Dealing with Insurance Companies After a Personal Injury

After you’ve suffered a personal injury, you may find that you have to deal with insurance companies. This is common in car accidents as well as other types of personal injury cases.

California uses a fault-based insurance system when it comes to accidents, which means if someone else causes the accident, they will be responsible for the damages. Even in situations where it seems obvious you were not to blame, you may find out that it’s not easy to deal with insurance companies.

What to Know About Insurance Companies

Most people have limited experience speaking with insurance adjusters or insurance representatives. When the agents are friendly and polite on the phone, it puts your mind at ease and gives you the impression that they want what is best for you.

However, you need to be aware that the agents at insurance companies are trained for these situations. Their main goal is to look for ways to limit the payout on your claim.

The following tips will help you deal with insurance companies after your personal injury accident.

Refrain from Admitting Fault

California’s fault-based insurance requires the at-fault party to be liable for the damages. It’s possible that you may share some of the blame as well. Since California uses the pure comparative negligence standard, you can still recover compensation even if you were 99% at fault.

Unfortunately, this could reduce the amount of compensation you can receive by a lot. Perhaps you feel sorry that this situation has occurred, but saying anything that could be construed as an admission of fault might come back to haunt you. It’s best to stick to the facts without giving away too many details.

Know Your Rights Regarding Recorded Statements

Insurance companies often reach out after a personal injury to ask for a recorded statement. They want the details of your personal injury on record, and while it sounds innocent, it’s another tactic they use to get more information to hold against you.

You are not legally obligated to provide a recorded statement to your insurance company or the other party’s insurer. If they press for details, you can let them know that your lawyer will be happy to provide them with information on your behalf.

Beware of Quick Settlement Offers

You may be very relieved when you’re dealing with an insurance company and they provide a quick settlement. There are many stories of people who have a long wait before they get their money. Once you are offered a settlement within days or just a couple of weeks, you may feel great relief since you’ll soon have the money you need to pay for all your unexpected medical expenses and make up for your lost income.

However, it is imperative that you carefully examine the settlement offer to see if it is a fair amount. Quite often, the amount that is offered in a quick settlement is much lower than the total of your damages. Most injury victims don’t consider their financial losses beyond their medical bills, property damage, or the wages they’ve lost from being unable to work. You may be able to claim much more, which is why it’s a smart move to ask a personal injury attorney to take a look before accepting the offer.

Limit the Details You Provide About Your Injuries

Insurance companies will ask you to provide further details regarding the nature and extent of the injuries you’ve suffered in your personal injury accident. The problem with providing more details is that your injury may worsen over time. When that happens, the insurance company can pull up the details you’ve provided and claim that you’re not eligible for any more compensation based on what you initially stated.

A better way to go about this is to let them know that you’re still assessing the full extent of your injuries and currently undergoing treatment. You should also let them know that they can contact your lawyer at any time to get further details.

They Might Be Nice But They’re Not Your Friend

The adjusters at the insurance agency have a job to reduce the payout on your claim. They will be courteous and friendly, not because they care about your well being, but because they want you to lower your inhibitions and give them information they can use against you. There’s no reason to be rude to anyone you speak with at the insurance company but being too friendly and informal with the adjuster will come at a cost.

Document Your Personal Injury Accident and Injuries

No matter what type of personal injury accident occurred, you should try to get as many photos and videos as you can. Save all documentation related to this incident, even if you think it’s negligible. You should also document how you’re feeling each day and how your injuries impact your life. Take photos of your injuries every other day to show whether they are improving or staying the same.

Let Your Attorney Deal with the Insurance Companies

Perhaps the best way to deal with the insurance companies is to let your personal injury lawyer be responsible for your claim. The tactics the insurance companies typically apply to injury victims don’t work on attorneys. Lawyers know how to counteract their methods to maximize your compensation.

The insurance companies may even tell you that you don’t need an attorney for your personal injury accident. While you may not need legal representation for every personal injury, it’s best to find out by sitting down with a lawyer for a free initial consultation. They will review your case and let you know if you have a valid claim and tell you about your legal options. You can then use this information to make an informed decision on the best way to proceed.Click here to visit a site that will shed more light on how to deal with insurance companies following a personal injury.

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