Most of the big insurance companies go to great lengths to create a brand image that is friendly and helpful. You almost can’t take a trip in the car or watch a single episode of a television show without seeing or hearing an insurance ad talking about how helpful they are and how quickly they pay out their claims.
Those companies make those statements because they know that consumers are often dependent on the insurance they have after a car crash. Unfortunately, no matter how aggressively they advertise their kindness, insurance companies have a profit incentive to deny claims and give people less than they deserve after a crash leaves them with medical costs and property damage losses.
After a serious motor vehicle collision, you need to prepare yourself for the likelihood of the insurance company trying to minimize what they pay you for the crash. Getting help handling the claim is often necessary to optimize the outcome.
Insurance companies may try to get you to admit fault
You may have to make a call to an insurance company or even agree to a recorded statement before they will finalize a claim. During this process, the insurance representative that you interact with is likely going to do everything in their power to get you to take some of the blame for the crash.
They may ask you leading questions or set you up to implicate yourself. What seems like an innocent question could get twisted around in court and prevent you from getting the compensation that you need if you have to take legal action later. It could also impact how much they offer to pay on the claim. Having someone there to let you know when questions might have implications on your rights to compensation can help you avoid making mistakes.
The first settlement offer is often not as good as it might seem
If it’s been two weeks since the car crash and you haven’t been able to work, receiving news that the insurance company has approved a settlement might seem like the best possible outcome. It’s common for people to not have adequate savings of their own to cover all of their costs if they suddenly have to stop going to work. Insurance companies leverage that financial hardship people experience after crashes to trick them into accepting inappropriately low settlement offers.
An attorney with experience in car crash cases can give you an idea of the approximate long-term costs associated with your injuries and help you with the complicated and often stressful process of negotiating a better settlement amount. Especially if someone got hurt in the crash or you have no experience negotiating, getting help can make a major difference in your chances of a favorable outcome.