Tricks the Auto Insurance Company Uses Against Accident Victims
Being in a car accident can be a traumatic and in some cases, a life altering experience. The accident victim has to deal with possible physical and emotional injuries, as well as property damage. The last thing that an injured person wants to add to his or her plate is dealing with their car insurance company looking out for its bottom line. However, it is important that auto accident victims be aware of tactics the insurance company (even their own insurance company) may use against them following a car accident.
Acting Like a Friend
The first time the car insurance company reaches out to the accident victim may seem like a pleasant experience. They may seem to genuinely care about what happened and are working on your behalf to move the process along as quickly as possible for you. However, most insurance adjusters when they meet with you, come prepared with a script written for the sole purpose of gaining the trust of accident victims. It should always be kept in mind that the insurance company is a business, and as a business, they do not want to pay any more than needed. Be wary of these communications and be on guard for the fact that they may just be wanting to get the victim to go along with whatever offer they give, even if it is a low one.
Asking for a Recorded Statement
The insurance company may follow up with this meeting by asking the accident victim to give a statement, detailing the injuries and damages sustained. The insurance company may follow this with, “we are just doing this to speed things along.” However, the goal of this statement is to get the accident victim to nail down what his or her injuries actually are in the event more injuries manifest at a later date. These statements can then be used against the accident victims later if they try to claim more damages or injuries than that initial statement provided. Keep in mind that many damages or injuries do not fully manifest until months after the accident occurred. After a car accident, you are not required to give a recorded statement. Instead, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Insisting on the First Offer
A good rule of thumb is to never accept the first offer. Insurance companies will almost always low-ball the accident victim on the first settlement offer. They know the person needs the money now and wants to resolve the claim as quickly as possible. Also, if the insurance company knows that they are dealing with someone who is not experienced in personal injury law, they may make it out to seem like this is the best offer that person will get. Always seek the advice of a personal injury attorney before signing on the dotted line to any offer given by your insurance company.
Insisting upon a Release
The insurance company may insist that the accident victim sign a waiver or release of medical information. They may claim that this information is needed to fully estimate the damages for that person’s injuries. However, many of these releases are far too broad and allow the insurance company to have access to the person’s entire medical history. They could attempt to use any information in the victim’s past to claim that the injuries from the accident were pre-existing. Under no circumstance does the insurance company need full access to an accident victim’s entire medical records.
Follow the Victim on Social Media
In the digital age of social media, it is advisable that the car accident victim be very cautious about what is posted online following an auto accident. Insurance companies will look in the person’s history, trying to find any reason to pin some part of the cause of the accident on the driver. They will look for posts shortly after the accident involving what happened, statements that could implicate fault or complicity, and they will want to find pictures showing that perhaps the victim is not as injured as he or she is making himself or herself to be. Even the highest level of privacy settings can allow some access, and as insurance companies are hiring younger employees, they are becoming more adept at finding pertinent information online to discredit your injury claim.
FREE CONSULTATION WITH A MIAMI AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Florida it is very important to consult with an experienced auto accident attorney immediately. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer, and he and the lawyers at Aronfeld Trial Lawyers understand Florida’s complex personal injury laws and since 1991 we have fought hard to protect the legal rights of the injured and their families- and hold auto insurers like State Farm, Allstate, Progressive, GEICO and others accountable for the pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages and other damages suffered by our clients.
Contact us today and speak with an experienced Miami auto accident attorney toll free 1-866-597-4529, local 305-441-0440, or by email. We offer a free initial consultation at your home, office, hotel or hospital. Call us today, we are ready to help.