As a Seattle injury attorney, I have found that many of my clients have a misconceived perception of the insurance claims process before coming to me for help. Sometimes these misconceptions can ruin a case, so it is important that people know how to interact with the insurance company before filing a claim. It is my firm belief that with better information, people will be able to handle their Washington auto accident claims in a more beneficial way. In order to make sure that you do not hurt your case before it even begins, let me share with you the three most common myths about insurance claims and the adjusters you will be dealing with.
Myth #1: You must sign every document the insurance adjuster sends you. This is false. If you have been in an accident and are dealing with your own insurance company to get personal injury protection, then you will need to cooperate with them and comply with their requests. This, however, is not the case for dealing with the other person’s insurance company. You are under no obligation to sign the documents that they give you. I would suggest that you do not sign anything, or at the very least, speak with an experienced car accident attorney before doing so. Oftentimes the insurance companies will give accident injury victims confusing documents to sign and it can be detrimental to comply with them if you have not been told by a lawyer to do so.
Myth #2: You have to give the insurance adjustor a recorded statement. Absolutely not. I have seen recorded statements used against auto accident victims countless times, which could all be avoided by simply not giving a recorded statement. The purpose of the recorded statement is to catch you saying something that may conflict with something you say later on in your case. If you feel fine at the time they call you, but develop injuries from the accident later on, they will have a recording of you saying that you were not hurt when you really were. It is not legally required of you to give a recorded statement, so you should always consult an experienced Bellevue injury attorney first.
Myth #3: The insurance company adjustors are always honest. Nope. Simply put, the insurance adjustor’s job is not to answer to you, but rather to their corporate shareholders. Insurance is a business, and like any other business, their number 1 goal is to make as much money as possible. Thinking that your adjustor is forthcoming and honest is a mistake, because their job depends on their ability to reduce or deny your claim.
If you have been injured in a car accident, it is tantamount to the success of your case for you to understand the truth about these myths. You may not need a lawyer for your case, but most experienced Seattle auto accident attorneys like me offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose by seeking advice from an attorney. If you would like more information, check out the books I have written on Washington auto accidents for free by clicking the preceding link.
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