If you’ve been in a car accident, you expect an insurance company to treat you fairly and pay out your claim. Unfortunately, things don’t always proceed in this manner, and you may find yourself frustrated and angry at the way you are spoken to and, let’s face it, tricked by your insurer.
An insurance company doesn’t make a profit by fairly paying out each claim it receives. An insurance agent will do everything in their power to deny your claim or find a reason to settle with you for less. If you have been involved in a crash in West Palm Beach, it’s up to you to protect yourself. One of the best ways you can do that is by understanding the tricks insurance agents commonly resort to, and to speak with a car accident lawyer before you accept any settlement.
1. NOT RESPONDING
When you call anyone, you expect that they will call you back. When you speak to someone and are actually told that they will be in touch, you have every right to believe they are telling the truth.
Unfortunately, some adjusters and agents will avoid you, believing that you will just go away. And too often, this tactic works. If your agent won’t get in touch with you, it’s important you don’t give up. Your attorney can help make sure you don’t get ignored anymore, and that you get treated fairly.
2. DRAGGING OUT THE CLAIM
Another trick insurance adjusters have is in delaying your claim for as long as possible. The longer an adjuster can drag out your claim, the longer they are holding onto their money and earning interest on it.
They also stand a better chance of frustrating you to the point that you are willing to settle for anything down the road. Again, your attorney can make sure your insurer treats you fairly and moves things along.
3. REQUESTING MORE INFORMATION
Some of the more unscrupulous insurance agents may tell you they can’t pay your claim until they get more information. This may pertain to the accident itself or your medical treatment.
You are not required to provide an insurance agent with this information. Doing so could cause your claim to be delayed even further as they hunt for loopholes between your story and the information you’ve provided.
Remember, the insurance company is looking for ways to blame you for the accident, and therefore not pay out your claim. If they request further information, tell them the information is in the police report they received. If they still won’t budge, let them know you need to speak with your attorney before providing more information.
4. ASKING FOR STATEMENTS
An insurance adjuster may tell you that they cannot pay your claim unless you provide them with a statement. Keep in mind that the insurance adjuster isn’t asking for a statement so they can pay your claim as quickly as possible. They are asking for a statement in an attempt to gain information that will allow them to deny your claim.
You are not required to give any statement, written or otherwise to an insurance adjuster. Again, your insurer is looking for ways to blame you for the accident. Let them know you gave your statement to the police, and the police report has all the information they need.
5. NO, YOU DON’T NEED AN ATTORNEY
Beware of the insurance agent who tells you that you don’t need an attorney. They will tell you something like they accept responsibility and they know that their client is at fault. Don’t fall for this.
An insurance company is trying to pay you as little as possible and by pretending to have your best interests in mind, they just may get away with it. Having a West Palm Beach car accident attorney on your side, however, means the insurer can’t play you for a fool. Your attorney knows how to get the maximum compensation possible from the insurance company.
6. RELEASING YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
If you have been seriously injured, an insurance company may ask that you give them the right to see your pertinent medical records. Again, this is not something you are required to provide.
An adjuster will scour your entire medical history if they can, looking for an old injury or preexisting condition that will give them the right to deny your claim. If they can shed doubt on your injuries being related to the car accident, they can get out of paying you fairly. Simply denying access to your medical records can prevent this from happening.
7. DISALLOWING MEDICAL TREATMENT
An insurance adjuster may try to disallow your medical treatment. In other words, they will claim the treatment you received was excessive and attempt to disallow it from your settlement. This is a common trick used by insurance adjusters during the settlement process and in court.
Don’t fall for it. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to seek medical attention at the scene of the accident. Document any treatment you are given, as well as any ongoing treatments you’re prescribed. If you can document the fact that all treatment was prescribed by a doctor, it becomes much harder for the insurer to say it was unwarranted.
8. SENDING LOWBALL OFFERS
The first inclination that a car accident victim may need an attorney is when they start to receive settlements from an insurance adjuster. The adjuster will act in a sympathetic and empathetic way in an attempt to get you to accept the first settlement they come up with. Know that the first settlement offer is almost always lower than you deserve and if you choose to accept it, that will end your case.
If you are involved in an accident, don’t deal with an insurance adjuster on your own. An insurance adjuster rarely has your best interests in mind and is only out for the interests of their company. If you feel as though you aren’t being treated fairly, you are well within your rights to consult with an attorney.
It’s important to get help from an experienced attorney before you accept any kind of settlement. Your attorney can look at the details of your case and help you decide whether the settlement is a fair amount, or if they can get you more compensation in a lawsuit.
Speak to an Experienced West Palm Beach Car Accident Lawyer Today
Any person who has been involved in an accident in West Palm Beach can call Steinger, Greene & Feiner for a free case evaluation. We will review the details of your case and advise you of your legal rights to compensation. You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, lost wages and more.
Don’t accept a settlement that an insurance company offers you — chances are they don’t have your best interests in mind. Call our West Palm Beach car accident attorneys today at 800-560-5059 for your free, no-cost case evaluation. If we believe the settlement offered by the insurance company is fair, we’ll let you know during this free consultation. But if we don’t, we’ll let you know that, too. We are here to help you and your family get the maximum compensation you deserve.