Victims of motor vehicle collisions have become more proactive about protecting their rights in recent years. A report from the Insurance Research Council reveals a dramatic increase in the number of car accident victims seeking legal representation when making a personal injury protection (PIP) claim. Victims of collisions who make bodily injury claims are also more likely to be represented by a lawyer today than they were in the past.
It is great news that more people who get hurt in collisions get help from a personal injury lawyer. The increase in legal representation of car accident victims has occurred at the same time as claimed economic losses have ticked up. Having a lawyer allows victims to better negotiate with insurers and to have a better understanding of their rights.
More Collision Victims are Getting Legal Help
In 1977, just 17 percent of victims in car accidents had an attorney represent them when making a personal injury protection (PIP) claim. Over the past several decades, more people have begun to seek legal help with these types of claims. In 2007, 31 percent of PIP claimants were represented by an attorney and by 2012, this number had risen to 36 percent.
From 2007 to 2012, the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association reports that average claimed economic losses after collisions in the U.S., including medical expenditures and lost wages, grew eight percent annualized among PIP claimants.
Florida had the highest number of PIP claimants represented by a lawyer of any state. More than 50 percent of claimants had a lawyer.
Victims making bodily injury claims have always consulted an attorney in greater numbers than those making PIP claims. In 1977, 47 percent of bodily injury claimants had a lawyer. The percent of plaintiffs represented has jumped to between 47 and 57 percent in the decades since 1977. In 2007, 49 percent of victims were represented and this number was up to 50 percent by 2012.
Claimed losses have increased for victims making bodily injury claims as well, but not by as much as PIP clams. From 2007 to 2012, average claimed losses for bodily injury claimants grew four percent.
Private insurance companies pick up around 50 percent of all costs from motor vehicle collisions, with the victim of the crash covering 26 percent and healthcare providers covering 14 percent of costs, according got the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. Insurers likely should pick up more, but a report from the American Association for Justice shows that most insurance companies use a variety of underhanded techniques to delay and deny claims. Some insurers even provide incentives like parties for agents who can deny the most claims.
Having a lawyer can help you to get treated more fairly. Although the Insurance Research Council has tried to suggest that it is bad news more victims are represented by attorneys, the reality is that people wouldn't get a lawyer if insurers did their jobs and paid claims in fair and in full. It is the insurers who are depriving people of their legal rights and lawyers who fight for injured victims.
If you or a loved one is injured in a traffic accident, visit http://www.davidglatthornlaw.com or contact David J. Glatthorn at 800-990-9394 to discuss your rights with a West Palm Beach, FL personal injury lawyer. Serving Palm Beach County and all of South Florida.