I often notice my clients falling into mindsets which could significantly jeopardize their personal injury claims. Keep reading to learn about the:
“I’m Sore; I Just Need Some Rest”
Many accident victims, and/or their doctors, will take up a position following an accident that no treatment or further treatment is necessary, and rest and ibuprofen will do the trick. Unfortunately, months later, when the victim has failed seek medical treatment on a timely basis and finds out that he needs a lot of it, the insurance company won’t pay. Don’t let this happen to you. Obtain thorough and timely medical treatment after an accident.
Don’t ever tell anyone, especially a police officer, that “I’m OK” after an accident. That will appear on the police report and you’ll hear it read back to you when you make your insurance claim, which could be denied. The truth is, following a violent crash, you either know you are hurt, or you don’t know whether or not you’re hurt, because adrenaline and shock can mask many injuries for hours or even days.
“He Admitted It Was His Fault”
ust because a driver admits fault after an accident, that doesn’t mean you’re home free. Some disreputable or impressionable drivers will change their story once they’ve spoken to an insurance adjuster or lawyer, when they find out their rates are increasing, or when they decide to make an injury claim. You must obtain as many favorable witness statements as possible following a collision and make sure they are incorporated into the police report.
“I’m Too Busy, My Insurance Changed, I Had Things Going On In My Life”
Some people rationalize that their time is better spent on other pursuits besides showing up for necessary medical appointments. Later, when the insurance company won’t make a decent offer, they wonder why. Attending a physical therapy session and incurring $250.00 in charges which will be paid by medical insurance could increase the value of a personal injury claim by $500.00 or more. I tell my clients, unless you’re earning over $500.00 per hour, you ought to show up for physical therapy.
“I Sold That Car”
How is an insurance company going to know how bad a crash was if no pictures were taken of the vehicle in its damaged state before it is sold, traded or fixed? Always document the damage to your car. Don’t count on the pictures taken by the other driver’s insurance to show how bad the damage is, as it is in the best interest of the insurance company to downplay the damage.
“They’re Paying All My Bills”
Oftentimes an insurance adjuster looking to make a quick settlement on a potentially large injury claim will ask the insured to sign a release and promise that “We’ll pay all of your bills, and give you $500.00 on top.” Little does the victim know that the carrier is most likely going to end up paying only a fraction of the value of the claim, especially if health insurance is covering the bills. The victim could have $30,000.00 in medical charges and a claim worth $75,000.00, and the insurance carrier could end up paying just a few thousand dollars and pocketing the rest, all because the victim did not know better.
“I Have Health Insurance”
Just because you have health insurance, that doesn’t mean you’re covered. I advise all my clients to carry medical payments coverage to pay medical bills from any accident, even if the accident was your fault. It will also cover your passengers, who may not have health insurance. You can then worry less about whether your health insurance will cover your medical treatment related to the accident, and you will most likely end up with more money in your pocket when you make a claim.