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After an Accident: 4 Things Insurance Companies Don't Want You to Know

Posted By Montee Law Firm, P.C. || 2-Feb-2018

Victims injured in accidents caused by the negligent or wrongful conduct of another have legal rights – including the right to seek financial compensation for the damages they suffered. By filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault party – including a negligent driver who caused an auto accident, a negligent property owner who failed to address potential hazards on their premises, or a negligent manufacturer who made a defective product – victims will have the opportunity to recovery compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and other damages they incurred.

While compensation is available in personal injury claims, it is never guaranteed. This is not only because victims have the burden of proving fault and liability, but also because insurance companies who commonly handle these claims (on behalf of their policyholders who caused harm) go to great lengths in trying to pay victims as little as they possibly can. By working with experienced personal injury lawyers, victims can gain the support needed to level the playing field and fight back against the common tactic insurer’s use to pay less.

Below, our legal team at Montee Law Firm, P.C. has put together a list of some things insurance companies don’t want you to know after you’ve been hurt by one of their policyholders.

  1. You don’t have to accept their first offer – One of the most common tactics insurance companies use when attempting to get victims to quickly settle their cases is to make initial settlement offers. While the prospect of quick money is appealing, victims must be careful of these initial offers, and take them with a grain and salt. That’s because first offers from insurance companies are typically lowball offers that are far less than victims need. They are also often offered before victims have a full understanding of their injuries and full scope of their damages, including the medical treatment they’ll require. If you accept an offer too early, you risk accepting less than you need – especially if you find out you’ll need more treatment or require serious surgery. You’ll be on the hook for these if you settle a case too early, so be aware that you don’t have to accept an offer if you don’t think it’s fair. Instead, focus on getting all the treatment you need to recover (or recover as much as you can) and work with an attorney who can help you determine when an offer meets yours needs.
  2. You do not have to make a recorded statement – Insurance companies and their representatives frequently contact accident victims to speak with them about their accidents. While you can and should provide your personal information, be careful if they ask you to make a recorded statement. These are often used to get you to say things that can be used against you – such as making an apology or admitting to fault in some way. Even if you are not at fault, saying the wrong thing can compromise your injury claim and make it difficult for you to recover what you deserve. Additionally, some insurance companies may already know the answers to certain questions before they ask. If you answer them incorrectly, even if by mistake, it can be used against you. Be aware that you do not have to provide a recorded statement, and that you can work with an attorney to handle any communication between you and the insurance company.
  3. Insurers can conduct surveillance – Insurance companies don’t always conduct surveillance of victims who file claims, but they certainly have the ability to do so. This can be something useful in cases where insurance companies are on the line for large pay-outs, or when they want to find something to use against victims. Be aware of your conduct at all times, and avoid discussing your case with anyone but your lawyer.
  4. You can work with a lawyer – Insurance companies like to capitalize on victims’ lack of familiarity with the personal injury claim process, which means they capitalize on victims who don’t have legal representation. If insurance companies contact you and want to settle claims without a lawyer, there’s good reason to believe they are trying to pay less you would otherwise be entitled to under the law. Do yourself a favor and consult and experienced personal injury lawyer who can not only handle correspondence with insurance companies, but also assist you in every phase of your legal journey, from getting the medical treatment you need to building an effective claim for the compensation you deserve.

Personal injury claims often turn into battles between injured victims and insurance providers. Put yourself in position to secure the outcome you deserve by working with attorneys who know how to fight them. At Montee Law Firm, P.C., our Kansas City personal injury attorneys are available to help you understand your rights and what we can do to protect them. Contact us for a FREE consultation. We’re available days, weekends, and evenings, and offer home and hospital appointments.

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