You were injured in a car or motorcycle accident, and you would like to know about your options. You're concerned that your medical bills may not get paid, the doctor is taking you off of work, which could cause you to get behind on your bills. Well, rest assured that the insurance companies are working hard to find ways not to pay you for your injuries. At Guy DiMartino Law we take great pride in fighting for people who are injured by someone else's negligence every day.
While most people should know by now that insurance companies have little interest in doing what's right, sometimes the tactics can border on hostile. If you are facing an insurance claim involving your injuries in a Michigan City car or motorcycle accident, here are three insurance company ploys you should be alerted to.
Many times an insurance adjuster will call under the guise of trying to quickly help you get your car or motorcycle repaired. Typically, the call starts off friending with the adjuster just calling to check and see how you are doing. Sometimes, you will hear that they will be accepting responsibility and they want to get your bills paid right away. But! There is always a but. They need to get your statement, just so they can get an idea of the accident and your potential injuries. The problem with giving a statement early on is that you do not know the whole story regarding your injuries, and they may use your words against you. For instance, say the ER doctor gave you muscle relaxers and pain killers in the hospital. When the adjuster calls and takes your statement, you have the medication on board, so you say you're feeling okay. A week later after your ran out of the medication, you are worse. Later on, the insurance company may use your statement that “you're feeling okay”, against you to limit your potential recovery.
The adjuster may say they need you to sign some paperwork so they can get you paid. There are some insurance companies that will send an adjuster out in one of their cars, with the logo all over it, and try to give you a check. He may offer to pay your medical bills, plus give you a check for your pain and suffering. How can you accept this settlement - you don't know what is going to happen with your condition over the next few weeks or months. If you accept the check and sign the paperwork, you are likely releasing all rights to your claim. Later, you may feel surprised when your doctor tells you that you need surgery or some additional treatment.
Some insurance companies take a lot of liberties that they would not get if your case was being handled through the court system. One way they do this is tell you that you have to provide them with a medical authorization so they can get your records and bills and get your case settled. While this statement has some truth, what the adjuster won't tell you is that she will likely get far more records than they she entitled to, including unrelated records from long before your accident. They will look for any evidence of a sore neck, back pain, or other injuries, that you may have experienced years before the incident. They then will use this information to deny you fair and adjust compensation, arguing that your problem is not from the accident but from your pre-existing issue.
The quicker you call an attorney about your accident, the faster the lawyer can move into action and begin protecting your rights. Having an experienced lawyer on your side can give you a fair chance against the insurance company.