New clients often convey to me that the insurance adjuster has told them they do not need an attorney to resolve their case. I always laugh at that statement because it reminds me of an analogy I use a good bit here in South Carolina:
Would you listen to the devil on how to get to Heaven? Then why would you listen to an insurance adjuster about how to settle your claim AGAINST them?—Trey Mills
Of course the insurance adjuster that is employed by the insurance company that has to pay money out on an insurance claim would try and contain the amount of money that is paid out on claims. Do you think adjusters are given raises and/or bonuses at the end of the year for paying out lots of money on claims or for keeping payouts on claims low? That’s right your interest in resolving the claim and their interest in resolving claim are at opposite ends. The insurance adjuster does not have your best interest in mind.
When you hire an attorney on a contingency fee basis, meaning a percentage of the settlement amount-most commonly 33.33% or 1/3, your interest are aligned with the attorney’s interest. At the most basic level your interest and the attorney’s interest are symbiotic because of the mutual benefit in resolving for a higher value. However, if an attorney just works for money and doesn’t want to build upon a relationship with having you as a client to brag about them to your circle of influence, that attorney’s success will be limited.
Remember insurance adjusters cannot provide you with legal advice. All they can do is better their interest and the interest of their employer (insurance company) by saving money. If they are saving money, then you are losing money. It’s just that simple.