Posted on March 30th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
A “Myth” is a Widely Held but False Idea or Belief
When it comes to auto accidents and handling your injury claim, there are quite a few myths out there. While there are many, I want to list a few of the ones I encounter from prospective clients daily.
Five Common Myths About Auto Injury Accident Claims
- If I write a letter to the auto insurance company and I am reasonable, I will get a reasonable settlement.
- If the auto insurance company calls me requesting a recorded statement, I have to give it to them or they will not settle with me, thus I won’t be able to get the compensation for my injuries and property damage.
- The insurance company representing the person who hit me is obligated to pay my medical bills as they are incurred.
- I’ve been involved in an accident and it wasn’t my fault, so there must be some insurance company that will pay for my medical bills, lost wages and injuries.
- If the car crash was not my fault, the other party’s insurance will automatically contact me with an offer.
I talk with car accident victims every day. Sometimes when people call me, they have just discovered one of the above myths and are very angry and frustrated. It is always best to call and consult an attorney right after your car accident to find out just exactly what you should do before talking with any insurance company. Our skilled auto accident attorneys are available seven days a week to talk with you about the circumstances of your car crash and the nature of your injuries.
Explanation of the Myths:
Property damage and bodily injury are two separate claims.
If an insurance company sends you a check and a release for the property damage, make sure you are not signing a release that includes bodily injury.
While it may seem logical to write a long letter explaining your injuries and damages to the insurance company, you should not. One thing to remember, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, not you. Furthermore, you should not give a recorded statement to an insurance company before you speak with an attorney. You should not give any kind of statement if you are on medication due to your injuries that might impair your thinking or impact your memory or your ability to recall.
You should never make any Assumptions about insurance and you should never sign any releases “pending” an offer from an insurance company. Occasionally, I will have someone tell me that the insurance adjuster had to have the release signed before the insurance company could make an offer—that is incorrect.
You may be in a crash that is someone else’s fault, but you cannot assume that 1), they have coverage and, 2) that they have enough coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. If you have injuries, you will want to involve an attorney in order to find out what kind of coverage the other driver has and if their insurance company is disputing it or claiming you have contributory fault.
And finally, just because you think the car crash was the other driver’s fault and even if law enforcement gave the other driver a citation, you cannot assume their insurance company will pay for any of your medical bills, lost wages, etc.
Filing an Injury Claim Should be Easy, But Frequently it is Not.
If you are in a car accident and you are injured, then you will probably need assistance in order to get the compensation you deserve and need. Insurance companies do not automatically pay medical bills, lost wages and other damages without a lot of documentation. Documentation that has to be coordinated through your doctor’s offices, surgeons, hospitals, employers and police. Getting the appropriate documentation together and making sure that all of the documentation and evidence supports your claim can be complicated and time consuming. Meanwhile, you are going to doctor’s appointments, recuperating from your injuries and trying to get back to work. Not to mention, you probably have a family that has been tremendously challenged by your recent injuries and lost wages.
Importance of Hiring an Experienced Car Crash Attorney
Obviously, the first thing you should do after a car accident is seek medical assistance. The next step should be to contact an experienced car accident attorney before you return calls to any auto insurance carrier. An attorney can go over the facts of your accident and advise you of the appropriate steps to take to be sure the insurance company treats you fairly. More often than not, we advise people of things they should Not do such as have long conversations with the insurance company and signing blank medical authorizations.
Check out and download our free iPhone/Droid app for Accident Checklist, expense logs, free case evaluation, and emergency notifications.
We advise people to never settle with an insurance company regarding their injuries for a minimum of 90 days. Often, if you have an injury, you will not have any idea of the amount of medical treatment or costs related to your injury until several weeks if not months after the incident.
Call one of our experienced car crash attorneys today at (314) 276-1681