It is a common mistake for people to believe that insurance companies work for them after a car accident.
1. Give no details of your injuries immediately after an accident.
Naturally enough, an insurance adjuster is going to want to know about your injuries. Do not give a detailed description yet. You might leave something out, or discover an injury later, or your injury may turn out to be worse than you originally thought.
DO NOT sign paperwork after the accident before you have had time to get the proper healthcare treatment or legal advice if needed.
DO NOT give a recorded statement.
You do not have to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company after the accident. Recorded statements can come back to hurt you later, especially if you were injured in the accident or your injuries didn’t show up immediately after the accident. If you didn’t mention the specific injury during the taped interview with the insurance company after the accident, then they may imply you are lying about the injury altogether.
2. Resist the push to settle immediately
It is common practice for insurance companies to offer a low-ball settlement during the first one or two phone calls. They do this because they know you need the money and are vulnerable after the accident. They also want to get rid of the claim quickly, which they know they can do once you accept their offer and cash the check. More important, they get you to settle for a small amount before you know fully what your injuries are. Insurance companies may also try and have you settle your case, but say they will leave a certain amount of money available for future treatment. The problem with that is the insurance company has no idea what the extent of your injuries may be and what future treatment may cost. If the treatment cost is more than the insurance allowed for treatment, then you would have to pay out of your pocket. Don’t let this happen to you. Don’t take the bait!
3. Don’t get upset or worry if they say “We aren’t paying those medical bills”.
Auto insurance companies use a variety of tactics to avoid paying medical expenses after the accident. They will argue the injuries were not caused by the accident, but were a pre-existing condition. If you didn’t have any treatment after the accident or missed any appointments that were part of a treatment plan, then they will argue that you must not have been that seriously injured or that you are fabricating the injuries.
4. Remember to remain calm and polite.
1. Make sure you know who you are speaking to about your claim (ie: adjuster name and phone number)
2. Always take good notes of what was said during the conversation.
The common theme here is that the insurance company will try and find a way to limit your recovery for medical expenses, whether by insinuating that you are exaggerating or lying about your injuries and/or saying the treatment you received was not needed.