In an ideal world, insurance companies want to help you obtain the money you deserve after you’ve been injured or otherwise victimized by a car accident. Unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, and the other driver’s insurance company can be pretty difficult when it comes to resolving your claim. Their goal is to keep you from receiving the compensation you deserve.
It is important that you, the victim, know what you should and should not do to make sure the you get full compensation from the other driver’s insurance company. The following is an important guide to avoiding the common tricks that insurance companies employ to try get out of compensating you for the the injuries and damages you’re owed.
The Recorded Statement: Despite what the other insurance company tells you, you are not required to submit to a recorded statement. Convincing you to give a recorded statement directly following your accident is a tactic insurers use to try and poke holes in your version of events and injury claim.
The Release of Records: You may be asked to sign a release so the insurance company can get your medical records, and your employment records. You are under no obligation to provide the adjuster with a release for your records. Remember, the adjuster works for the other guy’s insurance company. His or her goal is to minimize your injuries, and to deflect as much responsibility for the accident and your injuries away from their insured. Having a release helps the adjuster to obtain, for instance, medical records that have nothing to do with your injuries from the accident and therefore to claim that your injuries are not as severe as you say they are and were perhaps not caused by the accident.
The Fast Settlement: The first offer the other insurance company makes is often a low ball settlement that they hope you will blindly accept without consulting an attorney. To accept this initial settlement is to forfeit any extra money you may be entitled to. Do not agree to an early settlement without first speaking with a qualified Pennsylvania personal injury attorney.
The Surveillance Strategy: Insurance companies are not opposed to watching you. They may have some form of surveillance on you as you go about your day, hoping to use their findings against you. If you exaggerate your injuries or the way in which your injuries affect your quality of life, the insurers will try to use surveillance to indicate those lies. This underscores how important it is for you to be honest about your injuries.
If you’ve been in an accident and want to pursue a liability case, you should read the above bullets carefully, and most importantly, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can offer you even more insight into what to expect in your personal injury case. And for even more information, please see the other articles in our car accident law articles section. Or order free copies of Stuart A. Carpey’s books Purchasing Auto Insurance in Pennsylvania and The 10 Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Motor Vehicle Accident Case.