Being involved in a car accident is a very stressful experience, and it would be great if after an accident you could simply talk to an insurance company and obtain a fair settlement. While you may want to put everything involved in your accident behind you as quickly as possible, there are some things you need to consider when you deal with insurance companies before you accept the first settlement they offer.
Insurance Companies Are in the Business of Making Money
Since insurance companies are motivated to protect their own interests, what’s best for you is never their top priority. In most cases, insurance representatives will do whatever they can to save the company money and pay out as little as possible.
An insurance representative may call and express sympathy and concern, but that doesn’t mean they are on your side. Don’t agree to give a recorded statement, because this may be used to minimize the amount of your recovery, and don’t sign anything unless you’re very sure you understand what you’re signing or have had an attorney review it.
The Possibility of Delayed Symptoms of Injury
Don’t agree to settle too quickly. An insurance company will try to get you to say that you are not injured because if you are not injured they won’t have to pay out as much.
You may have medical problems that aren’t immediately apparent, and if you agree to a quick settlement, you won’t receive coverage for long-term problems.
Symptoms of some types of injury may not show up for days or weeks after a car accident, or you may have injuries that are more serious than they appear at first. Whenever you are dealing with an insurance adjuster, it’s a good idea to say that you’re unsure of the extent of your injuries or that you are waiting for medical reports to come back. Don’t assume you are not hurt just because you don’t have symptoms right away and don’t rush to tell an insurance company that you weren’t hurt.
Watch What You Say
Restraint about what you say starts at the scene of the accident. Statements you make at the scene of the accident can be held against you and can be misinterpreted.
Avoid saying things like
- You may have been responsible for the accident
- You weren’t paying attention
- You looked away for a minute
- You knew your vehicle needed repairs
- You were exhausted
After a car accident, you might want to tell the world all about your experience and how it impacted your life. Be careful what you discuss publicly until your claim is settled. Watch what you post on social media, particularly any posts that imply you feel perfectly fine and are thoroughly enjoying your life.
You may need to tell family members and friends to watch what they post on social media as well and to avoid tagging you until after your claim is settled. You may think your settings are private, but insurance professionals are trained to look for anything that might be used in their favor, and they may uncover information that you didn’t intend for them to know.
Getting Legal Representation
To be sure you are treated fairly by insurance companies and receive the compensation you deserve, it’s a good idea to obtain legal representation from a lawyer who is highly experienced in obtaining compensation for injuries caused by auto accidents. Taos Injury Lawyers can help to protect you from the tactics insurance companies may use to reduce or minimize your settlement. Contact us by filling out the form on this page.