Personal injury victims often assume insurance companies are there to help them recover from the accident and gain adequate compensation for their injuries, but that's not always the case.
Insurance companies have their own agendas and may or may not be upfront with you when navigating a personal injury case. Today, we're covering some of the things your insurance company won't tell you.
Insurance Adjusters Aren't There to Make You Money
One of the biggest mistakes personal injury victims make is assuming that an insurance company will fight to get them the largest possible sum of money post-accident. But that's not necessarily true.
An insurance adjuster's goal is not to get you any specific amount of compensation for an injury. Their objective is to pursue the best interests of the insurance company—which means helping the insurer make money.
Insurance companies only make money when they pay out less money than they earn. In other words, an insurance adjuster will probably try and get you the minimum amount of compensation, not the maximum.
This is one of the key reasons hiring an injury attorney is so important. An experienced lawyer can help you fight for the compensation you deserve with both the person or entity responsible for the accident, and your insurance company.
Don't Take the Insurer's Word for Repair Shops in Auto Accidents
Insurers will often recommend personal injury victims to certain repair shops for vehicle accident cases. If you're involved in an accident, do your own research first before sending your vehicle off to the shop an insurance company recommends.
Insurance companies don't always work with the best repair shops (again, they want to maximize their profits), so you may get better service somewhere else. Additionally, choosing a third-party shop you trust can help you figure out if an insurer is being honest with their estimates of how much the accident damaged your vehicle (and whether or not you can salvage it).
Do Your Research Before Purchasing Services from an Insurer
Similar to our tip about repair shops, you should do your own research before taking advantage of any other services an insurer offers. For example, many insurers work with doctors who will try and minimize a personal injury victim's injuries to help the insurer owe less money.
Talk with your attorney before you take them up on any offers. Look for independent reviews of the services they offer. Spending some time doing research can help you save time, money, and stress in the long run.
Double-Check Before You Sign Anything
Insurance companies often try to avoid paying out medical expenses for clients. If you're involved in an accident and suffer significant injuries, you (and your personal injury lawyer) should read anything an insurer asks you to sign carefully.
Insurers will sometimes hide paragraphs in statements that imply a personal injury victim isn't actually that hurt by an accident to try and minimize the amount they pay out. Taking the time to scrutinize papers can prevent you from signing something that will come back to bite you in the future.
Consult Your Personal Injury Attorney Often
Insurance adjusters sometimes attempt to pull one over on personal injury victims by claiming that they're giving someone "their best deal" or "a limited-time offer," but that's rarely ever the case. Your personal injury lawyer will know the industry inside and out, and can push for a better deal for you.
Similarly, insurance companies often take longer to respond to personal injury victims who hire an independent lawyer or don't take them up on other offers we've mentioned in this blog (like going to their recommended doctor or repair shop). They do this to try and goad personal injury victims into making rash decisions.
At the end of the day, an insurer isn't an advocate for your best interests—your personal injury attorney is. Additionally, most personal injury lawyers use a contingency pricing model, meaning you only have to pay them if they win your case—so you don't need to worry about losing money when you discuss something with your attorney.
Take advantage of your lawyers and utilize them to answer any questions you have about your case. It's more work now, but you'll thank yourself later.
At The Law Offices of Jason K.S. Porter, P.A., we work with personal injury victims to help them receive the compensation they deserve. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (904) 701-0591.