Most car accidents are resolved through insurance settlements. That means that if you have recently been hurt in a wreck that was not your fault, there is a good chance that your case will end by negotiating a settlement with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. As a victim, it’s important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side and will gladly settle your case for far less than it is worth.
Here are some of the tricks that insurance companies use to justify lower settlement offers. To protect your rights, call one of our Atlanta car accident lawyers today.
Unreasonably Broad Medical Record Requests
In many cases, insurance companies will make unreasonable broad requests to dig through your medical records to find anything they can use to argue that your injuries are actually a ‘pre-existing condition.’
Offering You a Settlement Before You Can Talk to a Lawyer
Another technique insurance companies use to limit their liability is quickly offering victims seemingly generous settlements before they can talk to an attorney. The fact is that many car accident victims do not know how much their cases are worth or that they are entitled to compensation for much more than their repair and medical bills.
Waiting Until Your Bills are Piling Up to Make an Offer
While some companies make settlement offers quickly, sometimes insurance companies drag their feet on “processing” a claim and wait until victims are feeling the pinch of lost income, medical bills, and repair costs before making an offer. The logic behind this is that people under financial stress are more likely to accept a less-than-adequate offer. Fortunately, there are ways to obtain medical treatment and cover bills without paying out of pocket while your case is pending.
Pressuring You to Make a Recorded Statement
Another favorite insurance companies use is telling victims that their claims will be processed more quickly if they provide a recorded statement about their accident. In reality, what they are trying to do is get victims to say things that may justify lowering their settlement offer.
To Protect Your Rights, Retain an Attorney as Soon as You Can
Insurance companies have no problem taking advantage of unrepresented victims in order to save money. The best thing you can do to protect your legal rights is to retain an attorney as soon as possible after a serious car accident. Once you are represented by counsel, the insurance company has to communicate with your lawyer instead of you, so you can rest assured that you will not say anything that could hurt your case. In addition, when you have an attorney familiar with car accident litigation in Georgia, you will have a better idea of what your case is worth, ensuring you do not accept an inadequate settlement offer.
Call Slappey & Sadd Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation with an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer
If you have been hurt in an auto accident, don’t try and deal with the insurance company alone. At Slappey & Sadd, we are dedicated to helping accident victims like you get the full and fair value of your claim. To schedule a free case evaluation, call our office today at 888.474.9616 or contact us online.