Insurance Company Settlements: What To Watch Out For

Related Ads

When you’ve been the victim of a car accident, there are many things you will be concerned about which may include:

  1. Which doctor do I see for my medical needs?
  2. Who is going to pay for expensive medical treatments?
  3. How do I get my car fixed and who will pay for it?
  4. What should I do when the insurance company calls me?
  5. Who will be responsible for paying missed time from work?
  6. What will happen if my injuries prevent me from going back to work?

Being in an accident is one of the most stressful and difficult experiences a person can go through.  These are just some of the many questions that you will be faced with. 

Determining Liability

Determining liability is a major factor in any personal injury case and is of primary importance before deciding upon a settlement.  If your case does not include serious injuries or a large amount of damage to your vehicle, you may want to consider settling your case right away fo car accident injury.  However, keep in mind that some injuries take longer to present themselves than others for car accident injury claims.  Soft tissues injuries that include damage to the tendons, ligaments and muscles may take days or even weeks before you know the severity of the injury.  The most common soft tissue injury is whiplash from car accident cases.  Your symptoms may include neck and back pain, stiffness, dizziness and burning sensations.  These injuries often take longer to heal than a broken bone.  An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to assist you in determining liability and the amount that your auto accident insurance claim may be worth.

Insurance Company Tactics

Insurance companies try to settle personal injury claims as quickly and economically as possible. The insurance claims adjuster’s primary goal is to get you to sign a release of your entire claim for as little money as possible.  They have several strategies for achieving this goal.  Right after an accident, most injured victims are not represented by an attorney.  This is a prime opportunity for them to convince you to sign a release, giving them access to your medical records, pressuring you to give a statement about the accident and obtaining information regarding your injuries.  Be very careful when giving information that can be used to weaken your case.

The insurance company’s objective is to offer you a quickie low-ball settlement.  This can range from a few hundred dollars to a couple thousand.  They will use your recorded statement against you if the facts change after the statement was taken.  They may even request that you see a doctor of their choosing.  Their tactics include denying the accident is the fault of their client and defending any claim you make, even negating your injuries and lawsuit from car accident.  They will delay giving you money hoping you’ll be desperate enough to take their initial settlement offer.  If you settle before you know the extent of your injuries, you will forfeit any future claims for medical treatment, lost wages, or long-term or permanent disability.

When To Seek Legal Advice

If you suffered a serious injury and are likely to have residual effects in the future, it may be in your best interest to hire a reputable and knowledgeable personal injury attorney.  The attorney will be able to:

  • Assess your injury
  • Obtain additional evidence, information and reports
  • Provide information on how to shortcut resolving your injury claim
  • Negotiate with all parties involved
  • Represent you in court

Statistics show that insurance companies pay much higher settlements to injured victims who are represented by an attorney.