RTL’s Real Truth about the Law # 1: “The first call after an auto accident is my insurance agent, right…?”
Absolutely not! A good lawyer is your very next call right after reporting an automobile accident to the police and that’s simply the real truth about the law. Why? Well, consider this:
The ‘Nice Guy’ at the Restaurant Dinner Party
Have you ever noticed how everybody gets along fine at a restaurant dinner party until the check comes… Folks that were all smiles and ‘we’ll just work it out at the end’ all of a sudden start splitting hairs over every little thing they can find to reduce their share of the check. You all may be ‘friends’, but it still doesn’t prevent some inevitable ‘haggling’. And as you probably know from past experience, the one who ‘doesn’t want to argue’ usually gets stuck with more than their fair share of the bill.
It Ain’t Personal; It’s Business
That’s exactly the way it is with an insurance company. They’re that dinner companion that’s all ‘easy going’ and smiles as long as they’re cashing your premium checks, but once a claim arrives, they are looking for any angle possible to reduce it or even deny it. And it’s not really anything to fault. It’s what they do. And it’s inherent to any negotiation transaction. And believe you me, it IS a negotiation. It’s how they, just as any other business, make money. It’s all about income vs. expense and how big a profit they can turn between the two.
When Interests Conflict
And just what do you call a business relationship where one side’s interest conflicts with the other side’s…? You guessed it; a ‘conflict of interest’. It’s an inherent and unavoidable element of any claim process and simply not a relationship in which ‘trust’ is the compelling factor, but a business relationship driven solely by economics. And the economics in play here are the competing interests between just how much your claim is truly worth vs. how much you can force (and I do mean force) your insurance company to pay. And the only way to get real true value is by effectively negotiating your legitimate claim.
It’s not ‘THEIR’ Money; It’s YOURS!
If you’re ‘trusting’ an insurance company to give you what your claim is truly worth, then you’re the very client upon which they are looking to build their profits. You guessed it. You’re the ‘nice’ dinner guest that gets stuck with more than your fair share of the bill after the check haggling. At a ‘friendly’ dinner, that’s probably under $100. But for an auto accident, we’re talking THOUSANDS of dollars left on the table for the insurance companies to divvy up to executive bonuses and stock dividends. And it’s not THEIR money. It’s YOURS!
What All This Means to YOU
I can’t tell you how many people bring me otherwise good cases that are then turned into bad ones in their very first short conversation with their insurance company. And this avoidable damage is simply because they tried to handle the claim themselves without the invaluable benefit of legal counsel from the beginning. It breaks my heart every time I see someone taking good money out of their own pocket and giving it to an insurance company, a company that they’ve paid premiums to for YEARS, simply because they were too uninformed to get a good lawyer on the matter from the very start. It’s your money; help me help you to keep it!