Dealing With Insurance Companies
Today’s topic written by Aaron Crane, an experienced car accident lawyer in Arizona, is how to deal with an insurance company after you have been injured. Individuals who have suffered an injury due to the negligence of another person are often directed to the respondent’s insurance company, which will then conduct an investigation into the accident and injury. Insurance providers have legal input regarding the collection process just like civil defendants, and many times the insurance company is a much more problematic negotiator.
Insurance adjusters are trained professionals who deal with denying insurance claims on a daily basis, and their main primary responsibility is to save the company money and protect their negligent client. It is never a good decision for an injured plaintiff to attempt negotiating an injury claim without having sound legal advice from an experienced personal injury attorney because auto accident cases are not always as simple as the injured party thinks.
First Insurance Company Contact
In most instances the insurance company will contact an injured party themselves and begin asking questions. It is important to take note what they are asking, especially if they want a sworn statement. Never admit anything or give any kind of statement to an insurance adjuster because it will surely be used if the case goes to trial. Remember that insurance companies may not be on your side. It is important be aware of certain insurance company warnings. Claims adjusters are always looking for a reason to lessen or deny a claim, and your statement can be a reason for a claim denial. And just as important, never sign anything on the first discussion. Use the initial contact as a measurement tool for how difficult the insurance company will be during a final settlement negotiation.
One of the areas that insurance companies want to stress in a settlement negotiation is comparative negligence. Comparative negligence doctrine in Arizona states that an injured plaintiff is only entitled to as much recovery in which they did not share fault in an accident. The higher the percentage of comparative negligence for a plaintiff, the lower the amount of damage recovery that is available, regardless of the amount of insurance coverage. Insurance company claims handlers are well-versed in this process of trying impose a high comparative fault percentage on the plaintiff. Having an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate the actions of the insurance company can be the difference in getting a fair settlement or potentially very little damage recovery.
Low Offers and Stalling Tactics
Many times when an insurance claims adjuster can sense the plaintiff wants to negotiate without a lawyer they will make a quick low amount offer, usually along with requested a full release on future medical. If this happens call an attorney immediately because it is an excellent indication that you have a high-value claim. Hiring an attorney will mean the case can be investigated by your counsel and legal motions filed that will require the insurance company to divulge pertinent case information regarding the level of insurance the respondent carries. In addition, purposely stalling on a settlement in an obviously valid claim can also be determined by the court as bad faith. This means the insurance company could potentially be facing a separate lawsuit that is not capped by insurance amounts. Always be aware of the insurance company representative actions from the very beginning.
Turn the Claim Over to a Professional
Injured individuals have enough trouble dealing with their personal injuries to be worried with being deceived by the insurance providers. Retaining an effective personal injury and accident attorney will allow you to rest assured that you have a professional legal team just as the insurance company does, and that your legal right to financial recovery is observed by the insurance company as well as the court system.
Anyone in Arizona who is dealing with a troublesome insurance company and personal injury claim should contact Cantor Crane at (602) 254-2701, in our Phoenix office for a full evaluation of your personal injury claim value. Hire an attorney to battle the insurance company while you battle your injury recovery. Solid representation can make a major difference when attempting to be made whole after a serious injury.