Discover What Other Lawyers Don’t Want You to Know
No one plans to get injured, but here you are. Someone’s carelessness has left you in physical pain, dealing with a mountain of medical bills, and seriously stressed out.
To make matters worse, when you file the appropriate insurance claim, the nightmare isn’t over. You’ll have to deal with tricky insurance companies who will do anything possible to devalue your claim and weasel their way out of paying.
Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law, is a Houston-based national personal injury law firm that handles insurance claims for injured clients from offices located throughout the country. We also work with affiliate law firms in other states that share our commitment to professional excellence and client advocacy. Regardless of where you are located, contact us now to see if we can evaluate your claim and help you seek justice! We are available for a FREE CASE REVIEW, 24 hours per day, seven days per week, at 800-898-4877, or contact us now by CLICKING HERE to submit your case for review.
We understand the stress and uncertainty that comes with filing an insurance claim. When you’re making your decision on what law firm to partner with, you’ll discover that some insurance lawyers don’t live up to their own hype. Like any industry, there are tips, tricks, and secrets. Keep reading to learn about nine secrets that insurance claims lawyers don’t like to share.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #1
Everyone works on a contingent fee basis. You might be under the impression that all lawyers are expensive, but did you know law firms take insurance claims cases on a contingency fee basis? This means that you don’t pay an upfront retainer as you would with a tax attorney or criminal attorney, and you don’t get billed by the hour the way a big corporate attorney charges a client. Instead, when you choose a firm to represent you in pursuing an insurance claim after suffering a personal injury, your attorney only receives a percentage of the funds they recovers from the insurance company on your claim.
This is standard practice. Some insurance claim lawyers and law firms advertise a “NO-FEE GUARANTEE!” as if it is some kind of amazing selling point. Well, guess what? It isn’t. It’s like someone selling you a swimming pool that “HOLDS WATER, GUARANTEED!” That’s not a bonus, it’s just a standard feature.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #2
Small law firms rarely have the financial resources to fight a big insurance claim. Because representing clients on a contingency fee is standard practice for lawyers who pursue insurance claims for injured clients, insurance companies know lawyers are taking a risk on every case. If it doesn’t pan out, not only will the client be very unhappy, the lawyer will get no money at all for their time and effort. Insurance companies want to use this to their advantage. If they think it will put pressure on a lawyer, they will often rely on their massive financial resources and huge legal teams to “slow walk” or “wait out” a claim, figuring that at some point, the little-guy lawyer will run out of resources to keep fighting.
Pursuing a big insurance claim case can get expensive, and take lots of effort. The trick to beating the insurance companies at their own game is to have enough financial backing of your own to stay on track even if an insurance company tries to drag out the process. Larger insurance claims law firms with diverse practices can go toe-to-toe with insurance companies. Smaller firms often struggle to stay in the fight, much to their clients’ detriment.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #3
Small claims still matter. Most insurance claims lawyers do a cost-benefit analysis before agreeing to represent a client in an injury claim against an insurance company. It’s not that they are greedy and money-hungry; they just want to make sure that the amount of effort they would have to put into a case is worth the potential reward they hope to achieve for their client and for their firm.
However, experienced personal injury lawyers also know it is never okay for insurance companies to unfairly deny claims. Some insurance companies deny claims because they think that no attorney will think it’s “worth the effort” to fight for a client. It’s illegal for insurance companies to do that. So, even if you have a small insurance claim that has been denied, talk to an experienced insurance claim attorney. You may have a case for insurance bad faith that is definitely worth your while.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #4
Some insurance claims lawyers overpromise a big settlement to win your business. Don’t get us wrong: the quality of your lawyer can make a difference in how much money you receive for your personal injury insurance claim. It’s fair game for a lawyer to tell you, “trust me, I know how to negotiate a good settlement.”
Still, any lawyer who promises to get you a big settlement is blowing hot air. First, no lawyer can promise any case outcome. Court battles are unpredictable, and we can’t see the future! Second, most of the factors affecting how big a settlement might be are beyond any lawyer’s control. Settlement size depends on the type and severity of an injury a person has suffered, the prognosis for recovery, the amount of expenses the person has incurred, how much time at work the person has missed, and how much insurance coverage is available. If a lawyer tells you they can get you a $10,000,000 settlement from an insurance company that issued a $100,000 policy, turn tail and run.
By the same token, keep in mind that a lawyer who makes a big deal of getting you the “maximum policy limit” as a settlement might not need to do anything special to achieve that outcome. If you have a legitimate $10,000,000 claim, and the policy limit is really just $100,000, then as long as no one disputes the liability of the policyholder, chances are good the insurance company may pay you the “policy limit” of $100,000. Great… but you still have $9,900,000 in damages that the policy didn’t cover.
Maybe more than one person or entity contributed to your accident. Maybe other insurance or assets can cover your damages, or the policy covers more than the insurance company claims. A resourceful personal injury law firm will know where to dig for this info and how to secure your compensation. In an experienced law firm, investigators, negotiators, and trial lawyers work together to find solutions for their clients. That leads us to…
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #5
Some insurance claims lawyers inflate the size of their “team.” Law firms that represent injured clients in insurance claims often seem eager to boast about their large support staff of young lawyers, paralegals, and investigators who are ready, eager, and able to tackle your case. Sounds swell, but we urge you to take those claims with a grain of salt until you’ve seen evidence of this so-called “team” in action. Does the lawyer really have a big staff working for you, or do they just call on a crew of small-time contractors to help out when they need assistance? There’s a big difference.
Don’t get us wrong – lots of small law firms and solo lawyers do amazing work. We have been proud and lucky to work alongside many of them in some extremely significant cases. However, we also believe in being straightforward with potential clients. If a firm says it has a large, skilled “team,” it should really have a large, skilled “team.” Unfortunately, not all firms feel the way we do.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #6
You can never bank on a case settling. Statistics do not lie, but they do hide some truths. The vast majority of personal injury-related insurance claim cases settle out of court – more than 90% of them. In our line of work, it’s not all wigs and gavels – cutting deals with insurance companies is a big part of any personal injury law firm’s practice. In fact, if a lawyer tells you “Oh, I take every case to trial,” you should wonder what that lawyer is doing wrong.
Why do most cases settle? It’s simple. In America, money talks. We use money as the means of making things right between someone who acted wrongfully, and someone who got hurt as a result. Insurance companies are in the business of assessing the risk of something bad happening, and deciding how much money to charge for covering that risk. When that bad thing actually happens, insurance companies ask themselves “how much money should we pay to make this liability go away?” If the amount they’re willing to pay and the amount the person who got hurt is willing to accept overlap, a settlement occurs.
But here’s the thing: If 9 out of 10 cases settle, then 1 out of 10 do not—which means, you should always hire a law firm with the strength, experience, and know-how to go to trial if necessary. Strong negotiation skills are crucial. You want to hire a lawyer who can say “I’ll see you in court” and mean it.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #7
In the right circumstances, mediation really does work. Now that we’ve sung the praises of lawyers who know how to square off in the courtroom, let’s look at the other side of the coin. These days, courts around the country have adopted “mandatory mediation” as a mantra for resolving civil cases, which includes personal injury-related insurance claim disputes. Mediation is a process where a neutral third party – often a respected lawyer or retired judge – meets with both parties and tries to help them find middle ground to settle a case. The mediator cannot force the parties to settle, but the mediator can make it possible for the parties to see the weaknesses in their cases and encourage a compromise. Many lawyers dismiss mediation as a waste of time right off the bat, but secretly, they know it’s a useful way to achieve a middle ground that might serve their client’s interests.
Insurance Claims Lawyer Secret #8
Insurance claims lawyers cannot easily fire their clients or quit a case. Your lawyer cannot force you to agree to a settlement or to a legal strategy. Lawyers take justifiable pride in the education, training, and hard work it takes to succeed in their chosen profession, but when it comes down to it, they are still in the business of customer service. And the customer is always right. Lawyers cannot force a client to do something the client does not want to do, and they cannot “drop” the client like a hot potato, in most cases, without permission from a judge and written documentation. Don’t be afraid to communicate openly and honestly with your lawyer about your concerns and expectations.
FREE CASE REVIEW for Your Insurance Claim
The nationally-recognized insurance claims lawyers at Stewart J. Guss, Attorney at Law have experience handling tricky insurance disputes. Our team isn’t intimidated by big insurance companies, and we’re equipped with the resources, drive, and knowledge to stand up to them in our client’s best interest.
We have helped injured individuals fight insurance companies and their legal teams for more than two decades. Talk to one of our legal experts now and get a free case review to learn about the next steps in your insurance claim. Because accidents can happen at any time, we’re here for you 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Call now at 866-674-5289.
Why wait? CLICK HERE to submit your case for review online. Because we take all of our personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis, you owe us nothing unless we win your case.