After you have been involved in an automobile accident and made sure that you and your passengers are okay, the next few days may be hectic. One of the reasons for the nature of those hectic days is that everyone is wanting to talk to you about your accident. This is especially true for the other driver's insurance company. If you were involved in a car accident that was not your fault, the other driver's insurance company is going to hound you for a statement because they are looking for any grounds to attribute fault to you and not their insured. Here are some tricks to remember that insurance companies use and their motives:
- Insurance companies are for-profit companies. In other words, insurance companies are in business to make money. If they can give you less money for your accident, that means that they get to keep more money in their pocket.
- Do not be tricked by the friendly adjusters. Insurance company adjusters may seem pleasant, but they do not work for you. They work for the insurance company, and they are going to protect the company's bottom line, which is the company's profit. As a result, the adjuster is going to try to get you to relax and then do, or say something to try to get you to admit that the accident was partially or totally your fault, that you weren't really injured, your opinion regarding the accident, lowball you into accepting a settlement, apologize, or anything that could be construed in weakening your case.
- Adjusters are skilled negotiators. They are going to use phrases that are designed specifically to talk you into settling. They might use phrases such as “This is my best offer,” or “This is my highest offer.” They also might try to discourage you from seeking other counsel regarding the value of your case. These tactics are designed specifically to benefit the insurance company, not to lessen the financial sting of the accident.
- Do not offer a recorded statement. The insurance adjuster will probably ask to record your statement under the guise of different premises, such as speeding up the claims process. However, the insurance company is ultimately looking for inconsistencies and loopholes that can be used against you. This is where the adjusters really earn their paychecks. They will ask you tricky questions that can make you answer in a way that hurts your claim. They will badger you into getting frustrated. After the call, they will compare your statement with the police reports, and if they spot any inconsistencies, it will hurt your case and the opposing counsel will use it to his advantage if you do not settle.
- The Insurance Company will not tell you everything. The primary motive of the insurance company, as previously stated, is to make money. As a consequence, when you file a claim against their insured, they stand to lose money. So, insurance companies will not tell you everything you need to know when you are negotiating your claim, such as the fact that you can be compensated for the items in your vehicle, the diminished value of your vehicle, or for the cost of a rental vehicle, as well as your prescription medication if prescribed due to the accident, or other indicated costs as well as your right to non-economical damages like pain and suffering. The insurance company does not advertise because it is poor. The insurance companies advertise so much because they can afford to do so from premiums.
Dealing with insurance companies can be tricky. You should always watch what you say to insurance adjusters. However, if you think it would be wise to seek counsel, you should do so as soon as possible following your accident to fully protect your interests.
If you would like to know more about how to handle insurance companies after an automobile accident or need an experienced attorney to fight on your behalf after an accident, please feel free to contact the staff and attorneys at LaCourse Law for a free consultation. Call us at 918-744-7100, or fill out the form below.
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