If you have to file a personal injury claim, there is a good chance you’ll have to deal with an insurance company. Whether it’s the insurance company of a negligent store owner,, or someone’s homeowners’ insurance after you’ve been hurt by a dog bite, these companies often get involved when a personal injury occurs.
Theoretically, they are there to provide you with benefits that will help you get back on your feet. Realistically however, they are there to work on behalf of the company. That means they will use a number of tricks against you to avoid paying out on a large settlement, even if you need it to get better. Below are just a few of the tricks to watch for, so you can avoid falling for them and get the full amount of compensation you’re entitled to.
They Try to Get You to Accept Blame
This is the oldest trick in the insurance company’s book. They will try to get you to admit that you were negligent during the accident as well. If your negligence contributed to the accident, it will reduce the settlement amount they will offer you.
They Accept Liability, and Then Deny It
At first, the insurance company will likely tell you they accept all liability. They will say you should get medical treatment, and that they will pay for it. When they say this, get it in writing. They are hoping that once you receive medical treatment, they can deny a portion of your claim. Knowing that it’s often too late for you to get an attorney, and that you’ve amassed substantial debt, they understand that you’re desperate and will take any settlement they offer you.
They Offer a Settlement Very Quickly
It may be unethical, but sometimes insurance adjusters will even visit you in the hospital to offer you a low-ball settlement. Even if you’re not in the hospital, they will visit you within days, or even hours, of the accident. They do this so you don’t fully understand yet the full extent of your injury. They know that if you take the low-ball offer, you’ll forfeit your right to sue. They also know you won’t realize until much later that the low offer doesn’t even cover a fraction of your medical costs.
They Make Up Arbitrary Deadlines
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to make up their own deadline for when you must accept their offer. This deadline is not binding. Just like offering you a settlement right after your accident, this time limit is meant to pressure you into taking a lower offer before you understand the full value of your losses.
They Ask for Written or Recorded Statements
The insurance company will use whatever you say against you in the future. To help them with this, they will ask you to provide a written or recorded statement. While they have the right to ask for it, you are under no obligation to provide them with one. Doing so will likely only hurt your case.
They Say You Don’t Need a Personal Injury Lawyer
Insurance companies will always act as though they’re your friend and there to work for you. They will tell you that you don’t need a Philadelphia and Allentown personal injury lawyer because they are going to give you a fair settlement. That is untrue.
If you’ve been injured, don’t speak with the insurance company on your own. At van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim, we know how to handle insurance companies and hold them accountable for paying the full settlement you deserve. Let us deal with them while you focus on your recovery. Call us today at (215) 486-0123 to get fair representation that will always work in your best interests.