You've heard all the hype - one wrong step on your insurance claim after a car accident could leave you footing the bill for injuries that may not have even been your fault.
Unfortunately, there's some truth to that (in our experience).
We talked with a former insurance adjuster and asked him for his top recommendations to anyone who's been injured in a car accident, here's what he said:
1) Don't Rush - A Speedy Settlement Can be a Shoddy Settlement
Adjusters may want you to process your claim based on their timelines, which will usually be as quickly as possible. Don't feel pressure to do this. This is a common strategy among adjusters because it can limit the amount of money they pay out for a claim.
You are in control and shouldn't feel the need to rush into something that may not be the best decision. A good rule of thumb is if you're still getting any type of medical treatment, are on medications, or still in pain, you probably shouldn't talk about settling anything.
2) Get a Professional to Review Your Paperwork - for Free
Signing a release or medical authorization can substantially limit your options for seeking compensation. If you're not careful, you could give up benefits that you might have been entitled to otherwise. And often the damage from signing certain documents cannot be undone. It's generally a good practice to consult with an attorney before signing any paperwork.
Send your documents to an experienced attorney you trust (who focuses on your type of case) and ask them to review. Many personal injury attorneys will do this for free.
3) Keep in Mind - the Adjuster Is Not Looking Out for You
Although most adjusters present themselves as friendly and helpful, remember that their job is to resolve potential legal actions and claims as quickly and as cheaply as possible - that's it. They are not there to look after your best interests.
Even if your adjuster means well, they are just not trained to think of all the ways an injury can impact your life and what help you might need. What do insurance adjusters look for? Any potential problems with your claim and bring to light anything that could free their company of responsibility.
Their goal is to keep more money in house than they pay out on claims (like yours).
4) Don't Risk Your Future Needs - Get Concessions Upfront
Be careful resolving claims early on before you know the full extent of your injuries and medical care to come. You are bound by the agreement you enter into. If you settle too early and find that you still need ongoing treatment, you will likely have to pay for those treatments on your own.
If you believe your injuries will result in permanent damage or may need ongoing care, make sure these concessions are calculated into your settlement upfront. An attorney may be able to help.
Hurt in a car accident that wasn't your fault?
We've dedicated our practice to people like you. If you've been injured in a car accident, don't wonder if you're being treated fairly by the insurance company - get a professional opinion.
Call us for your free case evaluation at 1-866-900-7078. We'll try to answer any questions you have and there's no obligation to hire us afterwards.