Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend

BEWARE: CAR INSURANCE COMPANIES ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND

After involvement in a serious car accident, you may have many topics on your mind. You may wonder how well you will recover from your injuries and how you will pay for medical expenses. You may also wonder what you will do about the repairs needed for your vehicle or having to buy a new vehicle entirely. These concerns are common after such a frightening and potentially life-changing event.

If you’ve been hurt in car accident, it’s guaranteed that you’ll be dealing with insurance companies — both your own, and the insurer for the at-fault driver(s). Insurance companies are the gateway to compensation after a crash. But no matter how sympathetic the claims adjuster sounds, proceed with caution. The insurance company is not your friend.

In many cases, insurance coverage can help you pay for repairs and medical expenses, but you may want to think twice before completely relying on an insurance adjuster to give you the best payout. In fact, insurance companies need to make money just like any other business, and often, they attempt to give payouts at the lowest level possible, which may not even cover the damages you suffered after an accident.

What to Do When the Insurance Company Comes Calling

Insurance companies act quickly when an accident report comes in. It’s not unusual for crash victims to receive calls from a representative within hours of the collision — sometimes when they’re still lying in their hospital beds. There’s a reason for this “timely” service. The quicker the insurance company can get you to agree to a settlement, the less money you’re likely to receive.

When the insurance company comes calling, don’t talk to them about your injuries or agree to make a recorded statement about the crash. Instead, inform them that you will be speaking with an attorney and that any future communication should be directed to your lawyer.

You also shouldn’t agree to sign any medical release forms or other documents until you’ve spoken to a car accident lawyer. The more information the insurer can get about you, the more ammunition they have to use against you to avoid paying out your claim.

If the Insurance Company Offers You a Settlement…

There’s a reason why insurance companies are swift to make a settlement offer. They want to get your claim closed before you have a chance to figure out the true extent of your losses. It’s not always possible to understand the severity of a car accident injury right away. Some serious injuries, such as concussions, may not be diagnosed until days after the wreck. In addition, doctors may not be able to predict whether an accident victim will make a full recovery within hours of the crash. If you accept a settlement offer before understanding what the long-term effects of the car accident will be, you could end up with far less money than you will actually need in the future.

You may be told the offer is the best you’ll get. They may say that a lawyer is unnecessary. They may even tell you that the settlement is their “final” offer. Don’t fall for it. Get a car accident attorney by your side right away. Settlements are negotiable, and the first offer is rarely a fair one.

Don’t let Insurance companies fool you

Insurance company employees want to do their best to settle claims quickly and for as little money as possible. As a result, they may attempt to use various tactics in hopes of getting you to agree to a quick payout or to provide information they could later use against you. In order to keep your best interests at the forefront, you may want to watch out for these possible strategies:

  1. Offers of concern: While an insurance adjuster may truly feel sympathetic to your situation, the possibility exists that he or she may try to act overly friendly in hopes that you will feel a sense of trust with the employee. This tactic may lull you into providing more information than you would have in a more professional setting.
  2. Requesting unreasonable proof: In order to move forward with a claim, you will need to provide proof of your injuries and other damages. However, some companies may attempt to require unreasonable proof in hopes that you cannot provide it and give them reason to deny your claim.
  3. Quick turnaround: You undoubtedly want to receive your payout and get started handling the necessary bills as soon as possible. Before agreeing to a quick settlement, make sure that you do not agree to a low settlement in order to save time.

After going through the traumatizing event of a car accident, you may feel especially vulnerable. Insurance companies know this and may try to take advantage of your state of being. Fortunately, you can work toward avoiding negative outcomes.

Don’t go at it alone

Before even talking to the insurance company, it may work in your best interests to first consult with a personal injury attorney. This type of legal professional can help ensure that insurance companies follow the law when reviewing your claim and help you work toward gaining the amount of compensation you rightly deserve.

Need a Friend? Contact a Dayton Car Accident Lawyer at The O'Keefe Firm

At The O'Keefe Firm, we see clients as family, and we’ll protect you as one of our own. We are based in both Dayton, Ohio and Springfield, Ohio. If you’ve been injured in a car accident in Ohio, our tough team won’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you during such a vulnerable time. We’ll even visit you at your home or hospital as you recover.

Ready to get started? Contact us today for a free consultation.