A Guide for Dealing With Insurance Companies After a Motor Vehicle Accident
Insurance companies can be really quite annoying to deal with after an accident. They will ask plenty of questions and if one question is off it can mean less money for you. Anytime you get in a car accident things become more nerve-racking. For you we created this quick guide to help. Give us a call if you want even more help. For car accident victims we offer a free consultation.
- Why Your Insurance Company Isn’t Your Friend After an Accident
- What Not to Do With an Insurance Company
- What TO DO After an Accident
- The Insurance Company Should Pay for your Medical Bills – Not You
Why the Insurance Company Isn’t Your Friend After a Maryland Car Accident
Once a person like yourself goes through a car accident they receive many calls from family, or friends to see what happened and if everything is okay. Another call you’ll receive is from the insurance company. Whether if it was you or the other driver involved in the accident that called first, their will be that call with an insurance company. It happens after every accident is reported.The reps that work for the insurance companies are very polite, and considerate. This can make you think they mean well, and they’re looking out for your good, but it’s not true with some insurance companies and your company might be one of those. This is why you must be very careful when talking to the company, or you might not receive all that you should.
They Want Assurance
The insurance company has no problem taking money from you every month, but it does have an issue with giving you any of it back. Money that goes into your wallet comes out of their pockets, and ultimately their paychecks. For this reason, they want to give you as little money as possible in a settlement. They’re profitable corporations and when they make more it typically means people like you who were just in a car accident will not receive as much as you should. This is why we’re here to help you.
Injuries – Where They Lose Profits
The insurance adjuster wants to hear four magic words from you, and they are “I have no injuries.” If you aren’t injured, that means the company won’t have to pay out as much. And once you tell the adjuster you’re fine, they essentially write you off. In most most car accident lawsuits usually happen over injuries.
The problem is, some injuries show up days, even weeks after the collision. Although you may feel fine the day after the crash, you might not in the days to come. Telling the adjuster you are OK can make getting the compensation to cover your medical bills difficult. It’s best to always say you’re ‘unsure’ or you’re waiting for your medical reports/consultation if you’re injured. It’s not a lie, because you’re not fully sure until a medical professional takes a deeper look. You need that consultation from a doctor because the human body will experience a silent pain after an accident that will not reveal itself until later on. This leaves the door open for any possible claims regarding your health problems, down the road.
They Will Downplay Your Injuries
Insurance companies will do all they can to avoid paying you any money, or at least the money you are deserved. They will use several tactics to try to get out of doing so.
One method is to claim that your medical treatments were too costly and not really needed. Although you may have medical records that clearly state that what you received was necessary, the insurance provider will attempt to not pay you what you deserve.
They may also try to claim that the injuries you were treated for weren’t caused by the accident, so they aren’t responsible for paying for them. You may think you have a solid case, but chances are, the insurance company will do all it can to not have to pay for your diagnostics and treatment, even if it means saying you are lying.
The insurance company may also attempt to claim that the insured was not at fault, thus pinning the blame on you. If they are able to sway a judge to believe that you were responsible for the accident, they likely won’t have to pay for your treatments, even though they should. Under Maryland’s Contributory Negligence law, if a judge thinks you were at all to blame for the accident, you can lose your case and not receive the compensation you should.
The Insurance Company Won’t Offer You a Fair Settlement
If the insurance company does offer you a settlement, it likely won’t be for nearly what you deserve. Many times, the company tries to offer just at or below what your medical bills cost. While they may try to convince you that this figure is fair, it is not.
That settlement amount will likely not include the pain and suffering you will experience years down the road because of this injury. It probably won’t take into account the medical expenses you’ll experience in the future due to complications stemming from the injury. Additionally, the time from work you’ve lost, and therefore the paycheck you have lost because of the accident, likely won’t be included in that amount, either.
The insurance company also won’t take into consideration the money you have to spend on gas to take you to and from each doctor’s appointment, physical therapy appointment and so on. It also won’t include how much money you have had to put into vehicle maintenance. For instance, running back and forth to appointments can wear out your tires quicker and cause you to require oil changes more often.
The bottom line is the insurance company won’t give you what you deserve. The good news is, you may still be able to get it with the help of a Maryland car accident attorney.
What Not to Do With an Insurance Company
After an accident, victims are often stressed, confused and unsure of what to do. One of your tasks is to talk to the insurance company. Doing so is usually tricky, as you want to avoid saying anything detrimental to your case. Here, a lawyer offers tips on what to say to the insurance company after a car wreck.
Don’t Admit Liability
One of the mistakes many drivers make is admitting fault after a car accident. Doing so puts you at risk for not receiving the compensation you may be entitled to. Simply give the facts about what occurred during the accident to the insurance adjuster and avoid giving your opinions. Even saying that you are sorry can be misinterpreted as fault.
The insurance company will do what it can to keep your compensation to a minimum. The agent may even attempt to misguide you and have you believe you aren’t eligible to receive what you should. Don’t take the insurance adjuster’s word on what you will receive – speak with a car crash lawyer before you make your final decision.
Time is not on your side when it comes to car accidents. Insurance companies require that certain paperwork is filed in a specific amount of time in order to file a claim. Neglecting to complete this paperwork on time could result in you not receiving the compensation you deserve.
What TO Do After an Accident
Getting into a car accident is quite frightening. After the impact, you’re likely confused, scared and unsure of what to do next. But what you do now is extremely important, not only for your safety but in regards to a potential lawsuit. When you follow these steps, you may increase your chances of protecting yourself legally. Here’s what else you should consider:
Collect evidence: Evidence is powerful and can help you receive way more money than expected because it shows the real damages that you truly experienced. Evidence not just tells the story but it confirms your story is true. That can be key witnesses at the scene, medical professionals that helped you, or even people in the vehicle.
Take an Endless Amount of Photos: Yes photos are a form of evidence if it truly shows what happened at the scene. Photos aren’t crucial but they help tell the story. Taking photo of your vehicle or areas of your body that were injured can also help. Even if they aren’t used its not a bad idea to take photos on your smart phone because its free.
Get Medical Help and Attention: This has to be the most important. Make sure your doctor is not connected to an insurance company. Medical professionals will be able to prove what happened to your body when the accident happened. They deal with car accident victims more often than you think.
The Insurance Company Should Pay for your Medical Bills – Not You
There are a number of different sources we look at in order to pay your medical bills.
The first thing you want to look at is whether the vehicle in which you were riding in is covered by something called PIP, personal injury protection. That may provide some initial money to pay some initial medical bills and perhaps even some lost wages if you have missed any amount of work.
The next source you want to look at is whether you have any health insurance. Most health insurance policies require payment even for an automobile accident case. However, keep in mind that the health insurance company may have a lien on your recovery, meaning that if your receive money from the insurance company because of your accident; you may be required to pay back your health insurance company. Please understand that the automobile accident insurance for the car that hit you is not required to pay your bills as they come due. That may come part of a larger settlement at the end of the case, but you cannot just submit bills to them as you would any other insurance company.
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Frank C. Gray, Jr., Esquire.
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