In an Auto Accident? Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies

December 10, 2012

Auto Accidents

In an Ohio Auto Accident What to Say to Insurance CompaniesWhen an insurance company contacts you after an auto accident injury, you might think the polite thing to do is to respond to their questions.  But it’s very important to limit your initial discussions with an insurance agent, the other party, your passengers, the police, or witnesses concerning any aspect of the accident including your medical care and any injuries you may have suffered.

Here are some tips for dealing with an insurance company after a traffic accident injury:

(1). Do not admit fault even if you think you are partially to blame.   A simple, “I’m sorry” can be misconstrued and used against you.  Insurance adjusters sometimes ask “leading” questions (the answer is implied in the question itself—(For example, “Do you beat your spouse on Wednesdays?”—The question is not asking if you beat your spouse, but assuming that you do and asking which day of the week you beat him or her.)  Adjusters might also offer waivers or releases to sign that could reduce or eliminate your right to receive recovery for your injuries.

(2).  At the same time, tell the truth.  Stick to a statement of the facts without incriminating yourself.  You may be unable to focus on what has happened after the auto accident injury due to your physical or emotional state, or both, thus, your perception of the accident may not be accurate.  However, if you make statements that you know are not correct, your credibility may come into question later when it may matter more.

(3). Do not sign a medical authorization for the insurance company.  This enables the insurance company to obtain any of your medical records (even records not related to the current accident).  It also enables them to speak directly to your medical providers.  This may not be beneficial to your case as the insurance company is trying to reduce or eliminate your recovery.  If they can convince a jury that your injuries are from a former accident, this will significantly affect your case.

(4). Do not give a taped or recorded statement to the insurance company.  This may provide details to the insurance company before your treatment is complete and may not be beneficial to your case.

(5). Do not attempt to settle your claim in a hurry.  If you accept money and sign a release, your personal injury claim has ended and you cannot ask for additional compensation at a later date even if your injuries persist or worsen.  It is more beneficial to your case to let your attorney gather details and try to negotiate with the insurers or take them to court, if necessary.

(6). Ask the adjuster for a complete copy of the claim file.  In the move to “paperless” offices, insurers sometimes make mistakes and you could be charged higher insurance rates after a traffic accident even though you were not at fault.  The surcharge may not appear on your insurance bill until months after the accident, so you will need the documents to prove your case.

Two final points to remember at the scene of the accident.  It is a good idea to get the name and badge number of any investigating police officer(s).  If the other driver shows you his or her proof of insurance card (and you should ask to see it if he does not product it), check the date to make sure that it is not an expired card.

Without question, there are several important medical, financial, legal and emotional considerations at stake that require immediate attention following a traffic accident injury.  If you overlook any of the above suggestions after an accident, the mistake could be costly to your recovery for years in the future.

The Ohio auto accident injury attorneys at Slater & Zurz LLP are here to help you unravel the maze that often results after a traffic accident injury.  A person is often trying to juggle missed work with trying to get their vehicle repaired, trying to get to doctor appointments and coping with the effects of severe pain, debilitating injury or greatly reduced bodily movement, or all of the above.  The situation is only exacerbated if the accident victim is hospitalized and worse if that person can’t communicate.

If you or a loved one needs assistance with a personal injury received in an auto accident, please take a moment to call our law firm at 1-888-534-4850 to talk with an auto accident injury lawyer familiar with Ohio law in auto accident injury settlements who also has expertise in litigation.

If you prefer, you can contact us through our website at www.slaterzurz.comFill out the FREE CASE REVIEW on the upper right hand side of the web page and we will get back to you promptly.

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About slaterzurz

Slater & Zurz LLP is an Ohio law firm of highly experienced and respected attorneys. Over the last 40 years, we have developed a reputation for getting positive results for clients. We've been trusted with handling over 20,000 personal injury cases and our clients have received more than $120,000,000.

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4 Comments on “In an Auto Accident? Tips for Dealing with Insurance Companies”

  1. car accident lawsuit Says:

    If the accident was the result of a collision with a car or other vehicle in South Australia, and the driver was totally or partially responsible for your injuries, you may have a claim..

    Reply

  2. motorcycle accident lawyer Says:

    There are some insurance companies though, that will litigate everything to death under the theory that, if you make life miserable for the injured people, fewer people will bring claims. So they might have to suck up legal fees in some of the cases, but they think they come out ahead overall.

    Reply

  3. brain injury Says:

    The following are some of the different types of head injuries:

    Skull fracture

    Concussion

    Intracranial hematoma

    Reply

  4. nursing home abuse lawyer Says:

    Good thing there are group of people who handles accident cases like this. Thanks for sharing this type of data.

    Reply

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