Each year, millions of people in the United States are injured in car accidents. The most recent data from 2020 reports roughly 4.8 million injuries and around 38,000 deaths in that year, alone. Although we try to avoid them at all cost, the fact of the matter is that accidents are part of the risk you run when you get behind the wheel of a car.
Unfortunately, when you’ve been in an accident that wasn’t your fault, the challenges don’t end when you walk away from the scene. If you’ve been injured, you’re likely facing medical bills and you may even be unable to work for some period of time. Even if you aren’t injured, if your car is damaged, you’re going to have to work with the insurance company to get the compensation you need to be able to get back out on the road.
Insurance companies are aware that those involved in a car accident are often vulnerable and unsure of how to proceed or interact with them after an accident. This can present the opportunity for them to take advantage of the injured party and extend a lowball offer. Keep reading to learn the top 4 most common mistakes when dealing with the insurance company after a car accident.
Insurance adjusters may encourage you to sign a medical authorization form, however, signing this form could end up diminishing your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries and any property damage.
Additionally, this form would give insurance companies access to your private information, such as previous injuries and health conditions. If you have suffered injuries in the past, they may attempt to use your medical history to argue that your injuries were not entirely caused by the accident but occurred prior to the wreck.
Most accident victims believe giving a statement about the collision to an insurance adjuster is required. The truth is though, it’s usually much better to wait to speak to your lawyer first before giving an official statement of what occurred. Giving a statement without first consulting an attorney could significantly impact the compensation you may be entitled to receive.
The risk here is that insurance adjusters could use your written statement against you. For example, they may ask strategic questions that allow them to later deny your claim based on your responses.
Insurance companies know that when you’re injured in a car accident, you likely want to settle your case quickly in order to have your medical bills and other costs covered. This can lead to them making their initial offer lower than what you deserve in hopes that you’ll feel pressured to accept.
The insurance company may even suggest that their initial offer is the best offer you will be able to receive. This is not always the truth, though. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, so their main goal is to payout as little compensation as possible to injured parties.
Insurance adjusters may also encourage you not to hire an attorney. This is because they know an attorney will fight for what’s fair. Hiring an attorney to review your claim will give you the best chances of receiving a fair amount based on the extent of your injuries, property damage, and other related costs.
If you or a loved one was injured in a car accident due to the negligent actions of another driver, an experienced attorney like those on our team at Colbert Cooper Hill can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. We can ensure you don’t fall victim to their tactics.
To determine whether or not you may be eligible for compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other costs, it’s in your best interest to speak with an attorney.