Friday, February 28, 2003 has posted support for what I have always known anecdotally: personal injury claimants do better with lawyers than without them:
According to the article:
[Allstate's] campaign material was tailored to make an accident victim feel valued through efforts like its "Customer Service Pledge," which promised quicker, simpler settlements undiminished by attorneys' fees[...] The literature made heavy use of the word "fair," but didn't even hint at what Allstate's own studies reflected -- that, for claims in the $1,500 to $15,000 range, claimants with lawyers got settlements of two to three times more. Actual averages were $3,464 for claimants without lawyers, versus $7,450 for those who were represented, according to 1995 Allstate training manuals[...] In 1998, after serving as president of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association, New London's Robert I. Reardon filed the current action, aiming for class certification. White, a Voluntown resident, was offered a maximum of $50,000 by Allstate for auto accident injuries while negotiating unrepresented. Once she hired a lawyer, her claim settled for the $100,000 policy limits. Similarly, plaintiff Thomas Moore was offered $7,000 without a lawyer, and $20,000 once represented.

Even allowing for the average 1/3 contingency fees, the above statistics show that consumers still come out ahead with legal representation against insurance companies. So the next time you find yourself in competition with the insurance company for a client, throw out these stats and see if that does the trick."

That's the reason Allstate -- and other carriers -- want to get you to settle your case before getting a lawyer. I've always said that the adjusters who get a claimant to sign a release for low money before getting a lawyer have a little star pasted on their record. I think I'm kidding on that. I think.

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