5 Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know
When you are injured in a car accident, the most common next step is to contact your insurance company and report the claim. But you would be wise to take a pause and contact a personal injury attorney first who can help you navigate the insurance process and get the most compensation for your claim. The insurance companies are not your friends and here are five secrets they don’t want you to know so they have a higher likelihood of not paying the full amount you are owed for your damages.
1. You Can Hire a Lawyer Anytime
If you already contacted your insurance company, don’t worry, a lawyer can get involved at any point in the claim as long as you have not already accepted an offer or signed a Release from the insurance company. Most people think that if they contacted their insurance, it is too late to get legal representation. Just don’t sign anything until you have a lawyer involved.
2. People Who Hire Personal Injury Lawyers Receive Higher Settlements
The insurance companies know lawyers, and they especially know the good ones who get the most compensation for their clients. Most of the software programs used by insurance companies to calculate auto accident settlements also factor if there is an attorney involved and the track record of that attorney. This makes it vital to have an experienced, aggressive and successful personal injury lawyer to negotiate your claim.
3. Tell Your Doctor About Every Injury and Keep Treating
Document all of your injuries whether they are current and healing or anticipated to be long-term or chronic as a result of the accident. Your doctor will work with you to make sure your injuries are accurately noted and submitted to your attorney. Your personal injury attorney will help keep track of your medical bills so that they can be included in your demand for compensation. It is important that all of your medical bills be submitted to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
If a settlement is reached, the insurance company will require you to sign a Release of all claims. The Release is signed in exchange for the settlement money. Once a Release is signed your claim is concluded and cannot be reopened. A release should only be signed if you and your attorney are convinced that the settlement is fair and equitable and that it will fully compensate you for all damages, including future medical treatment.
4. Don’t Post About Your Injuries or Treatment on Social Media
Do not discuss your accident, injury, treatment or prognosis on any social media platforms. A simple comment like “My leg is healing well after surgery,” could undermine your case because the insurance company is watching for statements like these that could compromise your settlement.
5. Insurance Adjusters are Trained Negotiators
While you may think you are speaking with just an adjuster or claims representative of your insurance company, rest assured they are trained negotiators whose main goal is to get to a settlement in favor of the insurance company. Be wary of your adjuster saying things like “final offer” or a “time-sensitive development” that must be addressed immediately to process your claim. A personal injury lawyer is used to these tactics and will be able to negotiate through the rhetoric to get you a settlement that is fair for your circumstances.