Millions of Americans are injured in car accidents each year. With nearly a century of combined personal injury experience, Obral, Silk & Pal Personal Injury Lawyers has witnessed firsthand just how life-altering these automobile collisions can be. As such, we feel it is our obligation to prepare our clients for what they can expect in the hours, days, weeks, and months following a car accident as we help them navigate the personal injury process.
One aspect of the process on which we seek to educate our clients is what they can expect when interacting with an insurance company after an accident. It’s important to be advised, in regard to personal injury claims and car accidents, insurance companies are not on your side–they are your adversaries. They seek to solely protect their own interests as well as the party they insure. As such, in the event you are involved in a car accident, here is what you can anticipate when dealing with an insurance company:
Insurance companies will attempt to rush you into settling your case. Insurance companies seek to settle claims as quickly as possible and do so in a way that financially benefits them, not you. By rushing the settlement process, insurance companies may attempt to take advantage of your vulnerable state in the days after an accident. Additionally, by settling quickly, insurance companies may attempt to avoid paying for injuries that may arise in the future, or issues that don’t manifest right away.
They try to low-ball your settlement. When an insurance company presents you with a settlement offer, it is likely substantially less than your case is potentially worth. They will normally start with offering you $500.00, and may even end up going to a couple thousand. What they don’t tell you is that your medical bills may greatly exceed these offers, and if you attempt to ask them to pay for them, you may be met with “Sorry, you’ve settled your case and released our insured”.
They use what you say against you. Insurance companies may attempt to get you to admit fault or to admit that you did something that may have contributed to the accident on a recorded phone line. Anything you say to the insurance company in the wake of a car accident could be used against you in the future. Further, they will ask you for your social security number, so that they can run you through the claims database and conduct a background check on you. Do not release any personal information to them.
They will tell you that you don’t need an attorney. It is in an insurance company’s best interest to avoid involving legal counsel in a personal injury claim. As previously mentioned, an insurance company may encourage you to accept a settlement offer before you have spoken to an attorney. The insurance companies do not want the injured party to have an attorney for a reason! They want to take advantage of someone that doesn’t know their legal rights and what the potential value of their injuries and damages truly are, and attorneys are a roadblock to the “lowball” offer!
At Obral, Silk & Pal Personal Injury Lawyers, our goal is to obtain a fair settlement for our clients that adequately compensates them for their injuries. We strive to protect victims of car accidents from being both victims of the accident itself as well as insurance companies. If you or someone you know is involved in an automobile collision, speak to an attorney before speaking to an insurance company. Insurance companies have their lawyers working for them around the clock. You deserve the same.
Injuries change lives…so do we.