Ten Lies Insurance Companies Tell You After a Car Accident.
Insurance companies deal with car accidents day in and day out. They are experts at handling claims, and their process to minimize claims is highly efficient.
We regularly hear stories about how an insurance company stepped right up and made a very quick compensation payment, then disappeared before the victim realized that they had been underpaid.
Do not rely on advice from an insurance company. They’ve got a whole system of lies they’ll tell you after an auto accident. Here are ten of the most common:
1. You’ll be fairly compensated for your losses.
The insurance industry’s basic model is designed to maximize profits by minimizing payouts. Their end goal is to pay as little as possible to victims injured in a car accident, because that helps their own bottom line, not yours. What’s “fair” to them, might not be fair to you.
2. That their “in-network” mechanic is your only option.
Insurance companies prefer to use their own mechanics and auto body shops to minimize costs for them, even if that means an insufficient diagnosis of the damage of your vehicle, or subpar work to repair your vehicle. The insurance company’s “preferred” mechanic or auto body shop is not your only option. You can have your car repaired at a place you choose and trust.
3. If there are inaccuracies on your insurance application, you get nothing.
For the most part, inaccurate information on your insurance application is not a bar to recovery of your damages. In many cases, the insurance company must still pay your claim. However, you may have to pay increased insurance premiums based on the new, accurate information.
That being said, never lie to an insurance company. In the end, every lie you tell may end up being used against you in some way in the future. Honesty is the best policy.
4. That auto insurance covers only car damage and some medical bills.
In addition to property damage and medical bills, auto insurance also can also compensate you for your lost wages (past and future), essential services for those not working, funeral benefits, and pain and suffering. Some insurers won’t tell you this, counting on your ignorance to shortchange you.
Do not take your advice from an insurance company. You have a right to know what you’re entitled to, and you have a right to claim what you are owed. Call and speak with an experienced car accident attorney to learn what you may be entitled to.
5. That if you don’t accept their offer, you may get nothing.
Settlement negotiations are voluntary. You don’t have to accept an insurance company’s first offer, second offer, or any offer for that matter. If you are entitled to compensation and feel that you are not being offered a fair settlement, call an experienced personal injury attorney for a free consultation. At Dwyer Williams Cherkoss we can help you determine if you are being low balled by the insurance company.
6. That your injuries are from a prior incident.
When liability is clear against the other driver, the insurance company will usually attack, and try to minimize your case based on your claimed injuries. It's very common for them to state that your injuries were pre-existing, and not due to the car crash. However, even if you had a pre-existing injury or condition, and you get into an accident that aggravates that injury or condition (i.e. makes it worse), you are still entitled to compensation for the aggravation. This is called the “Eggshell Skull Rule.” In essence, you take your victim as they come. That means that the frailty of the injured person is not a defense in the case against the at-fault person.
Also of note: just like the insurance’s “in-network” mechanics and auto body shops, you don’t have to use their “in-network” doctor. Regardless of what doctor you visit, make sure that you follow your doctor’s recommendations. Failure to do so will only hurt your case.
7. The police report is the official story.
After a car accident, you likely had increased adrenaline, and your pain may not have set in yet. You may have even told the investigating officer that you were uninjured, or that your injuries were minor. However, it may take several hours or even days before your injuries become manifest themselves.
Don’t be bullied by an insurance company claiming that you weren’t injured due to what you initially told the investigating officer at the scene of the wreck. They know you were in a wreck, that it’s very common to feel pain later that same day or over the next several days, and the police report is not the end all of a personal injury case. You may have even reported injuries that the officer did not list. Police make mistakes. While the police report may certainly be informative, it is not dispositive.
8. Your injuries are not severe enough to warrant compensation.
Any injury suffered in a motor vehicle accident is enough to warrant some compensation. There are other factors to be considered under the term “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering is more than just pain from the wreck. It also encompasses an interference with your normal and usual activities. The wreck may interfered with an already scheduled vacation, likely ruining the trip. The wreck may have interfered with recreational activities such as biking, working out, fishing, skiing, or hunting. Every case has a different value depending on multiple factors including, how the wreck personally affected your life.
9. Your claim is closed and can’t be reopened.
Generally speaking, it’s true, if you settle your personal injury claim, you cannot open it back up. That is why you should have an experienced attorney go over any settlement documents (i.e. release of claim forms) before you reach an agreement and settle your claim.
Insurance companies frequently tell victims their claim will be closed if they don’t agree to a recorded statement or if they don’t sign a medical release. Whether or not the adverse insurance company “closes” your claim in their system or not, your claim is actually governed by the applicable statute of limitations, not the insurance company’s internal policy. The only two things that close a claim are: (1) a settlement; (2) a judgment; or (3) the running of the statute of limitations.
10. You don’t need a lawyer, we’ll treat you right.
Respectable personal injury law firm's don’t get paid unless they win your case, either by settlement or judgment in court. They have skin in the game, and are essentially business partners with you. That being the case, they are incentivized to maximize your recovery.
On the other hand, an insurance company’s motivation it to collect insurance premiums and pay out as little as possible. The only side they are on is their own. They do not care about you, your recovery, or your problems. While many insurance adjusters are nice, don’t forget, they only look out for the best interests of the insurance company, not you.
Contact a Committed Oregon Personal Injury Lawyer Today!
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident in Oregon, get good advice and the compensation you deserve for your wreck by calling Dwyer Williams Cherkoss.
The accident attorneys at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss will help you hold the at-fault party accountable for your injuries. For dedicated personal injury legal representation, schedule a consultation with the lawyers at Dwyer Williams Cherkoss. Call 1-800-285-8678 today.