Five Insurance Company Tricks to Be Aware of After an Auto Accident
One of the first calls drivers who were hurt in an accident in Georgia often make is to their insurance company or the company of the driver that hit them. This is often a mistake. Not only are they likely to be shaken up and not thinking properly, but they are vulnerable to insurance company tricks.
Our experienced Georgia car accident injury lawyers meet clients all of the time who are concerned about the tactics of the insurance companies and fear they are being shortchanged. Here are five insurance company tricks to be aware of after an auto accident.
1 Calling Immediately
It’s a common insurance company trick for the agent to call people who were involved in an accident within hours or the next day. You may be having your injuries treated in the emergency room at the time. You may even be sedated or in shock. The aim of this tactic is to catch you off guard before you can talk to a lawyer who will give you sound advice on dealing with the insurance company. Take legal advice. Even if you don’t hire a lawyer, you should know what you are talking about before dealing with the insurance company.
2 Getting you to Accept Blame
The insurance agent is often very personable. He or she will lull you into believing the company is there to help you. The insurance agent may also subtly seek to get you to admit you were to blame for the accident. The other side’s insurance company is not acting in your interest but that of the driver who hit you. Never concede blame. You should have already given a factual account of the wreck to the officer who arrived at the scene. You should not give additional information to the insurance company that might harm your Georgia injury claim.
Georgia has a comparative negligence law that allows you to collect damages as long as the other party was more than 50 percent to blame for the crash. Don’t let the insurance company reduce the amount of money you are entitled to.
3 Demanding a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster will often demand a recorded statement early on. There is no requirement in law for you to provide a recorded statement in Georgia. The insurer wants you to say something harmful for your case like “I was not badly injured.” Then later when you realize you need ongoing treatment for a herniated disk or another problem, the insurance company will use your statement as evidence you were not seriously harmed. A recorded statement may destroy your case before you even make it. An injury lawyer will handle all of the negotiations with the insurance company.
4 Blaming Another Driver or a Cause
Insurance companies are masters at blaming another driver than the one they insure to get out of paying compensation. If you were hurt in a multi-vehicle crash, the insurance company often seeks to blame a different driver. The insurance company might complicate the case by blaming a defective car part for the crash, a local authority or something else. Don’t be sidetracked. The driver who crashed into you is usually the one who carries most of the blame. When many vehicles cause a crash, our injury lawyers will evaluate the role of each party.
5 Arguing you Failed to Seek Medical Attention Quickly Enough
Not all drivers visit the doctor immediately after a car crash. In some cases, the symptoms may take days to set in. Some serious conditions like mild traumatic brain injuries are not diagnosed for weeks after a wreck. The insurance company will seize on any delay in medical treatment as evidence the accident did not cause major injuries. Always get your injuries checked out as soon as possible and document all hospital and doctors’ visits.
These are just five insurance company tricks to be aware of after an auto accident. There are many more. If you or a family member were hurt in a crash, please contact our Newnan injury attorney today.