Dealing with Insurance Companies
Should You Speak to the Insurance Company?
People ask if they should speak with the insurance company about their wreck. The simple answer is no. For an individual it is a “No Win” situation. Insurance companies employ and train insurance adjusters whose job is to find a way to argue against paying your claim. If you say anything they can use against you, they will. The more compensation you seek, such as when serious injury or death occurs, the more aggressively insurance adjusters will fight to deny your claim because more money is at stake.
Reasons Not to Speak to the Insurance Company:
- What you say in general matters. Your claim hangs in the balance. The wrong choice of words about how the wreck occurred or the nature and extent of your injuries can create huge problems for you later. This is even more important if your statement is recorded by the insurance company, which it usually is.
- What you say about how the wreck happened matters. The law gives insurance companies many defenses, from blaming you, other people, sudden emergencies, and even the weather for the cause of the wreck. Under the law cases are valued based upon the evidence. If there is any evidence that shows someone other than the person you feel caused the wreck was totally or partially to blame, your claim could be denied or reduced by the percent of the fault of the other person. For example, if the evidence showed the person you feel was at fault was only 50% at fault and you were 50% at fault and the value of the case was $100,000.00, you could only collect $50,000.00 (50% of the value of the claim). Therefore, there is a huge financial incentive for the insurance adjuster to try to blame anybody (including you) for the wreck. They will attempt to do this on your case, and it is very important that you don’t say anything that gives them the chance to use this defense. And again, keep in mind the more compensation you seek for your claim, the harder the adjuster will try to acquire a statement from you that allows then to blame someone else.
- What you say about your injuries matters. At the beginning of your claim, the insurance company has a duty to set aside money reserves to pay your claim based upon their initial analysis of the value of your claim. The information that is given to the insurance company at the beginning of your case can make a big difference in your case value because sometimes it is difficult to increase the reserve amount after it has been set. We can, on your behalf, give the adjuster information to set the reserve correctly from the start.
- What you say about your past health matters. The insurance adjuster will ask about all of your past injuries, past car wrecks, past job injuries, and past health problems in an attempt to argue that your injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the current car accident. Often they will ask you to sign a medical release that lets them acquire all of your past medical records from all of your doctors. They will go through these records word by word to try to find times you injured a similar body area so they can claim the injury occurred and existed before the current wreck. Don’t give them the opportunity to do this.
Call us as quickly as you can after your accident so we can develop your case the correct way, protect you from insurance adjuster abuse, and handle all communications with the insurance adjuster for you.