After a car accident, you’re likely going to be in a tough spot, and this is especially true if you were injured. You have bills to pay, you may not be able to work, and now your vehicle needs repair or has been totaled entirely. At this phase, the insurance company involved is hoping that all of these factors will force you into settling your claim for less than it is really worth.
Getting less than your car accident claim is worth can have repercussions on your financial well-being for years to come. Your injuries now can become long-term issues, leaving you with extra medical costs and work limits to contend with your entire life. Before you settle with any insurance company, speak to a car crash attorney in Kent and consider all the factors that go into valuing a claim. If you don’t, you could find yourself struggling in the future due to something that was not your fault to begin with.
The Treatment Phase Matters
There is no way to truly know what your claim is worth without knowing what all of your bills will be, how your injuries are going to affect your life now and potentially in the future, and how long your treatment will last. While you can’t possibly know these things until after you have done all the treatment your doctor recommends, the insurance company of the at-fault driver will still want to talk to you and offer you a settlement as quickly as possible. When an insurance company can get someone to settle fast, they are often able to avoid paying out the real value of the claim.
You actually don’t have to speak to the other person’s insurance company right away, but they don’t want you to know that this is the case. When you don’t know your rights, you are more easy to manipulate and take advantage of. In fact, there have been several cases of claims adjusters taking advantage of claimants to limit losses to their employers.
As outlined by Findlaw, insurance adjusters have used several “bad faith” tactics in claims to limit or eliminate damages (https://consumer.findlaw.com/insurance/insurance-company-bad-faith-tactics-and-examples.html). One tactic is unreasonable delays, in which the adjuster actually drags out the entire claims process in the hopes that you will just go away. Another is failure to investigate–for example, if the adjuster simply takes their policyholder’s word for how the accident happened and doesn’t investigate anything themselves, they’re acting in bad faith. Yet another is lowballing, where they know your claim is worth more than they are offering, but they are choosing to offer a much lower amount in hopes that you will take it and go away.
Another tactic is telling you that you have to speak to the insurance company right away and give a statement or they will close your claim. You absolutely have the right to speak to the insurance company when you are ready, and with a car crash attorney from Kent at your side to avoid any loss of your rights under your claim. If you give the insurance company any statement without an attorney present, you could be misled into saying things that will be used to deny or limit your claim later. Remember that the adjuster is never on your side, even if they act as if they are your friend or seem concerned about you.
Whenever you know your obligations and rights in a car accident claim, you are simply less likely to be manipulated by the insurer involved in your case. Your treatment should continue as long as you and your doctors agree that you need it, which is usually to full recovery or to the point where you’ve made the most recovery progress that you are ever likely to make, known as the “maximum medical improvement.” No one but you and your doctor can decide when your treatment is finished, including the other insurance company involved.
Once you have fully completed your treatment, you are ready to move forward with your claim for compensation. With a real idea of how much this accident is going to cause you down the line, you can finally work toward receiving a fair and just settlement in your case.