After a serious car crash, one of the first things nearly everyone does is call their insurance company. This isn’t necessarily wrong – you do have to make a claim, after all.
But, be careful when you talk to an insurance company. There are a few things you need to know.
The insurance company isn’t looking out for you
Insurance is a business. Businesses are designed to make money. Insurance companies make money by limiting the payouts they make to beneficiaries. Don’t expect an insurance company – whether it’s yours or another driver’s – to offer you a fair settlement of its own accord. You’re going to have to fight for what you deserve.
Recorded statements can be used against you
After an accident, it is common practice for insurance companies to ask everyone involved to give a recorded statement. Often, these seem like simple descriptions of what happened and how you’re doing.
In reality, insurance companies use these statements to look for evidence on how to limit your claim. They might try to assign you part of the fault, or claim that your injuries aren’t as bad as you say they are. You should never agree to give a recorded statement without talking to a lawyer first.
The insurance company might be watching you
In big cases, it is not unusual for insurance companies to hire private investigators to determine whether someone is as injured as they claim to be. They may go through your social media, or watch you in a public place and take your actions out of context to limit your claim. A lawyer can help make sure unfair evidence isn’t considered.
“Independent” medical exams really aren’t
The insurance company might try to limit your medical care by claiming you have reached maximum improvement, even though you haven’t fully recovered. They may even make you have an examination with an “independent” doctor (paid by the insurance company) to prove their claim. This is a common tactic used to limit the amount of medical expenses insurance has to compensate you for.
When it comes to managing your treatment, it is always best to listen to your own doctor. A lawyer can help you prove your injuries and fight for the compensation you deserve.
You have a right to stand up for yourself
The insurance companies will have lawyers working hard on their behalf. You should too. Your lawyer can spot unfair behavior and fight back against it. After a serious accident, you want to be able to focus on getting better and getting your life back on track. Let your lawyer take care of dealing with the insurance company.