Contacting insurance companies can be stressful—not to mention, saying the wrong thing without knowing it can bad for your case in the long run. Here’s how to determine the true value of a personal injury attorney when it comes to speaking with insurance adjusters.
As an extension of one of our recent blogs—The True Value of a Personal Injury Attorney—this blog delves into how valuable it can be having a lawyer communicate with insurance companies after an auto accident.
First, it’s important to establish the harsh, yet true fact that insurance adjusters aren’t in the business to help you get the recovery money you deserve. They’re in the business of paying out the least amount of money possible to protect the insurance company they work for. Although there are many in the insurance industry that are compassionate, understanding people, it’s naive to think that any of them would jeopardize their jobs to help out a complete stranger—even if he or she is simply seeking fair compensation for injuries they did not cause. What’s more is that this individual would be one of dozens that the adjuster deals with on a daily basis, which makes it even more unrealistic that they would make any special arrangements just for that one person.
With that being said, it’s also important to know that speaking with insurance adjusters (both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s) is still a necessary step in the process of getting your settlement. But here’s what to watch out for if you become an accident victim:
- Many adjusters look for loopholes in recorded statements (i.e. not giving enough information, giving slightly unclear or misleading information, taking a portion of the statement out of context, etc.).
- An insurance adjuster may try to get you to sign a medical release to gain access to your past medical records. This is never a good idea, because it means that if you’ve had a similar injury or pre-existing condition, it could be used against you by the adjuster while you try to file a claim, making it appear that the injury was already there and not caused by the accident.
- It is very likely that the defendant’s insurance company will attempt contacting you to offer a settlement. And although this initial offer may seem reasonable at first, it’s almost guaranteed to be smaller than the amount you should be getting. Many victims don’t realize there can be ongoing costs associated with the accident that last for years to come, including physical therapy, surgery, property damage repairs and much more.
- If the accident occurs in a state that mandates PIP coverage, you’ll be required to seek medical treatment within 14 days of the accident (only if the injuries were considered an emergency medical condition). If you don’t do this, the defendant’s adjuster will certainly use it against your claim.
The bottom line is that there are a lot of technicalities associated with filing a claim and have it result in your favor. And more than that, we are in the business of helping you get the recovery money you deserve. Let one of our professional, experienced personal injury lawyers at The Law Firm of Cohen & Cohen assist you with your claim today.