After a serious motor vehicle collision, individuals might face medical bills, property damage, loss of wages and costly physical therapy. Unfortunately, your insurance might fall short in paying these rapidly skyrocketing costs. It is crucial to remember that your insurance company is just that – a for-profit company.
After years or decades of diligently paying insurance premiums, many people lose sight of the fact that the insurance company and adjusters are not their friends. They are a company that is duty-bound to provide a level of service, but they are also protecting their bottom line to remain profitable. Here are three tips to consider after an accident:
- Don’t sign anything: That is, until you’ve had a chance to discuss it with your attorney. Too often, the insurance company will ask you to authorize a release of your medical records. It is not uncommon for those records ultimately to work against you. If you suffered a back injury while playing sports in high school, for example, the back injury you suffered in a car accident might be discredited as an existing condition.
- Don’t give a recorded statement: The insurance company will often attempt to record phone calls or perform a recorded interview. This information can be used against you later as you might have inadvertently apologized for your role in the accident and admitted fault.
- Don’t accept a settlement simply to be done with the process: You are injured, stressed, frustrated and worried about your future. You might be taking time off work and would rather this process just end. Unfortunately, the first offer might be low. It is wise to have your lawyer examine the offer before you agree to it.
Insurance companies aren’t inherently bad or out to pull the wool over your eyes, but it’s important to remember that they are – behind the smiles and the catchy advertisements – a business. Their goal is to make money. It is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can truly serve your best interests after a serious car accident and fight to keep the insurance company from delaying, devaluing or denying your claim.