When you’re involved in a car accident caused by someone else, you can pursue compensation for your injuries and other accident-related losses. Usually, this involves filing a collision claim and attempting to collect damages from the insurance company.
Insurance companies are notorious for being difficult to deal with – and even more challenging to settle with. The following are some of the most common tactics insurers utilize to limit their liability and minimize settlements.
If you’re injured in a car accident, you’ll likely face many financial burdens, including various medical expenses. The more extensive your injuries, the more medical treatment you’ll require, and therefore, the more money you’ll want to obtain from the insurance company.
For this reason, insurance companies try to minimize the severity of your injuries. They may try to challenge the legitimacy of your injuries and do everything possible to try to make your injuries and damages seem less than they truly are.
Seek medical attention right away after an accident. Medical records play a vital role in insurance claims and serve as strong evidence to prove your injuries.
Furthermore, be sure to follow through with your prescribed treatment. When you fail to see your treatment through as recommended, the insurance company can use this as ammo, claiming your injuries must not have been as bad as you claimed.
The insurance company will likely send you a settlement offer soon after your accident. While this may seem like a positive thing, the insurance company has ulterior motives.
Settling too soon after your accident means not knowing the full extent of your injuries and financial losses. So, if you agree to settle and later find out you could have gotten more, by then, it’s too late.
If the insurance company tries to settle, don’t agree to anything. Have a qualified accident attorney review the settlement offer. If necessary, a lawyer can engage in settlement negotiations to try to get a better amount.
The other driver’s insurance company may contact you at some point and request a recorded statement. They’ll claim they just want your side of the story, which seems innocent enough, but they’re really looking for more than that.
During a recorded statement, the insurance company hopes you’ll feel comfortable and say something they’ll later be able to use against you. Once something is said, it’s difficult to argue against.
Don’t agree to a recorded statement. If the insurance company calls, tell them you can’t speak to them without your attorney and do not give them any information.
Collision claims are particularly challenging to handle, especially if you do not know the laws and procedures. When you don’t have legal representation, the insurance company takes full advantage. They’ll exploit your lack of knowledge and use it to their benefit in any way they can.
Consult with an accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Having an attorney on your side can help ensure the insurance company doesn’t undermine your claim and minimize your settlement, and you receive the compensation you need and deserve.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, it’s in your best interest to contact a lawyer as soon as you can. At Atterbury, Kammer & Haag, S.C., we know how to get our clients the settlements they deserve and will not hesitate to take your case to trial if necessary. To schedule a case evaluation with a personal injury attorney in Madison, call our office today or contact us online.