Most people don’t have experience working with insurance companies after an accident. They are – through no fault of their own – somewhat unfamiliar with how insurance companies work. It’s human nature to trust what others tell us, even if they are strangers.
Unfortunately, this often works against truck accident victims. You may assume that an insurance company understands the traumatic experience you have endured, that they realize the seriousness of your injuries, and that they care about your well-being.
But, ultimately, their job is this: to pay you as little compensation as possible.
Insurance companies are businesses. They are public companies with shareholders. As such, they don’t quickly or easily hand out large amounts of compensation without a fight.
As truck accident lawyers, it is our job to put up a fight on behalf of our clients. We make it our mission to work with each client to understand how much their damages are worth and to fight for the compensation they deserve.
If you have been involved in a truck accident, Colombo Law wants to hear from you. We have represented many truck accident victims throughout West Virginia, securing millions of dollars in compensation along the way. Please call (304) 599-4229 today for a free consultation.
If the insurance company has already tried to contact you, keep the following tips in mind:
1. Don’t Be Fooled
If there’s one thing to keep in mind while interacting with an insurance company, it’s this: don’t be taken in by the friendliness of the adjuster or comments that make you think your claim will be resolved quickly and fairly. Always remember that representatives for the insurance company are protecting their own interests above yours, and they have much more experience dealing with accident claims than you. They do this every day, and they are very good at their jobs.
So, take everything the representative says with a grain of salt, and don’t presume that they have your best interests in mind. They may say they are sorry for what happened, that they want to take care of you, or that they have every intention to be fair – but that doesn’t mean it’s true.
Don’t be fooled.
2. Don’t Make a Recorded Statement
One of the primary tactics insurance companies use against accident victims is getting them to say things that can later be used against them. They often ask leading questions in an attempt to get victims to say the wrong thing. Then, later on, they will use your answers to these questions against you.
Usually, they will ask for a recorded statement as quickly as possible, trying to get you to explain the accident from your perspective. This is a difficult situation for accident victims.
You may feel compelled to go along with the requests, not knowing that this recorded statement is not simply for the company’s records or to help them better understand what happened. Instead, it may be used to lessen your chance of receiving the compensation you need to recover.
3. Don’t Sign a Medical Release Form
When downloading an app or signing up for a service, how often do you read the terms and conditions? If you’re like most, the answer is “never” to “rarely.”
After all, these documents are full of legal jargon that is difficult to understand and tedious to peruse. It’s much easier to simply click “Accept” than it is to truly understand the terms of the agreement. Again, we simply trust others by default.
Insurance companies may ask you to do the same thing with a medical release form.
What, exactly, is this form? Simply put, it allows the insurance company access to your medical records.
Why is this bad for accident victims? Because it means that insurance companies may be able to claim that the injuries you have suffered are at least partly the result of previous injuries or conditions that are unrelated to the accident.
For example: If you suffered a back injury when you were younger, the insurance company might claim that the back injury you are now dealing with after the accident is not because – or only partly because – of the previous injury. If the insurer is successful in these arguments, you may be awarded less in compensation than your back injury is truly worth.
If you’re asked to sign one of these forms, don’t do it.
4. Don’t Volunteer Information
Just like most of us tend to trust others, we also tend to do our best to be helpful and accommodating. If, for example, a claims adjuster says “I’m just trying to understand what happened,” we may go to great lengths to offer our perspective on the situation in an effort to help him or her understand.
However, in doing so, you may be handing the adjuster ammunition for underpaying or denying your claim. The comments might seem completely innocent to you, but intentions, unfortunately, don’t matter when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies.
5. DO Contact a Semi Truck Accident Lawyer
So what do you do? How do you – someone with little to no experience with truck accident claims – make sure you aren’t taken advantage of by insurance companies who are extremely good at what they do and have little interest in doing what’s best for you?
You find an experienced lawyer who does have substantial experience with truck accident claims to represent you. As truck accident lawyers, we can ensure that you aren’t taken advantage of with clever questions and disingenuous requests. Instead, we will do everything we can to make sure you receive the maximum compensation you deserve for the damages you have sustained.
For a free case review with Colombo Law, please call (304) 599-4229 today. Our lawyers serve clients in truck accident claims in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.