If you've been injured in a car accident, you may think the easiest thing to do is to let the insurance company take care of everything. After all, you've been their loyal customer for years, always paid your ever-increasing premiums on time, and this is exactly why you started doing business with them in the first place. While this may seem like a logical conclusion, here are a few reasons why you should remember that your insurance company isn't your friend and why you should think about hiring a personal injury attorney following an accident:
1. The insurance company is for profit.
An insurance company's number one goal is to make a profit, and they do this by selling services to their customers. Remember that you, not the other driver, is their customer. Once they have your premiums, they want to spend as little of them as possible to keep a strong bottom line. This means that their entire motive from the moment you call them will be to spend as little as possible in total combining what they pay you, what they spend processing the claim, and what they spend fighting the at-fault driver's insurance company to get money back.
2. Your premiums will go up.
If you have a perfect driving record, your premiums are likely to go up even if you weren't even remotely at-fault for the accident. Insurance companies are allowed to consider the risk you bring to them when setting rates. When you make a claim, even due to another driver's negligence, they consider it as a sign that you are more likely to bring a future claim. This may seem unfair, but over millions of customers, it is statistically true. The best way to keep your premiums down is to avoid needing to use your insurance policy.
3. Your policy doesn't cover everything.
Remember when you got your policy and you were signing here and initialing there to get a lower rate? Each time, you were likely declining some sort of coverage. From ambulance or helicopter transportation, extended hospital stays, or even basic medical coverage, your protection may be limited or nonexistent. Additional costs such as therapy or checkups, extended time lost from work, or additional time in a rental car may also not be covered. Even if the other driver is legally liable for these expenses due to his or her negligence, your contract with your insurance company may eliminate any obligation on their part to get them for you.
4. Your insurance company won't aggressively fight for you.
It should be obvious by now — your insurance company is out to make money and they don't even have to cover all your expenses. Their goal is to close each claim out as quickly as possible. In fact, for each additional dollar they get you, it likely costs them more to get it. This is because once you get past the most obvious expenses, the other insurance company is likely to put up a fight as to what is really necessary.
5. But a lawyer won't cost more than any further gains.
Many people may have already realized the above, but figured it's just how the system works and hiring a lawyer would cost even more. This is simply not true. Nearly all personal injury attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case and the possibility of recovering. Further, they almost always get paid a percentage of what they help you recover and nothing if they don't.