3 Things You Should Avoid When Dealing with the Insurance Company After an Accident
After you’ve been involved in an accident, the other party’s insurance company will likely contact you, and the insurance adjuster may seem friendly and try to gain your trust. Really good insurance adjusters work to make you believe they’re on your side while building a case against you.
# 1 Never Provide a Recorded Statement to the Defendant*s Insurance CompanyInsurance companies take advantage of people like you every single day. They try to get to you before you have had a chance to talk to an attorney. Because of this, we have compiled a list mistakes we have seen people make when dealing with insurance adjusters. If you avoid these mistakes it could help you win your claim.
During your conversation with the insurance adjuster, he/she will likely ask to take your recorded statement, and you may feel that you must give one. It*s important that you decline his or her request and direct them to your attorney who should handle all communication with the insurance agency. Often, people don*t even know they*re being recorded because the insurance adjusters are highly trained to get your statement. Their seemingly innocent questions are laying the groundwork for their case against you. Any answer you give them could potentially cause irreversible damage to your claim.
Please note that this information applies to the defendant*s insurance company, not your own. Most insurance contracts require that the insured party cooperate with them. This means you must talk to your own insurance company about the incident.
# 2 Never Accept a Quick SettlementWhen you*re a victim of an accident, you may be inclined to accept a quick settlement because you need money to pay bills*especially if your medical expenses pile up quickly. Insurance companies may tell you that a quick settlement is in your best interest, but this is most often not true. They know that you are injured, possibly unable to work, and that you are being inundated with medical bills. Sometimes they will purposely take their time and drag things out so that you feel a financial squeeze and think that you need to take a quick settlement.
Insurance companies also know that you may not consider the long-term effects of your injuries and will urge you to sign a Release of Claims before you know the full value of your case. If you sign, you*ll be unable to collect additional money from the insurance company later.
This is important because injuries can often worsen over time or be much more serious than you or your doctor first thought. If you accept a settlement soon after you*re injured, you have no recourse for obtaining additional financial compensation to cover expenses should your condition deteriorate. It*s important that you understand the full extent of your injuries before you settle, including whether your injuries are fully healed, if you*ll need future medical attention, and if you*ll be able to return to your job and perform at your full capacity.
# 3 Never See a Doctor Recommended by the Insurance CompanyMany insurance companies offer significant compensation to doctors who will claim that the accident victim isn*t injured seriously or injured at all. Because the insurance company wants to save money, it will recommend that you see a physician it pays to say you*re not injured. It*s even possible that your own doctor is on the insurance company*s payroll.