Car Caught Fire, Do I Get A Lawyer To Help Tussle With The Insurance Company?

James’ Passat caught on fire and he wants to know if he should get a lawyer to help him out with his insurance claim.

We’ve had Liberty Mutual for several years. We’ve had a couple of minor accidents in the past and they’ve always been great. This, of course, is a major incident. I’m pretty sure the car is totaled, though I won’t hear from the insurance adjuster for a couple of days.

So is it necessary to talk to a lawyer now? Or should I assume good faith on the part of Liberty Mutual and threaten a lawyer (and Consumerist!) if I think things sound hinky?

I’m wondering less about Liberty Mutual in particular — though that’d be interesting — and more about the wisdom when to involve lawyers in insurance claims. Any advice would be welcome.

From what we hear, it’s probably a good idea to get a lawyer in this case. Insurance companies like to pay the least they can, unless they’re forced to do otherwise. — BEN POPKEN

Our Car Burned Up [Seattlest]
Our Passat Caught Fire [Jalopnik]