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Avoid These Mistakes When Dealing With An Insurance Company

If you have been in a car accident serious enough to cause damage or injury, then inevitably an insurance company will be involved. The insurance company personnel may be friendly and you want to be helpful, right? That is understandable. However, remember that the insurance company is not on your side. 

An insurance company is a business. They are in the business of limiting their exposure and minimizing the payout on claims. Some insurance companies are better at honoring their policies than others. But how do you know what is a good settlement and what is not? 

Often people make mistakes in dealing with insurance companies and their representatives and it negatively affects their claim. Below are some common examples.

Mistake #1: Giving a statement to an insurance company without speaking with a lawyer first.

Just don't do it. You need to have good legal advice before you make any statement to anyone. A statement may be used against you or may be taken out of context. People frequently minimize the injuries right after an accident before seeking thorough medical attention. An attorney can help you evaluate your potential claims, investigate the accident scene, refer to you proper medical care and evaluate medical records.

Mistake #2: Accepting a settlement without speaking with a lawyer first. 

You wouldn't get surgery without speaking with a doctor first, right? So, don't accept a legally binding settlement without speaking with a lawyer first. An insurance agent is working for the insurance company, not you. An attorney is hired to represent your best interests. Personal injury lawyers understand what is appropriate for your unique circumstances. At least meet with an attorney to understand more about your potential claims. It is always your decision whether to accept a settlement, but do so only when you are fully informed.

Mistake #3: Signing the insurance company's medical release form. 

Once again, the insurance company is looking to settle your claim for less than you deserve. By signing a blanket release for access to your medical records, they are searching for reasons to deny your claim and minimize your recovery. This includes allowing them access to personal medical information that is irrelevant and that you probably do not want public.

At some point in the process, you may need to sign a medical release. However, the release should be limited in scope and your attorney should help you review the records and work to develop a limited release. 

Meeting With An Attorney First Can Help You Avoid Mistakes

We get it - you want to handle this on your own and everyone seems nice and caring - especially the insurance company personnel. They may be nice, but always remember they are not on your side.

Your attorney is on your side. Your attorney understands that you need to be compensated for an injury that will affect your life, your ability to earn income, your family dynamic and your mental well-being. Our objective is to maximize your recovery so that at the end of day, you know you will be okay. 

If nothing else, it is important to at least meet with an attorney if you have a personal injury case, even if you ultimately decide to go it alone. Just make sure you meet with an attorney before you make a mistake that may negatively impact your case. 


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