If a claim has been filed for an accident you’ve been involved in but did not cause, you will soon be getting warm and fuzzy phone calls from the at-fault person’s insurance company. Rather than taking the call and giving them a chance to charm their way to a resolution, let the call go to voicemail and get thee to a lawyer pronto.
In this article, we’ll let you in on a few secrets the insurance companies do not want you to know. This information can better position you for the fairest settlement possible.
Shhhhhh…You’re Not Supposed to Know These Things About Insurance Companies
They’re not on your side. Don’t fall for their calm voices expressing concern about your health; insurance companies are not your friends and they have little concern for you. Because they are for-profit conglomerates, insurance companies want to pay you as little money as possible. The overriding goal of the agent is to get your agreement as quickly and cheaply as possible.
They’re not bound by truth. From saying that “you must go to one of their preferred shops for auto repair” to “there’s no need for you to consult a lawyer,” believe nothing that comes out of the insurance adjustor’s mouth. In just these two examples, you can take your auto to the shop of your choice, and you most certainly should have a lawyer on your side while negotiating with insurance companies.
Their final offer is not their final offer. Just as you can bet that their first offer will be a seriously low-ball one, you can be equally assured that the proverbial final offer will be followed-up with a final, final offer.
They’re not telling you everything you’re entitled to. There’s a host of things to take into account when trying to reach a settlement involving an accident for which you’re at no fault. Many of us focus on the pain or treatment needed right now rather than taking into consideration the future treatments that may be needed because of the accident. You need to also take into account any loss in wages and legal costs.
Avoid These common Mistakes During Insurance Negotiations
Never give a recorded statement. A recorded statement sets barriers for your claim. Any future claims you make will be compared to that recorded statement in an attempt to find inconsistencies, which can result in the company denying your claim.
Refrain from providing the adjuster with personal information such as your Social Security number. Your SSN gives the adjustor the keys to unlock a variety of personal information about you that will be used as leverage to negotiate a smaller settlement. Rather, just stick to the basics by providing date and location of accident and your contact information.
Say nothing about pre-existing conditions you have. An insurance adjustor will attribute virtually any pain as being worsened by your pre-existing conditions. The only one who needs to know anything about your previous medical history is your personal doctor.
The bottom line is this: If you’ve been in an accident through no fault of your own, you need a skilled and experienced lawyer on your side to negotiate a settlement that’s fair and in your best interest. The insurance company adjusters are skilled negotiators; it’s only rational that you have someone to guide you through the process so that you can avoid their tactics. Contact The Fitzgerald Law Firm today to schedule a free initial consultation.