After being inundated with insurance commercials over the past few years, perhaps you, like many of us, actually believe your insurance company is your friend and will “be there” for you when you need them most. Unfortunately, this is rarely the reality.
Insurance companies essentially have one goal—their quarterly financial bottom line. When push comes to shove, your insurance company will do their best to pay you the least amount they can get by with, no matter what they have to do to accomplish that goal. Below are a few of the most common insurance company tactics which could end up costing you a significant amount of money:
1. The insurance adjuster immediately asks you to sign a medical release.
This can be a tricky situation for you. While most insurance companies will ask you to sign a “general” medical release, such a release can provide the company with much more of your private information than they are entitled to. That information can later be used against you to deny your claim, as the insurance company could take an injury you suffered years ago, a medical condition, or a current prescription drug you take to deny your current claim. Never sign a medical release until you have spoken to an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney.
2. The insurance adjuster asks to record your statement.
Again, this is never a good idea, and you are not legally obligated to agree to have your statement recorded. If you say something a bit wrong in a recorded statement, it could end up costing you a significant amount of money. The insurance adjuster is likely already aware of how the accident occurred, based on the police report, witness statements, and the report from the at-fault person. The goal in getting you to agree to record your statement is to gather potential evidence against you, used later to deny your claim. It’s far too easy, in the aftermath of a very stressful accident, to inadvertently make a statement which can hurt you in the long run. Talk to your attorney before agreeing to give a recorded statement—or any statement, for that matter.
3. The insurance company asks you to allow their doctor to examine you.
You have the legal right to consult an attorney before agreeing to be examined by another doctor, and there are some legal “traps” you should know how to avoid.
The insurance company offers you a quick settlement—but in an amount which is much less than you are entitled to. This is a top trick of insurance companies. They know you are alarmed at the medical bills mounting and, if you are unable to return to work, your normal monthly bills may be going unpaid as well. The insurance company uses your panic to their advantage, offering you a quick (small) settlement they hope you will snap up. You then find out that you will be off work for a considerable time, and that your injuries are more extensive than you realized. At this point, there is little you can do (if you accepted the first offer), and you are left in a serious financial and medical position.
4. You are transferred from one insurance adjuster to another.
This is almost always nothing other than a delay tactic, and the more you are delayed, the more likely you are to agree to a smaller settlement than you are entitled to.
The insurance adjuster says you do not need an attorney, and that you can settle the case in a friendly manner between the two of you.
Do not fall for this tactic—again, the goal of the insurance company is to pay you as little as possible. They are very aware that if you hire an attorney, that attorney will have the experience to know the case’s worth, and the insurance company will be forced to pay more for your claim.
5. The insurance adjuster shows up unexpectedly, without a prior appointment.
If this occurs, you should be concerned, as the goal is almost certainly to catch you doing something that will hurt your claim, or show you are not injured as seriously as you are claiming. If this happens, refuse to discuss the case with the insurance adjuster and to call back for an appointment—then contact your attorney immediately.
Under Mississippi law, you do not have to put up with a wrongful or unfair denial of insurance benefits or coverage—you have legal rights, and having an experienced Mississippi personal injury attorney by your side can ensure your rights are fully protected. If an insurance company denies your coverage or benefits without a legal basis to do so (or as simply a delaying tactic), that company could potentially be liable to bad faith damages, in addition to the amount of your initial claim.
Contact Our Jackson Car Accident Lawyers
If you are involved in a car accident in Jackson, Hattiesburg, Meridian, or anywhere in the State of Mississippi, the best thing you can do is to contact an experienced Mississippi car accident attorney who will protect your rights and assist you in receiving a fair settlement for your injuries.
At Coxwell & Associates, PLLC, our attorneys believe in fighting aggressively for injured Mississippi car accident victims – to ensure that they receive the money they need to fully recover. We can help you obtain the money you need to fully recover. Contact Coxwell & Associates today at 1-601-948-1600 or 1-877-231-1600 to see if you're eligible or by filling out the form below.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.