Common Misconceptions about Accident Claims
"I have full coverage, so everything will be covered." This is an incorrect belief. When you purchased your auto insurance policy, you probably didn't put a lot of thought into what "full coverage" really meant. It was part of your policy, so you assumed that if you were ever in an accident, you wouldn't have to worry about anything. Why would you? You are "fully covered." The hard truth is that full coverage only means you are covered if you hit someone. It does not mean that if an uninsured person, or someone who does not have enough insurance injures you, that you are covered by your insurance policy or that you even have adequate insurance coverage to pay for all your bills.
The driver admitted to rear-ending my car, so he is liable for my injuries.
If you were injured as a result of an accident, the insurance company will look for pre-existing injuries and will dig through your past medical records. They will be reviewing your medical records to see if you ever complained to your physician about the injury you are claiming was caused by the accident. If they feel that the new pain you are experiencing is linked to a pre-existing condition, guess what? The insurance company is going to try to claim that your injuries had little to do with the accident and a whole lot more to do with your pre-existing condition.
"I don't need a lawyer."
A qualified and experienced lawyer can help you get the compensation you deserve. The insurance company is going to offer you as little as possible. They might try to dissuade you from hiring a lawyer, saying that you can work directly with them. What they are really hoping is that you don't hire an attorney, so that they can get away with paying you less money. Research has actually been done regarding the benefits of hiring a lawyer. What researchers discovered was that people, who hire lawyers to represent their cases, receive better compensation, on average, and their settlements are typically higher.
"The insurance company will pay all my medical bills." OR better yet, "The insurance company adjuster said that he would pay for all my bills."
The insurance adjuster may have showed up to your home, acting like a friend and expressing deep concern over your injuries. During the course of conversation, the insurance adjuster may have told you that as long as you cooperated with the claims process, the insurance company would pay all of your medical bills. That probably gave you a lot of comfort, but what you need to know is that the insurance adjuster does not have the authority to pay your medical bills. Everything an adjuster does goes through a management review. Insurance adjusters are at the mercy of their employers. They are not the ones who typically make the decisions on who will and will not have their medical bills paid. The truth of the matter is that the management at the insurance company makes the decisions and can even decide that you are paying too much for a prescription drug and not cover it. It is the management that calls the shots, not an insurance adjuster.