Hiring a Baltimore Personal Injury Attorney vs. Using Car Insurance
In the aftermath of any significant or catastrophic Baltimore, Maryland automobile accident, there is little doubt that several questions of moment arise. Perhaps not the first, but likely a prominent among those questions is something like: “should I hire a skilled, experienced Baltimore area personal injury litigator to handle this claim, or, should I allow the insurance company or companies involved to sort out the rights and responsibilities of the involved parties
- determine who was at fault
- determine if I need needs what medical care, and for what length of time
- determine if I am entitled to lost wages, and the right amount, and
- determine if I am entitled to additional compensation for non-economic damages
If those tasks, conclusions, and decisions sound like the types of things one would not generally trust to the sole discretion of one or more insurance companies- then serious consideration to retaining a personal injury lawyer must be considered. Experience has shown me that with regard to some components of a larger personal injury claim, it might make sense to let the insurance companies hash it out. With respect to other more vital components of that claim-those involving injury and disability and compensation- it in no way makes sense to let the insurance company be the ultimate arbiter.
In the aftermath of a Baltimore car accident that results in personal injury to one or more of the occupants, it rarely, if ever, makes sense to let the other person’s insurance company decide what fair compensation for your injuries, your loss, and your damages should be. It’s difficult to conceive of a direct analogy, but one that has been used over the years is as follows: Imagine you were the coach of a professional football team, and one of the better players on your team is injured on the field of play. It is uncertain if that player can return to the game. Would the coach ask the team doctor for the other team to conduct an examination of his player, and determine whether or not that player is hurt, should return to action, or when, or under what terms? It would be much more likely that this coach would solicit and rely on the advice offered by a skilled and trusted professional of his or her choosing, rather than relying on the opinions and suggestions of his or her adversaries. Moreover, if the player is seriously hurt, and can’t return to football at all, would the player allow his now former team to determine if is he entitled to financial compensation, and if so, dictate the amount? It’s difficult to conceive of a player making such a decision. It would be much more likely that that player would obtain the services of a skilled and experienced professional, lawyer or otherwise, the player trusts for advice and guidance.
Make no mistake. If you are dealing with an injury-causing event and allowing the other side -the at-fault party’s insurance company- to dictate to you the nature and extent of your injuries and define the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive you were making a decision similar to the coaches in the above scenario. The better and more reasoned approach is to at least consult with a skilled and experienced personal injury lawyer. Many attorneys offer a low-cost or, indeed complementary initial screening and consultation about your injuries and about your claim, generally. Remember, if the insurance company can characterize your case or incident as one involving little or minimal property damage and no personal injury -they will. Always. For an insurance company, an open claim means the possibility of having to spend money. A closed claim on the other hand might have some statistical or accounting significance, but it very definitely represents an item on a balance sheet that will not cost the insurance company any money in the future. The myriad ways in which car insurance companies in this country remain profitable year after year after year is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that any insurance company would rather have a cadre of closed cases where they have paid a minimal amount as opposed to a multitude of open claims where the payouts in the future or on certain are uncertain. The insurance company, your adversaries, have told you your damages are slight and your injuries if any, benign.
Do you want them to also dictate the amount of compensation you deserve?