Insurance adjusters and car accident victims
So the question we hear often is: can I trust the insurance company? Unfortunately that answer is a resounding NO. We are not saying that insurance companies do not have nice people working for them. We are also not saying that every incident involving a car accident needs an attorney. We certainly encourage any person to resolve their claim on their own if they have been in an accident and were not injured. We just want to make it perfectly clear before we go any further that insurance companies are in the business of making a profit. No matter what choices you make, you need to keep that thought at the forefront of your mind when dealing with them.
The following are a few more tips to keep in mind when dealing with insurance companies:
- Do not let the insurance adjuster trick you into believing they are your friend. One of the oldest tricks in the book when their adjusters contact you is that they only want to “help you out” by settling your claim. Don’t buy it. The adjuster’s loyalty is to its company first and their pocket books second. You know when the adjuster is not on your side when they make bonuses in their salary by paying you as little as possible.
- Do not give a taped statement to an insurance adjuster. When you have been in an accident and are home recuperating, you will likely get a phone call from an insurance adjuster wanting you to answer “just a few questions” about the accident. They may even ask for your permission to record it. They are trying to get you to make certain statements that could be damaging to your case.
- The adjuster may want you to sign a “few forms.” What the adjuster is actually trying to do is get you to sign a medical release that allows the insurance company to get your medical history for your entire life. As far as we are concerned, no insurance company is entitled to that kind of access into your personal life. The insurance company is only entitled to those records that are related to the injuries you received as a result of the accident.
Accident and Injury Attorneys in West Virginia
If you have been in an accident, you may feel as though you did not sustain serious injuries and may want to try to settle your case on your own. In order for you to do that, however, the insurance company will force you to sign their forms to let them pry into your life medical history and require you to provide them with tape recorded statement only to use them against you later. While you may not need an attorney, you still should consult with one. Most lawyers will give injured people a free consultation to anyone that calls and makes an appointment. You should at least have a consultation with one or more attorneys so you can fully understand your rights and obligations. Such a consultation will not cost you anything and may, indeed, potentially help you recover thousands.
If you've been in an accident you may also want to check out The Miley Legal Group's Three Steps to Accident Recovery information.