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Car accident. Other party is at fault. Questions about other party's insurance agent.

Mount Vernon, IL |

The at fault party's insurance agency wants us to sign papers so that "he can contact our medical provider and insurance company". He is coming to our home to give us the papers. Should we sign? Or should we be wary about fine print?

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Attorney answers 10

Posted

You should not handle this alone . Hire an attorney that works on contingency to make sure you are properly compensated.

Posted

Do not sign. Hire an attorney as your very next step.

Posted

The other party's adjuster main job is to limit your recovery as much as possible. This benefits the shareholders of that insurance carrier. Dealing with their adjuster sans counsel does not put more money in your pocket. It does leave more money in the carrier's accounts.

I would encourage you to cease communicating with the adjuster and seek out experienced counsel.

Stephen I. Lane

Stephen I. Lane

Posted

I agree with the others who've counseled you to a) stop all communications with the insurance company, b) do not sign any document they provide you without first having an experienced personal injury attorney review it, and c) consult with your own attorney immediately. You need to understand that, no matter how friendly , kind or concerned the adjustor might appear to you, the ONLY safe approach you can take is to presume he is only interested in undermining your case and only desirous of paying out as little as he possibly can on your claim. That's his/her job. Period, end of story, no exceptions. I'm not saying that all adjustors are evil, or dishonest. But that is the job of ALL adjustors. You should seek experienced, competent counsel who can guide you past the landmines. They will always be there. Last but not least, you should notify your own insurance carrier to take care of any repairs or property damage you may need to address. Your carrier owes you a duty of good faith and fair dealing. The other carrier owes you nothing until you're able to force them to agree to pay you an amount you consider fair.

Posted

Never sign anything. Hire a lawyer. Don't let the adjuster control the situation.

This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

Posted

I agree with the comments of the other counsel. Since it appears you have sustained some type of personal injury, consultation with an attorney is critical to the protection of your rights. In addition to reviewing all documents received from the insurance company, if you are injured, your attorney will have a greater degree of knowledge regarding the value of your case and how to negotiate a favorable settlement.

This answer is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be nor should it be considered the providing of legal advice.

Posted

I agree with the answers above, and I would add that you should stop communicating with the adjuster while you seek an experienced personal injury attorney.

Posted

Do not sign any papers, especially if you have been injured. You should immediately contact an attorney to discuss your claim. Most attorneys in these kinds of cases, like my firm, provide a free consultation and do not charge a fee unless they make a recovery for you.

Posted

If you were injured, consult a personal injury attorney BEFORE you DO or SAY ANYTHING. If you have no injury, it really doesn't matter.

If this information has been helpful, please indicate by providing feedback that the answer was either "helpful" or "best answer" as appropriate. Legal Disclaimer: Mr. Candiano is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Indiana. The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question.

Posted

You don't necessarily need to run out and hire a personal injury lawyer. Maybe you will need one and maybe you won't . However, before meeting with an insurance adjuster, or even speaking with him anymore, call a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. The call won't cost you a dime. If the attorney is worried more about getting hired than listening to you, hang up and call another one. Good luck!

Posted

The insurance agent's proposed procedure is frought with danger if you are not careful enough. If you or other passengers in your car were hurt, you need to contact a lawyer who has experience with handling motor vehicle collisions. The "papers" you are being asked to sign may contain provisions which terminate or at least restrict your rights. Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, there should be no downside to your retaining counsel to help you.
Best of luck.

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Stephen Laurence Hoffman

Posted

The best thing an insurance adjuster can do is cut out the lawyer. Why? Because the adjuster handles claims for a living, and has knowledge and experience with how to minimize medical claims, injuries, and knows how the process works. You, the injured person, even if you are highly intelligent and organized, likely have little clue how the "insides" of an insurance claim work. A lawyer who handles personal injury does this daily, just like the adjuster. In addition, the lawyer knows more about many of the issues that arise, like medical terminology, biomechanics, and economics. But the best thing is that the lawyer knows how to try a case in court and has done so, whereas the adjuster is no a lawyer. You play nice with an adjuster without a lawyer and you are at a disadvantage. You deal with an adjuster when you have a lawyer and YOU have the advantage. It's kind of like, would you rather be audited by the IRS with a really experienced accountant right by your side, explaining the process, knowing the law, and protecting your interests, or would you want to show up alone? I think you see why we are all telling you not to sign release authorizations. They give the insurance carrier an advantage. They already have one. Let a competent attorney amass your records and bills and get control of your claim.

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