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     I am frequently asked this question regular people all the time.  Typically the question is never as clear-cut as I answered above. 

Here’s a typical scenario:

     You are hit in a car wreck.  Within a few days you receive a telephone call from the insurance company of the person who crashed into you.  More than likely, the person or “claims adjustor” speaking to you will try to come off as nice and sincere as possible (assuming they’re good at their job).  The claims adjustor tells you they would like to resolve the matter by paying you for not just the cost of your vehicle, but for your medical expenses as well. 

     The adjuster also tells you that you do not need a lawyer “because they’ll leave you with less money” The claims adjustor will tell you that they want to make you “generous” settlement offer. All you have to do, the claims adjuster says, is sign a “Full and Final Release” in exchange for the “generous” settlement offer.

     If this is your first time dealing with an insurance company, then you’d think that the claims adjustor is looking out for your best interests. The reality is that they aren’t.  Here are 3 main reasons why you should hire an attorney to represent you in your car wreck matter.

1.      Lawyers know the Law

     Let’s start with the most obvious reason.  There are a lot of legal rules and procedures that go into handling a typical car wreck case, even if the injuries are not severe or catastrophic.  Georgia and South Carolina have a different number of years that a person has to file a lawsuit for injuries before they are permanently barred (Statue of Limitations).  What may be the standard in Augusta, Georgia is completely different across the bridge over in Aiken, South Carolina.  Your case is too important to simply “figure it out” by doing a few GOOGLE searches.

     What may have looked like a simple “Full and Final Release” according to the claims adjustor may in fact be the insurance company’s subtle way of depriving you of your legal rights and money you are legally entitled to receive.

2.      Your Insurance Company is working against you

     Some people reading this might stop and say, “But my Insurance Agent is a great guy/gal! I’ve know them for years and they’ve always done right by me!” You may be absolutely correct. However, your neighborhood agent is not the person that will be handling your “claim” with the insurance company.  In fact, your agent will not have any say in how your case is ultimately resolved once a claim is filed.  Most insurance companies have trained their claims adjustors to resolve the claim as cheaply as possible.  

      I enjoy the cute little GEICO Gecko and every other character/actor/skit that airs on television. But the reality is that insurance companies spend A LOT OF MONEY to make you laugh so that you’ll buy their product.  Their goal is to get you to pay your premium every month, not to pay you the fair value of your case.

3.      We’ve gone to trial and WON.

      Many lawyers will claim that they are “trial lawyers”, but many of them have not gone to trial since Law & Order was one the air (The GOOD one with Jack McCoy, not Vincent D'onofrio) or maybe even further than that.  This firm has taken cases to trial this year, last year, and the years before that with POSITIVE RESULTS.  Our Trial Lawyers have taught courtroom skills to students as well as law enforcement professionals. 

        “But how does that help my case?”

       Trial is the ultimate tool against an insurance company that wants to lowball or deny your claim.  While it is always possible for you to talk on the telephone with the claims adjustor to try to get better offer, but unless you are able to take the case to trial and obtain a favorable verdict, the insurance company has very little reason to cooperate in a fair and straightforward manner.