If you’ve ever had trouble getting compensation for injuries sustained in a car accident, you’ve probably heard about how insurance companies are notorious for underpaying claims.
Insurance companies claim they’re being fair because it costs too much to pay. But most people need to realize that insurance companies aren’t required to give you total compensation for your injury. Instead, they offer you a settlement amount based on factors like your age, gender, medical history, and type of vehicle involved in the crash.
The problem is that insurance companies often hide the actual value of your claim from you. Some insurance providers won’t let you see the exact dollar amounts they’re offering to pay.
That’s why we recommend you never accept a lowball offer from an insurance provider without having a lawyer look over the paperwork and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
A Recorded Statement Can Hurt Your Claim
If you are involved in an accident, you might be asked to record a statement from an insurance adjuster asking about how the crash occurred. If you agree to provide one, there are some things you need to know.
Recordings can hurt your case. Insurance companies encourage people to give them recorded statements. They do this so they will have to pay less for their insurance claims. Most people assume that recording a statement will not hurt their case.
Victims think they must record a statement, or the insurance company won’t repair their vehicle or pay their medical expenses. Before giving a recorded statement, consult a personal injury attorney. Ask them whether you need to provide a recorded statement and, if so, what questions you need to answer. Recorded statements are hazardous because they’re often taken out of context. Their questions trick you into saying something damaging to your claim.
They may ask you questions like “What kind of injuries did you sustain?” or “How were you injured?”. If you omit one injury, they will later accuse you of lying and say, “now you’re complaining of an injury you never mentioned before.” Even though we did take your recorded statement right after you were involved in an accident, you didn’t mention that injury. You’re probably just trying to make money from the accident.
Another way they use a recording against you is by asking questions you’re unsure of. They might ask about the car crash or if you know something about the accident. Then, later, they’ll use these answers against you.
For example, they might ask how fast the driver was driving when he hit you, and you might say that he was probably traveling at least 40 miles per hour. You’re saying that because the crash was so painful. Later, the evidence indicates that the property damage was minimal, and the speed was close to 10 or 15 miles per hour. Then they might say, “Wow, you were exaggerating when you told us that.” Are you now exaggerating your injury?
Look at how tricky this can be! Another example would be if someone asks you where the other car comes from, and you reply, “I don’t know.” They then explain why your insurance company won’t pay for your claim because you cannot prove what their insurer did wrong. You only chose to say “I don’t know” because you needed more information before answering. It wasn’t fair when you made the recorded statement because you couldn’t fully know everything about the accident.
Insurance Companies Hope You Don’t Have A Lawyer
Insurance companies worst nightmare is you speaking to an attorney. Some insurance companies even keep records of attorneys’ experiences and successes and adjust their settlements accordingly. For instance, suppose the following example: A young woman had her breast implants damaged after she was involved in a car accident. She tried to settle her own case but was only offered low amounts for compensation.
She thought these offers were low and asked for help. We recommend not accepting anything lower than the policy limits and notifying the insurance company. Allowing them a few days to agree to the terms, or the offer would be withdrawn. If they disagreed, we would file suit against the insurance company and let a jury determine the fair compensation for the loss. With this approach, we can settle quickly for the total policy limit, which is appropriate. This is one reason insurance providers want to settle the case before you talk to an attorney.
The bottom line is simple: if you’re injured, talk to us. We know how to handle insurance companies and can help you recover fair compensation.
Tell Your Doctor Everything About Your Injuries
You must tell your doctors everything about your injuries from an accident at the first appointment.
Being honest about your injuries is the best way to get a fair settlement. You need to tell your doctors everything you’re experiencing so they can treat you properly. Here’s why this is so crucial: Let’s say you have a back injury that’s troubling you, and your shoulder also hurts a little from the accident. You go to the hospital and only talk about your back pain for the first three weeks after the accident.
As the pain in your back gets better, you begin to worry about your shoulder injury, which hasn’t improved. You tell your physician about your shoulder pain for the first time. It’s been four weeks since the accident. He diagnoses torn cartilages and says you must undergo surgery. What will the insurance company say?
They’ll tell you that you injured your shoulder one month after the accident. If you had hurt your shoulder in a car crash, you’d tell your doctor about it at the first appointment. But since you waited so long, they can blame any injuries on anything except the accident. This is why you must tell your doctor about everything that might bother you when you see him for the first time. Your prior medical history is essential to your case in California, too.
Suppose you have a preexisting injury or illness. In that case, you’re entitled to receive more compensation than if you had no prior injuries or illnesses. Because it will be easier for them to hurt you if you already have an existing medical problem, the damages could be worse or more permanent than they would otherwise be. That’s why informing your doctor about any previous accidents, illnesses, and treatments before this one is essential. Don’t hide or minimize your existing health issues. Let your doctor know about all of them.
Honesty Is Always The Best Policy
Being honest is the most effective strategy. There are some things we don’t need to say, but others need to be reminded. The jury may award the plaintiff a meager settlement if the insurance company refuses to settle. Insurance companies often refuse to pay cases when they believe the claimed injuries are exaggerated or fraudulent.
They only want to be responsible for unnecessarily paying large amounts of money if they think the claimant is injured enough to deserve compensation. If an insurance company doesn’t think a claimant’s injury or damage is legitimate, they’re unlikely to pay any compensation. If a case like this goes to court, the jury will punish those they believe to be dishonest.
We have found that juries can determine the truth when they hear our side of the story. Juries regularly reward people who behave honestly with fair and just decisions. Honesty is always the best policy. It works every time.
A personal injury lawyer always asks for expert opinions before settling a case. These experts include doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists, nurses, psychologists, and others who specialize in treating patients with injuries similar to those suffered by the claimant. The lawyer will take this seriously if a doctor says the patient exaggerates his symptoms.
Personal injury lawyers must be honest about the claim’s facts. When presenting evidence during court proceedings, you and your lawyer should have the truth on your side.
Insurance Companies Spend Millions To Convince The Public of Frivolous Lawsuits
Big insurance companies spend millions of dollars annually to convince the American public that all injury lawsuits filed against them are frivolous. Insurance companies constantly portray injury victims and their attorneys engaging in frivolous litigation in our courtrooms.
They want to deceive the general population into thinking these cases are about making profits from injuries, which is untrue. They don’t want people to know that they’re receiving compensation. People who’ve been hurt by others’ negligence deserve to be compensated fairly. The purpose of the legal system is to ensure fairness. It’s about returning them to their pre-accidental state, both financially and physically, as best we can.
Insurance companies are businesses that would prefer to pay little or nothing for damages caused during accidents. For example, truck drivers often work long hours, which may put themselves and others at risk. Maybe they need to take care of their trucks properly, which means they’re less safe than they should be. What would be the consequences of passing a law that says no one can ever sue for personal injuries? Imagine how irresponsible and reckless companies would be if they weren’t held accountable for the accidents they cause and the damage, injury, and harm they create. They wouldn’t have any incentive to be safe.
They’re only focused on making money. Unfortunately, no one cares about your health. However, the law allows injured people to file claims against negligent companies and individuals who cause them harm. These claims aim to make up and pay for any damage done to the victim. It holds people and businesses responsible for their actions.
The truth is that many Californians think insurance companies will cover all of their expenses in the event of an injury. However, most people need to be aware of how little insurance pays out compared to what the person needs to recover.
People who are injured deserve fair treatment under the law. They should never settle for less than what they are owed.
These are just some tips the insurance companies hope you will only figure out after it’s too late. There are many surprises for the unprepared. As an attorney who has helped countless clients across California, this article can help safeguard your individual legal rights.
One of the main reasons our clients achieve excellent results is because they know exactly what to expect during the legal process. Our clients benefit from our videos and articles because they’re better equipped and aware of their legal rights.
You should be compensated for your injuries if you’ve been injured in an accident. Contact Ashley Injury Lawyers today at 916.419.1111 or message us. We provide a free evaluation, so you know upfront what your legal options are and if you have a case. Get the help you need now.