Dealing with the insurance adjuster on personal injury claims has gotten much more difficult given the scorched earth policies many insurance companies have recently implemented. All to often, personal injury victims do not know their rights or how to handle the claims process.
Here are a few ideas:
SEEK THE MEDICAL CARE YOU NEED RIGHT AWAY
The most important thing you have is your own health and the well being of your family. Get the medical care you need and do not delay in seeking that treatment. If the problems you have persist, don’t be afraid to ask for more advanced testing such as CT scans, for head injuries or an MRI testing for spinal cord injury. Specialists such as orthopedic surgeons usually require weeks advance notice to get an appointment so call your chosen doctor as early as you can.
DO NOT GIVE A STATEMENT TO THE ADJUSTER FOR THE OTHER PARTY
Some insurance adjusters are out only to get the facts to determine whether or not to pay a claim, while other adjusters see the statement as their first opportunity to set the injury victim up for them to reduce, defend or deny the injury claim. The best choice is to talk with a reputable personal injury lawyer before you give any statement.
DO NOT SETTLE THE CASE UNTIL YOUR INJURY HAS COMPLETELY RESOLVED
When you settle the case, your rights to compensation terminate and if you are mistaken about how badly you are hurt or the need for future medical treatment because of an auto accident you will be out of luck for having the insurance company for the wrongdoer pay subsequent medical expenses. Get a clearance from a doctor you trust before you seek a settlement.
DO NOT EXPECT THE ADJUSTER TO BE FAIR
Adjusters work for the insurance company, their job is to pay you as little as they can get away with for the personal injury claim. If you are unsure of the value of your claim talk to a qualified accident and injury lawyer.
If a drunk driver has seriously injured you, and he has a large policy, expect the adjuster to act like your best friend (until you talk about money). If you have minor injury in a small case- don’t expect your phone calls to be returned or even to be treated with courtesy when talking money.
Common Car Accident Questions
If you have been involved in an automobile or semi truck accident then you (no doubt) have a number of questions you need answered relating to accountability and compensation. Here are some common questions in see in my Texas personal injury practice.
If I and/or my family were victims in an automobile accident then will I be required to use my own insurance to pay for property damage expenses?
Not usually, if the other driver is cited for any number of reasons that would demonstrate he or she was negligent in causing the car accident then his or her insurance company may choose to pay for the car repairs, and rental car while yours is getting fixed.
If the accident is minor and everyone agrees that they suffered no injuries (beyond a little shaking up) then should we seek medical attention?
After an accident I always recommend that everyone involved seek medical attention if they have any reason to believe they were injured. The reason for this is that often enough there are symptoms to physical problems that will develop hours, days and sometimes weeks after the initial accident related to the collision that may not manifest initially.
If so, then this will need to be declared in order for the negligent party’s insurance company to pay the costs for medical treatment of the malady. The other persons insurance company will use any excuse it can to try to deny or reduce your claim.
In a n Austin car accident some months ago a woman was in a fender bender with another car, they exchanged information and she sought no medical treatment until a day later she had a terrible headache, she went to the hospital and never left it- dying some 10 days later! If you have any reason to feel you may have been hurt- be safe get it checked.
Will the insurance company for the other driver pay for my medical expenses up front?
No- the insurance company for the other driver will not normally pay up front for your reasonable medical expenses- they may as part of a settlement reimburse you for medical bills you have paid or incurred.
Whether I am the negligent party or the injured party – is it necessary to retain the services of an attorney?
There is any number of reasons to seek legal counsel after an automobile or truck accident. Often legal issues may arise that the insurance company wants to record in a taped statement- it is best to speak with a Texas personal injury lawyer before giving a statement about a Texas car accident.