After being in an auto accident, you will probably hear some things that aren’t true. There are many myths about insurance and the legal process that are out there to scare you and trick you. That’s why I’m here. As an experienced attorney, I’ve seen it all and I know what rings true and what doesn’t. The claims process is full of misconceptions, but if you know what they are, they shouldn’t bother you. Here are the top 5 myths of the claims process:
- “You must sign every document the adjuster sends you.” By no means are you required to sign a release of your information to the other person’s insurance company. While insurance adjusters are usually very interested in things such as your medical and work history to assess your injuries, they do not have a right to the documents UNLESS a lawsuit has been filed.
- “If you’re in an auto accident, you must give the adjuster a recorded statement.” You do not have an obligation to give a statement to the other guy’s insurance company, whether recorded or not, unless a lawsuit has been filed. These statements will often hinder you because the adjuster can ask whatever they feel without objection and the claimant will lock themselves into answers early in the claim. Always speak to an attorney before agreeing to give a recorded statement. Oftentimes, an attorney will sit in on a recorded statement for your protection.
- “Insurance adjusters are always open and honest with claimants.” As much as we wish this were true, it isn’t. In the days following a claim being opened, the adjuster’s goal is to dig, dig, dig. They want to find out as much as possible about a claim and find any weaknesses that they can exploit. In the past, there have been cases where an insurance company has used fraudulent means to get a claimant to accept a low settlement offer.
- “The insurance company will avoid hiring an attorney to defend the case by making a reasonable offer to settle your claim.” The truth is that insurance companies see hiring an attorney as nothing more than the cost of doing business. Nowadays, insurance companies even have in-house counsel, which is more affordable to them. Therefore, they don’t really save money by avoiding a lawsuit.
- “There is a set equation to estimate the value of your auto accident claim.” While that would be convenient, it isn’t realistic. You may have heard that a claim is worth three times the amount of medical bills that you incurred from the accident. While this can be true in some cases, it isn’t true for all. Every case is different. If people tell you how much they think your case is worth, it is usually in your best interest to not listen to them. Each case is unique.
We hope that we’ve helped bring to light some misconceptions that you may face while your case is being handled. You deserve to be treated with respect and dignity and unfortunately, some people are not interested in giving that to you. Have you been injured in an auto accident? Contact me right away so I can help you sort through the process.