Why People Hire Attorneys For Auto Insurance Claims

March 28, 2017

In a recent study regarding auto insurance injury claims, about 50 percent of participants who filed claims had to hire attorneys for assistance. The survey was set up as a poll. However, most people did not seek help from an attorney because they had a bad experience with the claims process.

Only about 15 percent of the respondents said that they experienced delays or other problems with the claims process. Another 10 percent of participants said that they talked to attorneys because they were dissatisfied with the amount offered by the insurer as a settlement. The most common reason for contacting a lawyer was because people received suggestions from friends, doctors or relatives to do so. More than 30 percent did so because a friend or a family member recommended it, and a little more than 15 percent did so because a doctor recommended it. About 20 percent of the respondents said that they contacted an attorney because they wanted to get the highest possible settlement.

There were other findings in the survey that led researchers to see that other factors influenced the claimants' minds. About 65 percent of claimants reported contacting a lawyer at the beginning of the claims process, which shows that their purpose for doing so was not related to an unfair settlement or problems with the process itself. Also, only about 30 percent of those who said that they were satisfied with the insurer's handling of the claim hired an attorney.

Experts said that the common misconception of attorney involvement in the claims process being related to the insurer has important implications since attorneys can be expensive to retain or pay by the hour. They hoped that publishing the results of this survey would put minds everywhere at ease. The poll-style survey was administered online under the request of the IRC by GFK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. There were 27,126 participants, and the survey was conducted in June and July 2016. More than 500 participants responded to follow-up questions about the claims process when they hired private lawyers and the results were compared to the population of adults who were 18 or older in the United States. 

When an accident happens, it is important to contact an agent immediately. Lawyers are often recommended if there were injuries and the other party was at fault. However, an insurance agent is a personal advocate throughout the claims process. To learn more and to be properly prepared, talk to an agent.

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