Does the Insurance Company Always Have Your Best Interests in Mind?
After a crash, it often feels like the best thing to do is limit the disruption to your life and move on as quickly as possible. After all, you may be missing time from work while you recover from your injuries. You’re probably waiting for car repairs to wrap up so you can turn in your rental. It’s a stressful time, and the last thing you need is more to-dos for your list.
Unfortunately, the insurance companies know that you’re going through a lot, and they know that you may not have much energy left to keep your guard up. Of course, insurance adjusters sometimes treat accident-victims with respect, taking a fair and methodical approach to each case. But insurance is still a business. It doesn’t pay for companies to always take the fairest path. The company’s goal is to pay a little as they can on claims, or even to avoid paying at all.
If you’ve been injured, it’s important to remember that the insurance companies don’t always have your best interests in mind. Here are some negative tactics you might run into:
They’ll ask for a recorded statement
Your first conversation with the insurance adjuster may be perfectly nice. The individual may be friendly, concerned for your health and supportive of your story. But oftentimes, that concern quickly becomes a request for an account of the accident and resulting injury. While this sounds aboveboard, the insurance company could end up using this statement against you.
They’ll offer a quick settlement
If, after an accident, the at-fault driver’s insurance company calls right away to offer a settlement, beware. With bills beginning to pile up, you may feel like taking the money is your best choice. However, once you agree to the settlement (or cash the mysterious check from the insurance company that just shows up in the mail), you’ve given away your right to file suit. If your injuries prove to be more costly to treat than you thought, you’ll be on your own.
They’ll blame injuries on existing conditions
It’s common for insurance companies to argue that your injuries aren’t as severe as they seem. But another tactic, one that sometimes allows them to avoid any settlement, is to argue that your injuries were preexisting. They may ask you to sign a general medical authorization. This allows the company to look at your past medical treatments. This isn’t their business. It will be up to you (or your attorney) to demonstrate that you suffered new injuries or aggravated previous ones.
They’ll ignore communications
Eventually, many people run out of patience. Insurance companies know that if they can wait you out, you may be so desperate to pay your bills and move on, you’ll settle for less. Sometimes, they’ll even string your case along for months, hoping to eventually push you past the statute of limitations for filing suit.
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, your attorney handles the communication with the insurance company. No delays and games. No walking into traps. No settlements for less than is fair.
If you have been injured, you need a Macon accident lawyer with experience. The Macon personal injury attorneys at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us for a free consultation today.