– Have you ever wonderedwhether you should hire a personal injury attorneywhen you're dealing with an injury from an accident,like an auto accident? This video is absolutely for you.
(upbeat music) Hey my name is Jeremy Goodrich, I'm the owner of Shine Insurance Agency and your host for the ShineInsurance YouTube Channel, where we share informationon buying a new home, insurance of all kinds,and business ownership.
It's what we answer questions about everyday for our clients and so we share some of those answers for you.
This week, I had aconversation with someone about whether or not they shouldhire a personal injury attorney and I thought thatwould make a great video because it's one of thoseweird things, right? I think most of us are not litigious type of people or we don't feel like lawsuits are the way we want to solve problems unless we absolutely have to.
At least I know that's the way I am.
So the idea of hiring apersonal injury attorney feels kind of not okay to me or slimy a little bit.
But there definitely are times when you should hire apersonal injury attorney and I'm going to talkabout that right now.
It's important to say that everyone's opinion is obviouslydifferent on this topic.
I'm sure folks will comment below and I hope you do that maybe agree with the things I have tosay or totally disagree and that's obviously fine.
Everyone's going to takea different approach to whether or not hire apersonal injury attorney after being injured in an accident.
Let's talk about, though,what their role would be.
If you decide to hire apersonal injury attorney, they are going to help you walk through the process of gettingthree things taken care of.
One: your medical expenses.
Two: any lost wages orlost work that you had.
You obviously would havegotten paid for that.
So you want to make sureyou get compensated for that and then the third thing iscalled pain and suffering.
So it's a little bit less clear.
There's not receiptsfor it or hospital bills but it is a real thingthat you're experiencing.
So my client this weekwas rear ended in her car.
She was sitting still at a stoplight and another car hit herpretty hard from behind.
She got some whiplash and what's been a real bummer about the situation is that she's had concussion symptoms now for the last three months.
This means she can't look at screens and that's what she does for a living.
Something that's associated with a screen so she hasn't been ableto go to work very well.
She's not the type ofperson to take advantage of a situation.
We're old friends and I know that she is just going through it.
And so her husband and herhave been communicating with me about the process and the other person's insurance company, which is a big name insurance company that you see commercialsabout all the time, has been real distant about helping her.
They're not telling herwhat they're going to cover.
They're not telling herhow the process works.
Obviously she has me and so I told her like I will tell you, exactlyhow this process does work.
What you need to understand is that this is a liability situation.
The definition of the word liability is bad things that happen to other people because of you.
The person who rear ended my client is it's their fault.
In the state of Indiana where we live, it's an at-fault state so the person who's fault the accident is, they're insurance companyis responsible for paying out any damage or sufferingassociated by that other person.
So there's a liability claim here right? Something bad happened to someone else because of the person who rear ended them.
But in a liability situation, the number one rule to understand is that nothing gets paid out until the entire situation is resolved.
I'm going to say that again because it's so important.
Nothing gets paid outby the insurance company until they write the finalcheck at the end of the process.
That can be a real tough experience for almost anybody who'sgoing through things.
They're starting toaccumulate medical bills, and all this kind ofstuff and they're like well wait, the processisn't over yet though.
And so you just haveto know that going in.
Now some okay things about that are that hospitals and folks like that know that this is the way it works so a lot of times theywill wait to get paid until the final payout but especially things that extend for long periods of time.
It's just a real bummerthe way it's set up.
I'm not sure I agree with that, that it's set up toonly pay out at the end but what the insurancecompany is trying to do is come to a final number, write that check, get you to sign offthat you're not going to file a lawsuit for any moremoney or anything like that and be done with the situation.
So you have to compile all those bills.
You have to compile all the lost wages, or letters from your employer that show that you weren't at work and you have to compile some information about the pain andsuffering that you have.
If you don't have apersonal injury attorney, you're doing that all on your own and for most situations,that's going to be perfectly fine if it's nota super serious situation or if you have an insurance company that's cooperating with you.
The adjuster from the insurance company is communicating with you fairly often, is not putting you on the defensive or making you feel like they're trying to not pay the claim.
The insurance companyadjuster should absolutely be communicating with you, should be asking how things are going, should be getting updates and should be talking you through the process.
If that's happening, inmy opinion, you don't need a personal injury attorney.
Because a personal injuryattorney in the end is going to take a certain cut of whatever you get, so they tend to take about 20% of a payout in that situation.
Now, you're going to haveto pay the medical bills that you have right? That's not money thatyou have to work with.
If you get some money for missing work, that's great and everything, but a lot of times whathappens when you get a personal injury attorney is they take any of the extra money forlike pain and suffering and you kind of losethat and you hand it off to the attorney.
So, three things going onin any type of injury claim where the other person's at fault, a liability claim, the medical expenses, the lost wages and pain and suffering.
If you hire an attorney,that attorney is going to help you walk through those things.
That attorney is going topush the insurance company to make payment property.
That attorney could file a lawsuit if they feel that the insurancecompany is not paying out the way they should.
The attorney can make all those decisions and do it professionally.
So, there certainly aretimes when that attorney can help.
The person I'm talking to right now, the other insurance companyis not taking care of them, is not answering any questions, seems very evasive an is trying to see if this person is trying to get them or something like that.
There may be a point where my client needs to hire a personal injury to help out.
And that's a perfectly goodtime to hire an attorney.
One last thing aboutattorneys that's good to know, as you go through theprocess of experiencing this claim, you can hirea personal injury attorney at any time up to thepoint where you sign off on that final payout.
If you sign off on that final payout and then you say, oh wellactually I don't think I got enough or whatever, an attorney probably isn't'going to take the job at that point becauseyou've already accepted the settlement.
But any time before that, whether it's at the very beginning or all the way up to the very end before yousign off on the settlement, you could hire a personal injury attorney.
In my opinion, it's nota good idea to start at the very beginningand just get an attorney unless you're seeing thatthe insurance company is just not doing what youwant from the very start.
It's going to work out a lot better if you see where the insurancecompany is coming from.
If the insurance companyis taking good care of you, is communicating well, is talking you through the process and is making a fair settlement in the end with you and explaining how theycame to the numbers that they came to, then there is no reason fora personal injury attorney.
All you're going to bedoing is handing off some of the money thatcomes out of that situation to somebody else.
Now there's lots of attorneys out there and all the commercials and everything, they want you to thinkthat they'll get you tons more money than youcould have gotten on your own.
But the fact is, the insurance company, if it's a good insurance company, is going to take care of you in a reasonable wayfor those three things.
The medical expenses, for the lost wages, and lost work time andfor pain and suffering and beyond that, noattorney can get more money than is reasonably going to come to you.
You're not going to getsome wild amount of money for pain and suffering if you didn't have significant pain and suffering.
So, you can't watch the commercials, you can't listen to the commercials.
You want to make sure thatyour insurance company is taking good care of you.
If the insurance company is not taking good care of you, I would push them.
I would ask my insuranceagent to help push them.
I do that for people all the time.
And then if you just simplycan't get what you want, it may be time to hire apersonal injury attorney.
I hope this video helped a little bit.
I know it's a tough situation to be in and making thesedecisions are really hard.
I hope if you're watching this and you've experienced an accident, that you are getting better, that life is getting better and I can tell you thatyou'll get through it and things will bebetter on the other side.
If you'd like more information from us about injuries, about accidents, about insurance stuff or anything else, go ahead and head overto our Shine Insurance YouTube channel.
It's been a pleasure talking with you.
Until the next time, have a wonderful day.