As enjoyable as the commercials from car insurance companies may be on TV, don’t forget these companies do much more than advertise. They spend a large amount of time and resources studying human behavior, trends, buying habits and opinions on a range of subjects. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why the insurance sector might want to know how and why people make the choice to hire an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims after a car accident.
If you were to be a fly on the wall in an insurance company meeting, you would hear reasons why the industry believes personal injury attorneys increase the overall frequency and cost of insurance claims. Given their inquisitive tendencies, it makes perfect sense why these organizations would invest countless resources into PR and Research firms to find out the reason behind most people make the choice to seek a competent lawyer after an accident. For years, veterans in the industry have drawn the conclusion that it was delays in processing claims that led to the increased frequency of people hiring lawyers. However, a recent study in 2016 challenges that belief.
Now, before you read about a study’s findings, it’s a good idea to know who wrote it and why they are important to the Insurance industry, and for you, too. In 1977, a non-profit, independent research organization, the IRC (Insurance Research Council) was founded. You might be surprised to know that the IRC receives support from many insurance companies and associations including:
- Allstate Insurance Company
- AMICA Mutual Insurance Company
- American Family Insurance
- Hanover Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual Group
- National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC)
- Property Casualty Insurance Association of American (PCIAA)
- Sentry Insurance
- State Farm Insurance Companies
- United Services Automobile Association
A Surprising Find
The IRC in 2016 released a press statement on the findings on a study called “Motivation for Attorney Involvement in Auto Injury Claims” (pdf file). The study asked one simple question, “Why Did You Decide to Talk to an Attorney About Your Auto Injury Claim?” Many people, especially those in industry, were surprised that what was thought to be common knowledge was anything but. How?
The study, in fact, did not show that the main reason people hire lawyers after car accidents was because of delays in processing claims.
What are the Top 3 Reasons Why People Hire a Personal Injury Attorney after a Car Accident?
- Over one third (33%) of survey participants said they retained a lawyer because family and/or friends suggested that they speak with one.
- More than 20% desired to get the highest possible settlement.
- Doctor’s suggestion (16%)
- Their doctor suggested they speak with an attorney (16%)
That’s right, nearly HALF of all participants (49%) said they made the decision to speak to an attorney after a car accident because of the suggestion of family, friends, or their doctor!
Other reasons, in decreasing order, included:
- Unhappy with delays in settlement (15%)
- Attorney advertisements (13%)
- First settlement offer was unsatisfactory (10%)
- The other driver didn’t have insurance (uninsured motorists) (9%)
- Coverage denial (8%)
- Contacted by Lawyer (7%)
- Problems with collision or rental coverage (5%)
The study also uncovered some other interesting revelations. Over two thirds of the claimants retained a lawyer in the first week after the accident. This fact, in particular, defeats the long-held assumption that people hire lawyers because of a delay in their claim.
When viewed holistically, the majority of people can come to an agreement on some facts. First, insurance companies are a business and like every business, making money is vital to their success. They are not charitable organizations. Although it is the person who gets hurt in the car accident that suffers, there’s a whole industry that revolves around injuries sustained from car accidents in our society. The insurance company’s own outside representation, the insurance company and the personal injury lawyer all have a part to play. Even the courts, auto repair industry and the medical profession are participants.
Given the stakes involved, if you are in a car accident and you sustained an injury, ensuring that you get compensation that is full, fair and complete makes complete sense.
The Choice is Yours
Hiring a personal injury lawyer after a car or motorcycle accident is a decision that only you can make. Should you choose to hire a lawyer, you must carefully select one, as that individual will represent you as well as your advocate pending when your case is settled or when a jury gives a verdict. From the study published by IRC, we can see clearly that 70% of the people who made the choice to hire a lawyer for their auto injury claim did so because it was suggested by people they respect and also because they wanted to get full compensation for damages sustained.
Blog Source: Gallagher & Hagopian | The Top 3 Reasons People Hire an Attorney After A Car Accident