As a personal injury lawyer right here in Henderson, I've had more than my share of discussions with car accident vicitms hurt by wreckless drivers. Time and time again I hear from clients how they thought talking to the negligent driver's insurance adjuster was a step in the right direction to settle their claim. Afterall, the insurance company always has the victim's best interests in mind, right? Wrong!
Today I'm going to share with you what are feel are five most important facts anyone injured in a car wreck needs to understand.
What You Must Know Following A Henderson Car Accident
The Insurance Company Does Not Want To Help You
Right after a car accident many people will contact the insurance company for the at-fault party. The adjuster on the other end of the phone will be very friendly and seem to want to help. They will tell you that you “need” to give them a recorded statement for their file. They may even tell you that they will pay your medical bills – “just keep your receipts and give them to us at the end of the case.”
These statements are false and one of the ways insurance companies take advantage of car accident victims. The adjuster does not want to “help.” They want to obtain as much free information from you as they can to use against you later. You are not required to give a recorded statement to the adverse insurance company. You owe them no obligation, whatsoever. In a recorded statement they will try to lull you into saying things like, “I’m okay,” or “I’m not hurt that bad.” These admissions will come back to haunt you if the case goes into litigation later.
The insurance company is not going to be fair with you at the end of the case either. They will reduce your medical billings to what they think they should be and give you an insulting offer for the pain and suffering you incurred. They are not in the business of helping people – they are in the business of collecting premiums.
Insurance Adjusters Don’t Think Like Regular People
Insurance adjusters almost universally assume that everyone who makes a claim for personal injuries following a car accident is either lying or, at a minimum, exaggerating their injuries. They are not looking at your case objectively trying to give you a fair resolution of your claim. Every minor inconsistency in your medical records or your statement (if you mistakenly gave one) will be used to lower the value of your claim. Adjusters assume that you and your doctor are engaged in some type of conspiracy to “game the system.” It is beyond their comprehension that you were simply in a car accident, sustained injuries, and want a fair settlement to compensate you for your medical bills, lost income, pain and the hassle and inconvenience of what follows an accident. Hoping the insurance company will be fair with you after an accident simply will not make it so.
Your Case Won't Improve Your Settlement If You Try To Save The Insurance Company Money
In conjunction with what is stated above, many of my clients believe they will fare better if they show the insurance company they are trying to save money by limiting medical treatment or not doing things to increase the expenses following a car accident. Clients often say, “I don’t want to look like one of those people.”
I’m not sure who those people are, but scrimping or limiting treatment to help the insurance company doesn’t work. If you limit your treatment it will be perceived by the insurance company that you are not really that injured. If you don’t fill your prescriptions and just take over-the-counter medication they will take the position that you must not have been in much pain. They will assume you are lying about taking ibuprofen at home and using hot and cold packs while you watch TV at night. You are literally in a no-win situation as the insurance company looks at you as a criminal trying to commit fraud at every turn.
You Should Never Stop Your Treatment Because You Are Feeling Better
Part of the damages my clients sustain following their car accident is the time and inconvenience of going to doctor appointments. One of the worst things clients can do is to stop treatment for injuries after a car accident because they feel “a lot better,” and are tired of going to the doctor. There are two problems with that.
First, the medical records will often set forth a treatment plan by the doctor. If you cut that short or do not follow it the insurance company will take the position that you were not injured or that you had no additional pain following your last treatment. It will significantly diminish the value of your settlement following a car accident. Second, my clients often misjudge their recovery and feel the need to return to treatment. This results in a gap in treatment which the insurance company will use against you in your car accident settlement. The best advice I can and do give my clients after their auto accident is, “Follow your doctor’s advice!” In litigation, no juror has every faulted someone for doing what their doctor told them to do.
As A Car Accident Attorney I Have Your Best Interests In Mind
Occasionally, I have clients who just won’t listen to me. They don’t understand that I am not as interested in their current case as I am in the next case they will refer to me. I want my clients to be happy and have a good outcome. I have 25 years of experience in personal injury cases. Also, since all of my cases are on contingency, the better my client’s do the better I do. Our firm is not a high-volume practice where we run cases through like a mill. I am personally involved in every case I have and will be there for the client to answer their questions throughout the process. I want them to succeed in obtaining the best settlement following their car accident that they can get. If they listen to me there is an excellent chance that is exactly what will happen.
If you've been injured in a car accident in the Las Vegas or Henderson area you really do need to speak with an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Please feel free to contact me online or call me directly at 702.405.6000. I will be happy to schedule your free consultation, and, as mentioned earlier, there are no legal fees until I get you your settlement. You can't lose by speaking with me, but you can lose bigtime if you talk with the insurance adjuster on your own!