Studies Indicating That Hiring a Lawyer Increases the Value of Your Claim
When you are involved in a car accident while driving the streets of Atlanta or the highways of Georgia, you expect to be reasonably safe if you obey traffic laws and adhere to safe driving practices. Unfortunately, you and your family can be exposed to serious injury by other motorists who do not exercise prudence or disregard traffic safety statutes. The pain and shock that accompanies such a traumatic event along with the unfamiliarity of the situation can confound your ability to determine what steps need to be taken to protect your insurance claim or lawsuit. Many car accident victims elect not to speak to an attorney or procrastinate in taking this step. However, the decision to contact a skilled and experienced lawyer early in the process can have a dramatic impact on the outcome of your auto accident claim.
Car Accident Victims with Attorneys Recover Significantly More Compensation
Lawyers obviously have a financial interest in advising injury victims that legal representation typically results in a larger financial recovery. Insurance carriers do not want injury victims to retain attorneys because of the experience, legal expertise, and litigation resources this makes available to injury victims. Many injured parties are specifically told by the other party’s insurance company that no attorney is needed to resolve their claim.
The reason for such assurances rests in studies conducted by insurance companies and insurance trade groups revealing that car accident victims with attorneys recover significantly more if they hire a lawyer to handle their claim. Consider the following research:
- A widely cited consumer panel survey of car accident victims conducted in 1999 by the Insurance Research Council (IRC), entitled “Paying for Auto Injuries,” found that car accident victims received forty percent more compensation if they hired an attorney to handle their case.
- A subsequent study conducted by IRC produced even more compelling evidence that hiring a lawyer typically increases the value of a car accident claim. This subsequent study, entitled “Auto Injuries: Claiming Behavior and Its Impact on Insurance Costs,” concluded that car accident victims with an attorney received 350 percent more on average than unrepresented parties. In fact, the study found that more than 8 out of every 10 persons who recovered ANY money were represented by an attorney. Put another way, the risk is extremely high that the decision not to hire an attorney will result in NO recovery.
- Another study conducted by the All Industry Research Advisory Council (ARAC), entitled “Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims” concluded that hiring an attorney led to greater reimbursement for economic losses (e.g. medical bills, vehicle repair/replacement, lost earnings). Claimants who hired lawyers received $1.59 for each dollar of economic loss compared to parties without attorneys who received only $1.26 for each dollar of economic loss. The study also revealed that 75 percent of those who hired an attorney were satisfied with their legal counsel’s overall performance in handling the claim.
While every situation is unique, these studies suggest, at a minimum, that accident victims should promptly discuss their situation with a lawyer in the wake of an accident. An experienced attorney can evaluate the claim, explain a victim’s legal rights, and discuss whether retaining an attorney is likely to have a sigificant impact on the outcome of your case.
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Sources: https://www.insurance-research.org/research-publications/paying-auto-injuries-consumer-panel-survey-auto-accident-victims and https://www.insurance-research.org/research-publications/auto-injuries-claiming-behavior-and-its-impact-insurance-costs and https://www.insurance-research.org/research-publications/study-finds-more-auto-injury-claimants-are-hiring-attorneys