Insurance companies frequently play a very important role in personal injury litigation. Accordingly, there are some things you need to know about how to deal (or how not to deal) with insurance companies when you are looking to maximize the chances of appropriate compensation in your case.
In this article we will cover a number of tips to keep in mind when it comes to communication with insurance companies. This information is probably most applicable to dealing with insurance after a car accident given that an insurance adjuster will likely contact you within days of a car accident. However, the tips here can be broadly applied to any contact with an insurance company after any type of personal injury.
If, after reading this article, you have additional questions pertaining to your own personal circumstances, then we invite you to contact the personal injury claims lawyers in Jacksonville, FL – RITE Law. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. Remember, we provide a free case evaluation, so call today.
1. Insurance Adjusters Know How to Negotiate
It might be an unpleasant thought, but the insurance adjuster on the phone with you does not have your best interests at heart. You need to remind yourself when you are speaking with an insurance company representative that his or her goal is to save as much of the company’s money as possible. Of course, that goal is entirely contrary to your goal of getting insurance to cover all of your expenses (why else have insurance, right?).
So, even though an adjuster might be kind and helpful, keep a safe distance and sense of suspicion. That healthy suspicion will ensure that you only give information that helps your cause and does not give the adjuster an easy excuse to deny your claim.
2. Don’t Jump at the Company’s First Offer
After you suffer a car accident, you have many things on your mind including: How am I going to get my car fixed quickly? How am I going to get to work? Will I have to worry about getting a medical checkup; or if you are injured, what will my diagnosis be? Who will take care of the kids if I am in the hospital for more than a day?
There are a ton of things to worry about. So, the insurance company, knowing that you have those concerns, will likely make an offer to provide you money right away. That offer might seem like “manna from heaven,” because you can have money right away, but it is typically a low-ball offer.
That means that, no matter how many immediate concerns you have, you should not simply accept the first offer that the insurance company puts forward. Rather, you want to be ready to negotiate with the insurance company. That is particularly true right after the injury because you might not yet know the full extent of your injuries. Thus, you do not want to accept an offer right away, thereby foreclosing the chance to obtain more insurance coverage because you later discover that your injuries are more severe than initially thought.
3. Take the 5th Until You Have the Chance to Speak with an Attorney
An insurance adjuster most likely has a pre-conceived notion of the details of the accident, one that minimizes the insurance company’s liability, not surprisingly. Thus, the insurance company will want you to participate in a questioning session via phone, that is normally recorded.
Do not agree to such a questioning session until you have had the opportunity to speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer first. The insurance company wants to ask questions in which you can confirm its version of events. Again, do not do that.
Consult a personal injury lawyer first. The same holds true when an insurance company wants you to sign a settlement, or some other type of, agreement. No matter how reasonable and nice the insurance adjuster seems, do not be fooled into agreeing to details, or settling claims, without the guidance of an attorney.
4. Watch for Delay Tactics
If you refuse the insurance company’s first settlement offer, the insurance company may then engage in specific delay tactics. They may not return calls, they may “accidentally lose” your paperwork, or they may bounce you from insurance agent to insurance agent. The goal is to cause you to delay.
Why does the insurance company do that? They do that because they want to take advantage of the statute of limitations. With car accidents, for example, the statute of limitations could be around 2 years. Thus, the insurance company figures that they may “run out the clock,” or you may forget to file a lawsuit in time.
You can avoid that, and other nefarious tricks by insurance companies, by hiring a seasoned personal injury claims lawyer in Jacksonville.
Get the Help of the Personal Injury Claims Lawyers in Jacksonville, at RITE Law.
At RITE Law, we started the firm for one reason – to help those in Florida and elsewhere have the resources of a firm that was “big enough to fight but small enough to care.”At Rudolph, Israel, Tucker & Ellis (RITE law), we have the resources and experience to go to trial when it is necessary, and we have the wisdom to advise you appropriately.
Expect lots of attention, passionate representation, and a healthy disdain for big insurance companies. We believe that leads to the best result possible. Unlike larger firms, your case isn’t handed to a paralegal or assistant to do the heavy lifting. The attorney you meet initially is the one who will be by your side every step of the way.
We also take pride in creating an atmosphere where every client is treated like family. Family members stick up for one another no matter what. You should expect nothing less from the RITE Law personal injury attorneys in Jacksonville.
Without help from the RITE team, making your own personal injury claims can be very difficult. When you turn to our firm, we spring into action, making sure that every detail of your claim is addressed. Call us for help. Our number is (904) 500-RITE or you can fill out our contact form online. We provide a free case evaluation, so feel free to call us today.