After an accident that results in injuries, it is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to attempt to mislead or even outright lie to policy holders or victims of negligence in an attempt to get them to accept a smaller payment or to drop their claim.
At The Law Offices of Gary Bruce, our team has heard them all, and we want you to know the facts when you start to pursue a compensation claim after an accident that wasn’t your fault.
- “Your injuries are not severe enough.”
An insurance adjuster is not qualified to determine the extent of your injuries or treatment you need after an accident; only a medical doctor can do that. If you have received any injuries that result in medical bills after an accident that wasn’t your fault, you are likely entitled to compensation for those expenses.
- “Your injuries are a pre-existing condition, so they aren’t covered.”
Even if you had a pre-existing injury or condition before the accident, if the accident worsened or aggravated your injury or condition, you are still entitled to compensation.
The insurance company and their legal team can’t speculate whether an accident victim would have still been injured or as severely injured if they didn’t have that pre-existing condition as a defense. They must “take the victim as they find them.”
- “You won’t get anything if you reject this offer.”
If you were buying a house or a car, you wouldn’t make your first offer the full price you are willing to pay; you’d try to haggle first. Insurance companies do the same thing. Their initial offer is almost always going to be less than your injury is actually worth, meaning probably not enough to cover your bills or compensate your pain and suffering.
However, if you are entitled to compensation, the insurance company can’t walk away and refuse to pay you. Although they may say you won’t get anything at all if you don’t accept the first offer, this is not true. An experienced lawyer can negotiate a new, better settlement for you.
- “You must give a recorded statement.”
After filing a claim, the insurance company of the at-fault party will usually call you to request a recorded statement explaining your side of events. They may even tell you it is against the law to refuse, or that the claim will be dropped if you don’t provide a statement.
This is not true, and you are not required to provide a statement to the other party’s insurance.
If you are seeking compensation from your own insurance company, such as after a hit-and-run, your policy language may require a statement. In those cases, we don’t recommend speaking to your insurance without a lawyer. Insurance company representatives will try to use your statement against you, especially if it goes against something you told the responding police officer at the crash scene (and if you are in pain or on medication after your injury, you’ll be more likely to misspeak).
- “You don’t need a lawyer, because we can help you without one.”
Media does everything possible to portray injury lawyers as unethical and lazy, and insurance adjusters as friendly and looking out for you. In actuality, the opposite is almost always true.
Most personal injury lawyers operate on contingency, which means they don’t get paid unless they win your case. That means your lawyer will work hard to ensure you get the money you deserve.
Meanwhile, insurance companies make more money when they don’t pay out on claims, which means they’ll be fighting equally as hard to discredit your injury claim, so that you get nothing or very little.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Mislead You; Call a Lawyer to Stand on Your Side
Experienced personal injury attorneys like those at the Law Offices of Gary Bruce know the law inside and out, as well as how insurance companies work. When you hire a lawyer, they will be able to calculate exactly how much you may be owed for your medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other expenses, and ensure that the insurance company pays. They won’t sit aside and let the insurance company play games.
If you need to know how to proceed after an accident that left you injured and unable to work, contact our firm today for a free case review.