Insurance companies pride themselves on their unique and imaginative advertising. They present themselves as your neighbor, your friend, someone willing to lend a helping hand, or the folksy neighbor lady who’s looking out for your best interest.
The number one thing to remember is that regardless of how insurance companies market themselves, their best interests and your best interests never align. They make more money by giving you less money. Mistakes are made by forgetting this dynamic.
When dealing with an insurance company, your goal is to increase the likelihood that you get a fair offer. The insurance adjuster’s job performance is based on their ability to get you to settle your claim for less money than they believe it is worth. This means that you should always negotiate.
Never Sign an Insurance Company’s Medical Release
After an automobile accident, the insurance company of the at fault individual will ask you to sign a medical release. Their rationale is that this release allows them to verify the injuries you sustained. Under no circumstances should you sign that release. Do not forget the dynamic. The other driver’s insurance company is not on your side.A trick that they often use to get you to settle your claim for less than what it’s worth is to use confidential medical information obtained through a medical release, even if it has nothing to do with your injury. Before sending any documents to another person’s insurance company, have your personal injury attorney first look over your medical records, and then only send information that supports your claim to the at fault driver’s insurance company.
It’s different if your insurance company asks you to sign a medical release. Even then the savvy go-getter will limit the information they give to their insurance company regarding health concerns that started on the day of the accident.
Exercise Patience When Settling an Injury Claim
Insurance companies want to get your claim settled fast and cheap. This is because they know that some injuries create symptoms that can last for years, or even for the rest of your life. They also understand that some symptoms do not show up for weeks or months and require extensive treatments and diagnostics.The second you settle on a personal injury claim with an insurance company, that company’s responsibility to you is over. If other damages associated with your injury appear, they are on you to cover. The savvy go-getter realizes that some injuries will require surgery years after the incident that caused the injury. If you settle before the full extent of your injuries are clear, you may not get the compensation you deserve.
Of course, your personal injury attorney will work with you to help you to identify the statute of limitations when it comes to filing claims. That being said, when settling an injury, patience is key.
Document and Prove Everything
Insurance companies understand that time is on their side. The longer they can stretch out providing a settlement, the more desperate their clients and sometimes their attorneys become. If you are not able to prove your settlement demands with proper documentation, you may find yourself going in circles with your insurance company.Remember, an insurance adjuster needs to verify every single penny that they pay out in compensation. The only way that they can do this is if the damages you sustained have been properly documented and presented to the insurance company.
The insurance company that you are dealing with is not full of evil people. Instead, it is full of people who have a job to do, and their job is to protect their company’s interests by seeing to it that when a case must be settled, it is settled for the least amount of money possible.
Gatti, Keltner, Bienvenu & Montesi, PLC
219 Adams Avenue
Phone: (901) 526-2126