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The close relationship between lawyers and insurance companies

Although it might not be our very first thought to think of lawyers and insurance companies as parties capable of having a close relationship, especially given the fact that they are on opposite sides, this is very much the case.

Written on 2 April 2019

Although it might not be our very first thought to think of lawyers and insurance companies as parties capable of having a close relationship, especially given the fact that they are on opposite sides, this is very much the case. People mostly hear about the battles between lawyers and insurance companies and how they struggle to reach any sort of agreement when it comes to compensation claims in personal injury. This of course to some extent is true. That being said however, from a personal injury point of view, their businesses intertwine more than you think.

Both parties will have a close working relationship for numerous reasons such as ensuring that a personal injury claim is legitimate, to ensure the claim is settled and within a reasonable period of time as well as others. Therefore, although it is not very apparent from the very start, it should be evident that the aims of insurance companies and lawyers overlap greatly.

Fraudulent claims

Although this might not happen very often, past insurance claims indicate that there are still now occasional claimants who try to raise fraudulent claims. Sometimes an individual will claim that they were injured as a result of someone else’s negligence in an accident which in reality never took place. Other times they might claim that they were not the only injured individuals in the accident and that their family member or friends were injured in the accident but they were actually not present at the scene of the accident or the accident never caused them to suffer from an injury. There are too sometimes circumstances where the claimant will lie about certain aspects of the accident such as the severity of the injuries, types of injuries as well as facts surrounding the accident.

If there are any reasons for the insurance companies or the lawyer to doubt the claimants’ statements, it is very likely that they will have to work with each other to carry out an investigation. It is in the interest of both, the insurance company as well as a lawyer to reduce the number of fraudulent claims brought forward and to ensure that their times are not wasted during the process.

The claimant will need to provide a statement and any other evidence supporting their claim. Matters such as medical examination and reports will need to be carried out at the earliest possible opportunity to avoid any fraudulent or dishonest claims and most importantly prevent dishonest claims from succeeding.

To settle the claim

It is a well known fact that the aim of both the insurance company and the lawyers is to settle the claim. Lawyers want to ensure that they can secure the best possible outcome for their clients, maximising their compensation. Insurance companies on the other hand want to make sure the claim is settled before proceeding further and going to court. Although both parties are on two opposite sides, one looking out for the interests of the claimant and the other looking out for the best interests of the insurance companies, they both have one aim in common and that is to settle the claim without prolonging matters further.

Maximising the chances of settling a claim early

It is also clear that a personal injury claims can take a long time, varying from a few months and continuing for a number of years. From the perspective of lawyers ensuring that the claim is settled within a reasonable period of time is crucial. It will ensure that the client is satisfied with the service received and it will allow the lawyer to collect their legal fee. From the insurance company perspective, settling a claim early will avoid additional costs and their build up. In addition to this, it will avoid the possibility of prolonging the process of the claim and allow both parties to avoid pursuing or defending a claim in court and thus prevent uncertainty.

Maximising the prospects of the injured person returning to work

Although this might seem like an odd point to consider, it is important to note that both sides want to maximise the prospects of the injured person returning to work. Lawyers want to ensure that their clients can take the time to recover from the injury and get back to their normal routine and return to work. They want to make sure that their clients’ interests are protected. Insurance companies, on the other hand, would like certainty that any future exposure to another claim will be reduced and that there will be no potential of escalating expenses. Although both parties have different motives, their aims are the same thus it can be argued that their businesses intertwine in many aspects.

To avoid any new or additional claim at the end of the process

It is without any surprise that insurance companies do not like last minute changes or surprises. This is of course why new or additional claims at the end of the process of a personal injury can cause difficulties. The insurer might become aggravated and perhaps reconsider settlement, resulting in pursuit to fight the insurance claim altogether, therefore delaying the entire process. Additional claims can cause some difficulties for lawyers too. Any progress made in the claim can be delayed by weeks, sometimes months. In addition to this, new or additional claims can sometimes have negative consequences for their client. Ensuring that there is no surprise throughout the claim is important. It will ensure that the insurer and lawyer can put their differences aside to concentrate on settling the claim, instead of steering in other directions.

If you have suffered from a personal injury, you will need guidance from a personal injury lawyer with vast experience of dealing with insurance companies. At Jones Whyte, you will be provided with professional guidance, tailored to your individual needs and budget. To discuss your individual case today, please contact our personal injury team today. 

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