If you’ve recently suffered a personal injury due to another party’s negligence, expect to hear from that party’s insurance company. Dealing with insurers is never an enjoyable task, even less so if you’re injured. But it is essential that you retain an Atlanta personal injury attorney to handle your communications with the insurance company. Not doing so could subject you to a number of tricks that insurers use to underpay or deny accident claims. The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III are here to stand up for your rights.
Insurance Companies Are Not Working for You
Perhaps the most important thing you should know about insurance companies is that they are not on your side. The insurance adjuster you speak with on the phone may sound friendly and even sympathetic. Don’t be fooled. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. The more claims they deny, and the less money they pay out, the higher their profits are. Their representatives are trained to use a number of tactics to undercut your right to monetary compensation.
How the Insurance Company Might Work Against You
With the above in mind, these are some specific ways that insurers work to deny and underpay personal injury claims.
The at-fault party’s insurer may ask you to give a recorded statement. You are not required to, and an Atlanta personal injury lawyer will almost certainly advise against it. These statements are often used against the victim later.
The insurance company is well aware that you’re probably upset after your personal injury. You may be on heavy medication, experiencing cognitive limitations, or suffering PTSD. The insurer may take advantage of this and ask you questions designed to trick you into “admitting” things that aren’t true.
For example, the adjuster may ask about your pain. You mention that your arm hurts but forget to discuss your back pain. There could be several legitimate reasons for the oversight. For example, your pain may be mild at first and manageable with medication. Regardless, the insurance company will focus on the fact that you didn’t mention your back pain during the recorded statement. If you try to bring it up later, the company will attempt to discredit you.
For this reason (and many others), refer the insurance company to your Atlanta personal injury attorney.
Using a Private Investigator
It’s perfectly reasonable for an insurance company to hire a private investigator. After all, the company has a vested interest in making sure you aren’t lying about your injuries. The problem arises in how the insurer uses the information it gathers.
For instance, an accident victim may have doctor-ordered work restrictions. The victim abides by these limitations nearly all of the time. But once, maybe out of habit, the victim briefly deviates by lifting something. If a private investigator has secretly recorded the incident, it’s likely only the deviation will be brought up later. Meanwhile, all of the other times that the victim followed the restrictions will be conveniently discarded.
An experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney will fight any attempt by the insurance company to manipulate the evidence in this way.
Insurers often request that victims sign medical releases. This is reasonable because the insurance company wants to understand the nature of your injuries. But beware of the general medical release. This document could expose all of your medical history and the information released might be used against you.
For example, you may have a pre-existing injury that appears in your medical history. Upon learning of its existence, the insurer might try to shift blame away from the responsible party and back to you. Before signing anything that the insurance company sends you, talk to an Atlanta personal injury lawyer.
Standing Up For The Rights of Atlanta Personal Injury Victims
If you’ve suffered a personal injury, don’t fall prey to these and other insurance tricks. The Law Offices of Gilbert Sperling, III can handle communications with the insurance company. Meanwhile, your focus should be on recovering from your accident. Call our office today to get started on your claim.