Nobody wants to be involved in a serious car accident, especially if you’re not at fault. However, almost all of us will either be involved in a serious accident, or know someone who is. To complicate matters, most people have never had to deal with insurance companies before, except to pay their insurance premiums.
There are generally four key factors that may indicate the need to retain a personal injury attorney to represent you after a car accident. If any of the following five things occur, It is strongly advised that you consult with an injury attorney to protect your rights – most injury attorneys offer a free no-obligation consultation, so you don’t have to pay anything unless they help you recover for your injuries.
- They Want You to Jump Through Hoops. If after an accident, the insurance company will likely demand that you jump through all sorts of hoops, and perform a multitude of tasks before they will compensate you for your injuries and damages, they may be looking for reasons to avoid paying you. If this occurs, it’s generally in your best interest to consult The Rybak Firm, which will understand these tactics, and can advise you how best to protect your rights.
- They Want You to Visit Doctors of Their Choosing. This is another common tactic used by insurance companies to avoid the payment of an insurance claims. Generally, people would like to believe that a doctor has their best interest in mind, even if an insurance company hires the doctor. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and many doctors employed by insurance companies are nothing more than “hired guns.” Their main purpose is to minimize your claim, and undervalue your injuries.
- They Want You to Provide Past Medical History. Whenever an insurance company asks you to fill out forms pertaining to your past medical history, be assured that they are looking to shift blame for your injuries to something in your past. This allows them to minimize or eliminate compensating you for your injuries. If they can blame your injuries on something other than the accident, they will certainly do so – and will generally refuse to offer compensation for such injuries.
- They Want to Have Your Automobile Inspected by Their “Expert.” Like medical doctors that are hired by insurance companies, property appraisers hired to inspect the damage to your automobile will almost always undervalue your cars value. If you agree to let their expert appraise your cars value, you’ll usually get strong-armed into accepting compensation for damage to your vehicle that is thousands less than it should be when the car is properly appraised. Make no mistake about it; their so-called “expert” is there to pay you as little as possible for the damage to your vehicle.
If the insurer uses any one of the above tactics, I would strongly advise you to seek out a reputable injury attorney who can assist you in protecting your rights. What’s more, in many cases, even if you do all the things the insurance company has asked you to do, they still may not want to pay out on your claim. Or, in some cases they will offer an immediate settlement check, which is generally tempting, but is usually never in your best interest to accept.
Make no mistake about it, the insurance companies don’t care about you, regardless of what they say – they are a business, and the bottom line is that they only care about making and saving money. The less they can get away with paying on a claim, the more money they make – which is why insurance companies rarely offer a fair settlement on an auto accident claim. Therefore, many injured persons choose to hire an injury attorney to represent them. Generally, injured persons represented by an attorney receive a much better settlement from insurance companies than those who are not represented by an attorney. This is because injury attorneys are familiar with the tactics employed by insurance companies, they can help you avoid these pitfalls, and can force the insurance companies into court if the insurance companies act in bad faith.