Most drivers are insured, and you should be too. One would like to believe that in the event of a collision, some insurance company will offer to pay the full value of any property damage, medical bills, and for any future medical bills which may be necessitated by the collision, but unfortunately, the reality is that either the other driver does not carry enough insurance to make you whole and/or the insurance company will attempt to minimize your harms and pay out as little as possible. Insurance companies are, after all, for-profit businesses with shareholders.
Fortunately, your own insurance policy likely has an un-insured or under-insured motorist provision which will pay the difference between the policy limit of the other driver and your own policy limit. For example, if you get into a collision
Many attorneys see insurance companies as “the enemy”, but at Davidovich Kaufman Legal Group, we understand that insurance companies are built as kind of machine. Insurance companies take in data, plug it into formulas and algorithms, and determine a value range for the claim. The key to obtaining a favorable early settlement is to negotiate early and input good data into the machine. At the start of every claim, the insurance company sets out a “reserve”, meaning the insurance company sets aside the money in an amount it believes the case might be worth. A good personal injury attorney will contact the insurer early to ensure it sets an appropriate reserve amount. It is very difficult to get an insurance company to re-assess its reserve later.
The attorneys at Davidovich Kaufman Legal Group have the experience and knowhow to work with the insurance company to ensure it sets its expectations of the value of claim appropriately. That said, while the insurance machine determines the range of value of your claim, it is the individual adjuster and their plethora of bosses who must evaluate your claim and determine whether or not to settle the claim and at what exact amount. One thing insurance adjuster pay attention to is who is representing the injured person. You may find that a self-represented person will deal with a non-attorney adjuster with very low settlement authority where an injured person represented by counsel will be assigned an attorney adjuster with substantially higher settlement authority.
In almost every claim, an insurance company will assign a higher settlement value to the claimant who has retained an attorney. However, which attorney you retain also matters. The value of your injury claim to the insurance company rests with what that insurance company perceives a jury might award at trial. For that reason, is it imperative that you hire an experienced and respected law firm like Davidovich Kaufman Legal Group who litigates every case as though it will go to trial. The better the potential jury verdict, the more likely an insurance company will choose to settle before trial.
Why is it important to settle before trial? Trials are extremely costly and uncertain. Trials may cost $50,000 or more in addition to the cost of litigation. Moreover, the fate of your case rests with twelve strangers. Even if you win at trial, the jury may award you less than what you think is fair. The same reality applies to an insurance company. A jury may award you a verdict far in excess of the fair value of your claim. So, both sides have an incentive to resolve the matter before trial. What amount is relies upon how good your personal injury attorney is at presenting your case to the insurance adjuster.
So, even if an insurance company has offered you a settlement, you should call the Personal Injury attorneys at Davidovich Kaufman Legal Group at (818) 661-2420 for a free consultation. We promise to honestly assess your case and let you know whether the insurance offer is appropriate and provide you with a real-world estimated value of your case. You owe it to yourself to make sure you’re getting a fair offer. We’ll give you that piece of mind for free.