According to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are about three million people who are non-fatally injured in automobile accidents annually in America. These crashes are incredibly costly. In 2017, the productivity losses and medical care expenses incurred due to injuries and deaths from car accidents cost over $75 million. Someone has to pay these costs. If you were injured in a car accident, the other party’s insurance company could be liable for paying them for you. How much you receive will likely depend on the success of yours or your car accident attorney’s negotiations with them.
Should You Negotiate with the Insurance Company?
Insurance adjusters know that typical injured individuals do not have experience or knowledge when it comes to negotiating claims. They take advantage of this fact and use it to pay you as little as possible for your claim. When you hire a well-versed car accident attorney, you have an advocate on your side who has experience negotiating with insurance adjusters and attorneys for the insurance company. Your chances of receiving the settlement you are entitled to grow with an attorney on your side.
Common Mistakes Accident Victims Make Negotiating with Car Insurance Companies
Negotiating with an auto insurance company can be more complicated than it seems. You might think that the adjuster is on your side and is trying to work with you to get you a fair settlement. In reality, most adjusters have one goal in mind; to pay you as little as possible for your claim. They will use all kinds of tricks and tactics to meet their goal.
Consider the common mistakes claimants make when speaking with insurance adjusters:
- Being too friendly with the adjustor – Claimants should always be polite but not passive. Adjustors tend to run the conversation if the claimant does not negotiate with a firm hand. This can be difficult for injured victims to do.
- Agreeing to a recorded statement – Recorded statements can be used against claimants as they limit the scope of what happened. The insurance company is the only party that benefits from such a statement. Claimants should never give a recorded statement with their car accident lawyer present.
- Letting the adjustor manipulate them – Adjusters often try to speak informally with the claimant to get them to let their guard down. Once their guard is down, it is easier for the adjuster to get them to say things that can be used against them.
- Giving the adjustor their social security number – Some claimants can be convinced they need to provide the adjuster with their social security number. This is not required and is technically prohibited. If the adjuster has their social security number, they can find a lot of personal information such as credit history or other information that can be used to negotiate against them.
- Discussing pre-existing injuries – Claimants who discuss their pre-existing injuries with the adjuster will likely find that the adjustor will blame their new injuries on the pre-existing ones. It is best not to discuss this too soon in the claims process as only a doctor can determine how one injury relates to another.
Depending on the size of your claim, making even one of these mistakes can be disastrous when it comes to getting compensation for your injuries. When you hire a car accident lawyer, you do not have to worry about making any of these mistakes. Your attorney will handle negotiations for you. If you are required to speak to insurance company representatives, your attorney will be with you and advise you about what to say or what not to say.
Let an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Negotiate on Your Behalf
It may seem quicker and easier, but not hiring an attorney to handle your car insurance claim is extremely risky. Studies show that injured individuals who have legal representation usually receive more compensation for their injuries than the ones who do not. For your free no-obligation consultation, reach out to Malman Law. We can be reached at (312) 629-0099 or use our online contact form.