If you were seriously injured or lost a family member in a sudden accident, it’s wise to let a personal injury attorney handle all correspondence with the insurance company. Any statements you provide to the insurer may be used to deny or reduce the value of your claim. Even if you’re careful about what you say, the insurance adjuster will likely ask leading questions that are designed to elicit a specific response that can be used to dispute your claim. A seasoned accident lawyer won’t fall for these tactics and will protect your interests through every stage of the proceedings.
Below, we’ve listed a few tips to keep in mind when dealing with the insurance company:
- Speak with an Attorney First
Most personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, and you should take advantage of this opportunity even if you’re not sure if you want to hire an attorney. A well-credentialed lawyer can help you make informed decisions and provide advice based on the case law and statutes pertaining to your particular situation. An attorney can also warn you about mistakes you might not have otherwise considered such as discussing your case on social media, overlooking non-economic damages, or returning to work without your doctor’s permission.
- Don’t Provide a Recorded Statement
Like any other for-profit business, insurance companies employ various tactics to limit the amount of compensation they have to pay out. One such tactic is to get a recorded statement that can be used to dispute liability or the severity of the victim’s injury. It’s important that you let your attorney handle all correspondence with the insurer from day one so you don’t say anything that would harm your case.
- Don’t Downplay the Severity of Your Injuries
If you hire a lawyer, any phone calls and other correspondence from the insurance company should be directed to him or her. But if you decide to file the claim on your own, be careful not to say anything that might imply that your injuries aren’t serious. Simply saying that your recovery is going well or that you’re feeling much better might be taken out of context by the insurance adjuster to dispute the extent of your damages.
- Don’t Admit or Imply That You Were at Fault
Again, if you let an attorney handle all communication with the insurer, you won’t have to worry about providing a statement that leads to a liability dispute. In the state of Texas, the final settlement or verdict in a personal injury case can be reduced by the claimant’s percentage of fault. And if the claimant is found to have been 51% or more at fault, he or she won’t be able to recover any compensation at all. As such, it’s important that you don’t admit fault or provide any statements that would imply that your own negligence somehow contributed to the accident.
Discuss Your Case with a Houston Personal Injury lawyer
If you need help navigating the legal system after a serious injury or wrongful death in the family, turn to Chelsie King Garza, P.C. Chelsie has more than 18 years of experience negotiating with insurance companies throughout Texas, and she won’t settle for anything less than you deserve. Call 713-893-8808 or send us a message to set up a free consultation.