, it is these kinds of subjective damages that insurance companies try and discount. Fortunately, an experienced lawyer can gather and present evidence of your non-economic damages that will increase your settlement offer. This evidence can include the opinions of medical or psychiatric experts, medical records, eyewitness accounts of the way your injuries have affected you, and more. A lawyer who is familiar with how insurance companies work will know how to proceed in a given case to maximize your offer.
An Attorney Will Keep the Insurance Company Honest
Insurance companies often do things that are intentionally designed to encourage accident victims to take a settlement offer below the actual value of their case. These can include starting with ridiculously low initial offers, persuading victims to provide a recorded statement with the promise of faster claims processing—all while trying to get victims to make statements that imply that they were at fault, unreasonably delays, and requesting overbroad medical authorizations. When you have a lawyer, he or she will see through these tactics, and let the insurance company know that if they don’t treat you fairly, you’ll be seeing them in court.
Call Us Today to Retain a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
If you’ve sustained an injury in an accident and have been approached by an insurance company about a settlement offer, you should retain an attorney as soon as you can. A lawyer will establish your damages to the insurance company and let them know that they will not be able to muscle you into taking a settlement that is below the value of your case. Best of all, we’ll never charge you for legal representation unless we get you compensation. To schedule a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers in Maryland, call us today at (844) 632-7274 or contact us online.