Insurance companies, even your own, are not always looking out for your best interests. Please review the following “red flags” to see if you may need help from an attorney:
- The insurance company recommends any of the following regarding your medical treatment:
o NOT to seek treatment at all.
o To limit the length of your treatment.
o To limit the type of treatment you receive.
Remember: do not take medical advice from anyone other than your medical provider! Insurance adjusters are not in a position to dictate any aspect of your treatment. However, adjusters often use these tactics to prevent fair compensation down the road.
- The insurance company does not return your calls. Often, insurance adjusters are busy. But, if you notice a trend of the insurance company not calling you back, please consult with an attorney. An injury claim may take a long time to resolve and you want to insure prompt action.
- The insurance company offers to settle the case before you have sought treatment, or before you have finished treating. Insurance companies have two goals: (1) settling the claim quickly and (2) settling the claim for as little money as possible. If you settle before you have treated or finished treating, you may not be receiving full compensation for your injuries.
- The insurance company advises you NOT to hire an attorney. Many former clients have revealed that the insurance company tried to convince them not to seek help from an attorney. Insurance companies claim that the insurance company pays the same amount with or without an attorney. In a large majority of cases, this is false.
- The insurance company pressures you to take a recorded statement. Sometimes, a recorded statement is harmless. Often though, insurance companies will try to “trick” you during the questioning. With the help of an attorney, you will be prepared to look out for common traps.
- The insurance company is asking questions about prior accidents and/or prior injuries. Often, the information the insurance company is seeking is not relevant and may be harmful to your injury claim. An attorney can evaluate your accident and medical history and help determine if that information is relevant to your current claim.
- The insurance company is difficult to deal with when resolving your property damage claim. The insurance company may refuse to pay for a rental vehicle, offer less than the vehicle is worth, or take too long to inspect the vehicle. Any of these are some of the signs that you may have a difficult road ahead with the bodily injury portion of you claim.
- The insurance company makes general statements about your individual claim. Often, insurance companies make general statements about the value of a particular case or injury. Many time, clients hear, “Rear-end collisions are worth ____”. This is proof that the insurance company is not looking at the particulars of your claim and potentially undervaluing your damages.
- The insurance company makes statements about “wanting to help you out” or being “on your side”. Most of the time, this is false. Insurance companies are in business to make money by undervaluing your damages. If you truly want an advocate, consult with an attorney.
- The insurance company tried to lump your injury claim into your property damage claim. Many insurance adjusters will try to get rid of your claim by offering a lump sum. Remember, you have the right to settle your property damage before you settle your injury claim, as damages are often uncertain at that point. Before you sign anything, it is helpful to have an attorney review the document to make sure you are not giving up legal rights regarding your injury claim.