The time following a car accident can be confusing. Not only are you dealing with healing from the crash, you also have to figure out your legal options for proving liability and receiving compensation. You might assume that insurance companies will be on your side since you are the victim, but that isn’t always the case. When you aren’t responsible for an accident, you’ll need to know the tactics insurance companies might use to get out of paying you.
Look Out for These Tactics
While plenty of insurance companies are moral, there are some that don’t always practice fairly when it comes to settling accident claims. One mildly unfair practice is that they use investigators from the company who try to find anything that keeps them from paying out.
It makes sense that they don’t want to pay out for people who were responsible in the accident, but their ways to find out and place blame are not always fair. Here’s what to be wary of when you’re dealing with an insurance company after an accident:
- Keeping you from getting an attorney. An insurance company benefits if you don’t have legal representation to guide you, so they might try to rush you to settle before you have an attorney. They might also try to convince you that you don’t need a lawyer, or that a lawyer makes you look guilty. That’s not true. Legal representation protects you from any injustice, like quickly signing a settlement that’s less than you deserve.
- Downplaying your injury. Insurance companies don’t want you to be seriously injured because they don’t want to pay you money, so they might try to downplay your injury. When they do this, they want you to agree with them, which makes your case less solid. They might also hire a doctor to examine you, and that doctor will probably claim your injuries are less than your doctor reported. You should stand firm with your injury and trust your doctor.
- Putting the blame on you. According to West Virginia Legislature, we are a comparative fault state, so insurance companies might try to prove you are more at fault than their client even if you aren’t. If you are more liable than the other party, you don’t get as much, if any, compensation, so that would benefit the company. You’ll want to make sure you have all of your proof showing that you are not liable for the accident.
- Stalling. When they’re not rushing you to settle, insurance companies might stall the case to prolong settlement. Extending the trial makes your expenses climb but keeps you from being able to pay for everything, especially if you’re missing work. The longer they put the case off, the more your bills pile up. But since you’ve been waiting so long, you get to the point where you’ll accept any settlement you can get, which works in the insurance company’s favor. Your lawyer will help you push for a speedy trial.
How to Get Compensation
If insurance companies are pushing you to settle after an accident, you should reach out to a car accident lawyer who will work for you. Your best defense against debasement is to have ample proof of your claims, including medical records, bills, police reports, and any relevant photographs of your injuries or the accident scene. This will help prove the other party liable and show that you deserve money for your injuries.
If your accident was in Charleston, WV, you should contact a car accident lawyer from DiPiero Simmons McGinley & Bastress, PLLC. We can protect you from unfair tactics that try make your claim seem less serious than it is. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting you compensation so that you can focus on healing from your accident. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.