Will the other guy’s insurance company video tape what I’m doing while my case is in suit?
Yes! You can count on it. Not only will the other guy’s insurance company, but so will your insurance company. That includes your own auto insurance company, or your employer’s workers compensation insurance company if you are pursuing a work injury case. It is absolutely crucial that you tell your doctor and your lawyer the truth about your activities. If you can carry the trash to the curb, but can’t return to work, explain that to your doctor and explain why so that information gets into your medical chart. You don’t want a DVD showing up late in the case showing all the things you were able to do and none of that mentioned in your doctor’s notes.
Insurance companies may advertise that they are there to protect you and to help you. But, insurance companies are profit making ventures. Maybe you’ve seen the Progressive television commercial depicting a Progressive insured going into a Progressive store (they do not exist because Progressive sells its coverage online) gleefully surprised that his insurance company is quickly paying for the damage to his car after an accident and also providing its insured a rental car. “It’s all part of the price” the Progressive employee says. No kidding! That’s what you pay for when you buy insurance coverage. We don’t mean to single out Progressive. State Farm is not always there for their insureds, let alone if you are not their insured, despite their ad that says “State Farm is there.” State Farm can make it extremely difficult on you if you have an auto claim. And if you’re insured by Allstate you are not necessarily in good hands.
If an insurance adjuster calls me and asks me to answer questions on the phone or to sign forms, should I talk to him and should I sign the forms?
We don’t recommend that you speak to an insurance company following an accident or that you sign any forms. The insurance company does not have your best interest at heart. They are concerned about their own financial interest. Their employees are trained to look out for the insurance company, not for you. If they want to take a statement over the phone or in person there is no requirement that you speak to them right away. You absolutely should consult with an attorney before you speak to an insurance company representative. And, you are under no obligation to sign any forms on behalf of an insurance company following an accident, and typically the forms that they want you to sign will be a release for medical information or a release for the entire case, neither of which you want to have the insurance company possess without your having consulted with an attorney. We have seen more than one horror story where clients have come to us after they signed forms for an insurance adjuster without consulting with an attorney first.