Have you been injured in a personal injury accident, such as a slip and fall, defective product accident, or traffic crash? If so, the insurance company for the other party may contact you very soon after the accident for information. Before you speak with an adjuster or another company representative, there are a few things you should know about dealing with insurance companies.
Dealing Directly with an Insurance Company
Several things that you must be aware of if you are attempting to work directly with an insurance company include:
- The Insurance Adjuster Works for the Company
The insurance adjuster does not work for you — he works for the insurance company, regardless of what he says or how nice he acts. The adjuster protects the best interest of the insurance company, which is in direct conflict with your best interest. Your best interest includes receiving full compensation for all damages. However, the best interest of the insurance company is to pay as little as possible for your claim. Therefore, the adjuster’s job is to look for ways he can lower the settlement amount to protect the insurance company.
- Beware of Recorded or Written Statements and Medical Releases
The insurance adjuster looks for any information he can use against you to lower the value of your claim. A common tactic is to request a written or recorded statement. The adjuster wants you to answer questions in a format that he can use against you if your story changes in the future. He can use your written or recorded statement to claim you are “lying” about a certain fact, so you must be lying about the extent of your injuries. The adjuster may be searching for information that can be used to argue you were partly responsible for the crash, such as you were in a hurry because you were running late for work.
In addition, the adjuster may request a medical release to obtain records proving your injuries for the claim. While this might seem like a valid request, the adjuster may want to search through your medical history for past injuries or accidents that he can argue are the true cause of your current injuries. It is in your best interest to consult with a lawyer before signing any documents or providing any statements to the insurance company for the other party.
- You Are Not Requiredto Accept the First Offer
If you do not have a lawyer, you need to be cautious of accepting an offer. In many cases, an adjuster will make a quick settlement offer because he knows that the victim does not understand the full extent of his or her injuries. Even though it is tempting to accept a settlement because you need the funds, it can be unwise because you may be accepting an amount that is much lower than the true value of your claim. Instead, take advantage of our free consultation to learn about your claim and whether the settlement offer is fair.
- The Insurance Company Has a Team of Professionals Working to Protect It
The adjuster is not the only professional working for the insurance company. The company has many professionals, including lawyers, examiners, and investigators, that it may assign to your claim. These individuals are working to protect the insurance company. You deserve a team of lawyers who will work to protect your best interests and legal rights.
Call an Ontario Accident Lawyer Now for Help!
Do not let an insurance company take advantage of you. Put our team of lawyers to work for you so that you can recover a fair amount for your accident claim.
The team of lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have the experience, resources, and skills you want in a lawyer who is fighting for your right to recover a fair and just settlement. Call our 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We provide no-obligation case evaluations and free consultations for injury victims and their families.