After a serious car accident–one that involves damage to your car and the other person’s car, not to mention physical injuries–you’re in a precarious position. Between rental cars, medical bills, and lost wages, finances can quickly become a big problem. Insurance companies understand the situation you’re in, and they generally have no hesitation in using that to their advantage.
It’s certainly not fair, but it’s the reality for victims of car accidents who need compensation. Being prepared for various stunts occasionally attempted by auto insurance companies can help you prepare for the upcoming process and protect your claim.
- Offering a lowball figure to make the claim go away.
Insurance companies are required to act in good faith when evaluating a claim. By no means does that mean you won’t get an offer that’s insultingly low. In the immediate aftermath of a wreck, you’re almost certainly overwhelmed. Providers often bank on policyholders’ thinking “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” It’s a worthy sentiment, but one that can result in you accepting less than you could get and, more importantly, less than you deserve.
- Using your words against you.
Unfortunately, communicating with insurance companies after making a claim is a lot like being a criminal defendant after an arrest. Things you say could come back to haunt you if you don’t filter what you say. That includes whatever you say to the police officer responding to your accident and the insurance adjuster assigned to your claim. It’s quite common for insurance companies to record statements dictated by the insured. Often, the purpose is to poke holes in your story in an attempt to show that you were partially responsible for the accident.
- Claiming your injuries were pre-existing.
Insurance companies are not above requesting past medical records of claimants in an attempt to paint injuries caused by car accidents as pre-existing maladies. Many times, wrecks do exacerbate existing injuries or re-aggravate old ones. Insurance providers too often exploit this gray area in order to get out of paying claimants their fair due.
At the end of the day, insurance companies are businesses. Businesses don’t survive unless they take in more money than they spend. Even though you’ve faithfully paid your premiums for years, that is no guarantee you will receive the same loyalty and fairness. Accordingly, you should be prepared for insurance companies to pull out every trick to avoid paying you what you deserve.
An Attorney is Your Best Firewall Against Unfair Treatment
The earlier you contact a quality Georgia personal injury attorney, the better. Letting your lawyer handle as much of the process as possible ensures that no significant errors that may sink your claim are committed. Robin Frazer Clark, Trial Lawyer has resolved countless personal injury cases for Georgians that resulted in needed compensation and relief. Our firm is prepared to go to trial at any point in your case. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.