Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines the word insurance as “a means of guaranteeing protection or safety”. That is what many, if not most people, think an insurance company should do. However, in many situations, that just is not what ends up happening.
We rely on the insurance company to be there when there is an accident and we need help covering the costs, especially when it was not our fault. Nevertheless, like any other corporation, the priority of an insurance company is the bottom line and the interests of the shareholders. In many situations, the financial interests of the insurance company will be more important to them than their duty to fairly compensate the victims of accidents. For this reason, there are three things that an insurance company hopes people never figure out.
1. The Insurance Company is looking out for their own interests and Shareholder interests, not yours.
Insurance companies try to take advantage of people’s inexperience within these types of situations. They assume that you probably have little, if any, experience dealing with insurance claims and they will try to use this to benefit their own interests. This is because it is in their best interests to settle for as cheaply as possible. Meaning, their main duty is to the company and its shareholders. They are not concerned with making sure that all of your expenses are covered in the end.
In many cases, you might be in treatment for some time following your accident and there is no way that you will have an accurate idea of what it is going to cost to treat or resolve your injuries right after an accident. What would happen if you agreed to something right after the accident, only to discover that your medical bills far exceed the amount you agreed to? Would you be able to cover the costs? Ultimately, it would not be in you or your family’s best interest if you are left having to pay out of pocket the costs of medical bills that exceed your settlement. It is better to wait and see what all of your expenses will be, instead of settling before you know what your expenses will be. The statute of limitations is two years for most personal injury cases, so there is time that your could use to figure out what expenses could end up amounting to.
Additionally, there is a possibility that the insurance company will try to delay payment all together. This can result in investing much of your time trying to figure out how to get the money you are owed, especially if you do not have legal representation. And if you need financial help to cover expenses, this can be a stressful ordeal that you do not deserve. In some cases the Insurance companies hope that people will give up and not pursue things further so that they can get away without having to pay you anything.
2. Insurance companies could try to use your personal information against you to reduce the amount of money they offer you in a settlement.
It is important to be aware of the fact that what you say or provide to the insurance company can hurt your claim and the chances of you being able to be fairly compensated following an accident that was not your fault.
There are many instances where the at-fault party’s insurance company will want you to sign a release of your medical records for them to see them. However, often times, this is a release of your ENTIRE medical history, not just the medical history related to the accident. It is important to note that you don’t have to sign anything given to you by the insurance company. While the insurance agency will eventually need to know how much your treatment for injuries related to the accident cost, they should not have access to records from 1997 when your accident happened in 2014. Insurance companies may try to use your medical information from the past against you to reduce their costs by saying that the injury caused by the car accident was actually a preexisting condition. This is why it is important to seek legal advice when you are dealing with the at-fault party’s insurance, because they will try to use your inexperience against you and prevent you from being justly compensated.
Another tactic Insurance companies might try to use, is taking what you say and using it against you by twisting it to their benefit. Any statement or admission you make to the insurance company may be used against you, even if it was innocent and you misspoke. There have been occasions where a claims adjuster has taken statements made by the injured party out of context or twisted the words to hurt the claim and save the company money at the expense of the victim. For this reason it is important to never consent to having the insurance company record your phone conversations.
3. It is in your best interest to get legal advice from an experienced lawyer.
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows the tactics the insurance company will try to use and knows how the system works. The lawyer’s main focus is making sure that you, their client, has their best interests represented and protected.
An insurance company has a team of lawyers, whose focus is making sure that you receive the least amount of money possible, even if that means that you are not fully and fairly compensated. Getting advice from an experienced attorney will help protect you from being taken advantage of by the at-fault party’s insurance. Your attorney will keep you from having to handle the headaches from dealing with the insurance company alone and being at a major disadvantage of dealing with the insurance company’s team of lawyers who are against you. Since an experienced lawyer knows how the system works, he or she will handle everything for you and prevent you from being taken advantage of and denied what you deserve.
An attorney is also skilled in figuring out what you deserve as the victim, and what a good offer is in your case. Your lawyer will stand by your side and guide you through the process. Also, he or she will make sure that the settlement you receive will cover both your short term and long term costs, because you have your best interests represented and protected.
If you have been harmed by another driver and think you need legal advice, call Colombo Law at (888) 860-1414. Our team of experienced lawyers will work to protect you and your best interests when evaluating your case.