Is it Okay to Talk to an Insurance Agent About How I Was Injured?
Whether or not you talk to the insurance companies after a car accident is up to you. When it comes to speaking with your own insurance company, your policy language likely requires you to at least notify them that an accident occurred. However, it is never in your best interest to discuss your claim with the other driver’s insurance company without first speaking with your Los Angeles personal injury lawyers.
In fact, one of the primary benefits of hiring legal counsel is avoiding the need to speak with insurance adjusters at all. Your attorney can serve as your advocate and take on the burden of dealing with insurers.
The risks of speaking with insurance adjusters
Most of the time, the insurance adjuster on the other end of the telephone is sympathetic and pleasant. Never forget, however, that they have a job to do. They work for the insurance company and will go to great lengths to limit the amount of benefits you recover from their employer.
One risk of speaking with the insurance company is the potential of accepting an inadequate settlement amount. Insurers know that unrepresented accident victims are more likely to agree to a poor settlement offer, which is why they often reach out immediately after a crash. It is their home to lock in a substandard settlement offer before you have the chance to run it by legal counsel.
Typically, insurance adjusters will offer compensation for your medical bills immediately following an accident. This might cover your ambulance ride or hospital stay. However, these offers rarely contemplate the need for additional care that is common with serious injuries. Likewise, they rarely provide for the intangible losses that come with an accident. Once you accept a settlement offer and sign a release you have given up any right to pursue your claim further in the future. The insurance adjusters understand that fact and take advantage of it.
Using your words against you
One of the worst aspects of dealing with the insurance companies directly stems from their propensity to take your words out of context. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for anything that resembles an admission of liability. When speaking with you, they will often ask questions in a way that steers you towards taking the blame for the accident. This is true even in cases where you were plainly not at fault. The adjusters will then use your own words as an excuse to deny your claim or offer much less than the amount you deserve.
Adjusters also frequently ask questions in a way that downplays your injuries. They will ask about prior injuries or even imply your conditions might not be as serious as you claim. If you make any statement implying your condition is better than it actually is, these adjusters could use that to attack your claim.
Serving as your advocate
When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you can avoid any of the complications that come with dealing directly with the insurance company. Your attorney can serve as your advocate, speaking with the adjuster so that you do not have to. Insurance adjusters know their bullying tactics do not work with seasoned attorneys. They are more likely to deal fairly with legal counsel, which could bring about the fair offer of compensation you are looking for. With the right attorney, you could entirely avoid the pitfalls that come with speaking with the insurance company about the specifics of your injury.
Talk to an attorney before you speak with the insurance company
When you hire the personal injury attorneys of Ellis Injury Law, you free yourself from having to deal with insurance companies for the rest of the claims process. While we handle your case, you can focus on your recovery. To learn more about how we can help with your injury claim, call Ellis Injury Law today for a free consultation.