Dealing With Insurance Companies

Dealing with Insurance Companies – Free Tips From the Law Offices of Max G. Arnold

Insurance Companies are Gamblers

How+to+Deal+with+Insurance+CompaniesInsurance companies are gamblers. Whenever they issue a policy, they are making a bet that the insured won’t get in an accident, and make a claim for benefits. Spending less money on claims than what they receive in premiums is how they make their money. Especially in the case of car insurance, they make it hand over fist, since everyone is required by law to have coverage, and only some of them have accidents. So you think auto insurance companies wouldn’t have a problem taking some of those profits to pay legitimate claims, right…?

Wrong. For corporate America, too much money is never enough, and our experience shows that the insurance industry will stop at nothing to deny accident claimants fair treatment, and the settlements they deserve. Here are just some of the sneaky tactics you can expect from an insurance carrier when you’re making a claim:

 

They Call While You’re In Shock

They+Call+When+You're+Hurt+and+ConfusedThe trauma of a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other traumatic incident often leaves the injured person in a state of shock. At this point, their body is still dealing with the immediate effects of an injury, and as a result, they normally cannot think straight, or use their best judgment. Especially if they’ve suffered a head injury, accident victims are in no condition to make witness statements, or sign documents that could affect their legal rights.

Insurance companies are well-aware of these facts, and will often try to take advantage of people who are still in a state of shock after an accident. We’ve seen them contact injured victims within hours after an incident, and it’s never for an honest purpose. Most of the time, they want to obtain a misleading statement from the victim; sometimes they even come with a release and check in-hand, hoping they can get rid of a potentially serious injury claim for pennies on the dollar. Insurance companies hope to catch their victims when they are incapable of clear memory or judgment, and when they do, the result can be an absolute tragedy.

When They Call, They Twist Your Words

Insurance adjusters are trained to sound pleasant and reassuring over the phone. In their attempts to sound friendly, you might hear them use the following statements while they are gathering auto claims information:

  • “Well, it wasn’t that bad an accident, right?”
  • “You sound like you’re feeling pretty good!”
  • “Luckily it was a relatively low-speed impact.”
  • “Thank goodness you weren’t that badly hurt!”
  • “So, you don’t really remember what happened, huh…?”
  • “Sounds like there wasn’t much damage done to the vehicles.”

Normally, these sentiments would be innocent, and people uttering them would be coming from a place of concern. But when you’re dealing with a claims adjuster, you must remember that they are trying only to reduce the value of your claim, and that they are probably attempting to put words in your mouth. Their job and their promotional success is based on reducing what you get, and keeping you from getting what is fair. Pretty awful, right? And it’s even worse that they’re trying to trick someone when they’re still reeling from the effects of a car accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other injury.

They String Claimants Along With False Promises of Fair Treatment

5After they’ve taken a statement, claims adjusters will often reassure the injured claimant that they just need to sit back, follow their doctors’ orders, and sign some medical authorizations. “Everything will be fine,” they’ll tell you.

Things change when you start talking about settlement of your claim. The adjuster starts bringing up problems with your case, like gaps in medical treatment or lack of extensive crash damage from the accident. They deny making any promise to pay your out-of-pocket expenses, despite their friendly and accommodating manner in the beginning of the claim. And nine times out of ten, you can expect an offer that doesn’t even pay your medical bills and wage loss. Insurance companies do this because they know that the expense and risk of litigating a case is enough to pressure most of their victims into accepting rock-bottom offers, even for serious injury claims.

The best way to avoid falling into this trap is to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An experienced accident attorney can avoid the many pitfalls inherent to presenting an injury claim. At the Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, we are dedicated to getting our clients the highest recovery possible, while minimizing their exposure to the risks and expenses of formalized litigation. When you need a lawyer in the Santa Rosa; Petaluma; Ukiah; or Clearlake area for your personal injury claim, contact us today!

In the meantime, if an insurance representative contacts you, just remember to use this phrase:

“I’ve just been in a serious accident and I know I shouldn’t have this conversation right now.”

Once you’ve said that, simply hang up the phone, and don’t make any more statements without the assistance of counsel.

What Should I Do While I’m Looking for an Accident Attorney?

If you or a family member have recently been hurt in a car / bicycle accident, dog bite, or slip and fall, we suggest you do the following:

  1. Seek appropriate medical attention right away, and follow your doctor’s advice.  Your main priority at the beginning should be assessing the extent of your injuries, and establishing a treatment plan.
  2. Notify your insurance carrier that you have been in an accident, and ask them if  you have any medical payments, uninsured/underinsured motorist, or other coverage.  Never talk to anyone who contacts you from the responsible party’s insurance carrier.
  3. Hire personal injury attorney Max G. Arnold to protect you and your rights today!

(Please be advised that the information contained on this webpage is for general purposes only, and that it is not meant to be legal advice specifically tailored to your case. This site is an advertisement for legal services, and nothing contained therein is meant to create any kind of attorney-client or other legal relationship between The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold and any member of the general public.)

We Can Help You Get What You Deserve

santa rosa car accident attorneyWe understand this process is new (and scary) for most accident victims. You’re in pain. Your car has been destroyed. Medical bills are piling up. The responsible party’s insurance company won’t even give you the time of day. Faced with such adversity, it’s no wonder injury claimants are often suckered into signing away their claims for pennies on the dollar.

Your injury claim requires the assistance of trained professionals, who know how to anticipate (and avoid) the roadblocks and obstacles the insurance industry will put between you and a fair settlement. We’ve been in the business for over thirty years, and have been helping North Bay residents get fair outcomes since 2000. If you don’t have the time, knowledge, or resources to take on the insurance companies, let us do it for you!

  • Can’t come to our Santa Rosa office? We’ll come to you!
  • In an isolated area? No problem — we can get your information over the phone, and process documents through fax or email.
  • Not in the mood to talk over the phone? We understand. Just use the form below to send us an email, and someone will get back to you quickly!
  • Accident leaving you broke? We advance all costs and fees until your case concludes, at no up-front cost to you.
  • Worried about your insurance rates going up? Don’t be. If you didn’t cause the accident, our experience shows that your rates will not increase.

Would you like to know more? Call us, email us, or stop by our Santa Rosa office to discuss your accident claim today!

(Please be advised that the information contained on this webpage is for general purposes only, and that it is not meant to be legal advice specifically tailored to your case. This site is an advertisement for legal services, and nothing contained therein is meant to create any kind of attorney-client or other legal relationship between The Law Offices of Max G. Arnold and any member of the general public.)