5 Biggest Mistakes People Make After an Injury or Accident
Fair warning. What you will learn may shock you.
We realize some people may think it could be simpler and quicker to “just go through the insurance company” for compensation for their injuries. While that may be the case in a few specific situations, our 20 years of experience indicates that is not always the case for many. It may be quicker, but it can cost you in the long run.
This information is intended to help educate you about what goes on behind the scenes of an accident and personal injury claim. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes we have seen well-meaning victims make after an accident or personal injury.
1. Taking a “Wait-and-See” Approach
We see it all the time. People want to “wait-and-see” what the insurance company does first. These are usually clients who trust insurance to do right by them.
Yet, simply by waiting, many of these people end up damaging their case beyond repair – either by not preserving evidence, saying something that’s used against them, or inadvertently committing any of the other mistakes outlined here.
And while the clock is ticking against you, the insurance company will almost certainly be working to limit their losses and pay less.
Sometimes we are able to offer advice on your situation, even if you don't hire us. If this is something you would like, contact us for a free case evaluation or call 1-866-900-7078.
2. Not Getting Immediate Medical Care
If you don’t seek medical treatment shortly after your injury, our experience shows that the insurance companies will likely use that against you. They may argue that if you had been really hurt, or seriously hurt, you would have sought medical attention soon afterward. Plus, minor injuries can often develop into something much worse.
Immediate medical care is not only good for your health, but protects you if your injuries worsen later on.
3. Not Getting the Right Kind of Follow-up Care
Insurance companies pay a great deal of attention to the type of follow-up medical treatment you receive. If your follow-up care is inconsistent, ineffective, or with the wrong kind of doctors, or if the doctors can’t credibly tie your injuries to the incident, you may be headed for real trouble.
Bonus tip: Seek an attorney’s advice on what important medical evidence needs to be preserved during this stage to help try to ensure reimbursement.
4. Taking Quick Cash or Lowball Offers
“What the insurance companies have done is to reverse the business so that the public at large insures the insurance companies.”
—Legendary Trial Lawyer, Gerry Spence, American Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame
Gerry Spence has never lost a criminal case either as a prosecutor or a defense attorney, and has not lost a civil case since 1969.
Most insurance companies are for-profit businesses – their profit. That is not wrong – it’s just business. The less they pay you, the more they keep in profits. But what some people may not realize is the tactics some insurance companies may use to try to “spin” the facts in their favor so they can keep more of the compensation you may be owed.
Quick cash offers. Some insurance companies might offer you fast cash up front before all your medical treatment is completed. Don’t cash that check! If you do, your case is likely over. What if you have medical issues that manifest later, which can happen with any injury? Head injuries and internal injuries can easily become worse over time, especially if misdiagnosed. We have seen fractures and broken bones diagnosed at first as simple sprains. If you cashed the check, your case is probably closed and the insurance company is not legally obligated to pay for those newly discovered, misdiagnosed, or worsening injuries.
Lowball offers. Sometimes we have seen insurance companies lowball victims, withholding additional money until the victim is so strapped for cash, they will take any amount. And by the time many people realize that the insurance company is lowballing them, and they contact us for help, it is sometimes too late to try to right the ship.
We have seen so much bad behavior from some insurance companies, we produced a free booklet entitled Insurance Companies (and others) Behaving Badly. Click here to download your copy.
Putting your complete trust in the insurance company can potentially hurt your case and leave you vulnerable to long-term health and financial implications.
5. Talking With the Insurance Company Without Preparation
The insurance company may try to record your statements and try to use them to deny your claim.
According to some of the former insurance adjusters at our firm, they are trained to try to get you to talk about the accident soon after it occurred – while you may be under duress and your recall is a bit unclear, or you are on pain or other medication that may confuse your thoughts. Or before all your injuries may have manifested.
Some of the seemingly benign questions they ask could lead you to answer in such a way that can be used against you when negotiating your financial compensation.
“How are you doing today?” may simply be a pleasant way to begin a conversation. Or it could be a tactic to elicit a health status from you. The wrong answer could cause you major setbacks.
They might also do whatever it takes to convince you that you do not need an attorney. We’ve heard it all – things like, “All they’ll do is take the money and you’ll end up with less” and variations of that theme. The irony is that the insurance industry’s own research proves the opposite is true.
Insurance industry studies show that, on average, car accident victims who handled claims on their own received 3.5X LESS compensation for their loss than they would have if they hired a personal injury lawyer.*
Our advice? Talk to an attorney you trust BEFORE talking to the insurance company or signing anything.
Why We Urge You to Contact James Scott Farrin
From meticulously reviewing official police accident reports to consulting with experts, we work hard to try to turn over every stone in pursuit of the truth.
There are dozens of issues you may need compensation for as a result of your injury. We will deal with the insurance company, paperwork, and the medical bills for you. All you have to do is follow your doctor’s orders, and keep us up-to-date on how you’re doing.
We’ll do all the heavy lifting to try to:
- Prove damages
- Determine fault
- Prevent and deflect insurance stalling tactics
- Investigate claims
- Secure evidence
- Negotiate a fair settlement
You may have a right to maximum compensation for:
- Medical and rehabilitation bills
- Future medical expenses
- Lost time from work
- Cost of vehicle repairs
- Diminished earning capacity for permanent injuries
Not only do we offer a free case evaluation, but you pay us nothing up front and no attorney’s fee if we don’t recover for you.
NC Attorneys Offer Free Case Evaluation
Don’t make these same 5 mistakes we have seen others make, simply because they didn’t realize what they were up against. Just talk to us, use us as a sounding board – even if you think it is not necessary. We’ll let you know if you have a case.
Click here to contact us for a free case evaluation or call 1-866-900-7078.
*Insurance Research Council, 1999.