Insurance companies begin investigating car accident claims as soon as they are reported. These are sophisticated businesses that know how to minimize the value of a car accident case and have a strong financial incentive to pay out the smallest amount possible. Below are eight things to consider in dealing with an insurance company after an accident.
You do not have to give a statement to an insurance company. As soon as an accident is reported, the insurance company for the at-fault driver will probably call you immediately to ask for a recorded statement. California law does not require you to give a statement to another party’s insurance company. Sometimes making a statement can help to move a case along, but usually insurance companies use the opportunity to go on a fishing expedition and to trip up unprepared parties with valid claims.
You do not have to sign a medical records release for an insurance company. Many insurance companies routinely send out broad authorization forms for medical records as soon as a claim is reported. They will also send out information sheets that request information about the accident and the injures. Again, California law does not require you to execute a release or give out free information to an adverse party.
You are entitled to damages for pain and suffering if you experienced these symptoms after an accident. Insurance companies sometimes request copies of medical bills and may offer to pay a hospital bill to settle a claim quickly. California law permits recovery of all damages caused by an accident, which includes the physical pain, emotion anguish, and inconvenience associated with an accident.
You can retain an attorney even for a small accident. Many clients worry that they do not have a claim or that a case is not worth pursuing. However, most attorneys will offer a free consultation to let you know if they can help and will not charge attorneys fees unless and until they get you a settlement. An attorney can also help you get medical treatment with no up-front fees.
Soft tissue injuries can be severe and long lasting, and you may be entitled to compensation for them. Whiplash, contusions, sprains, and strains are all common injuries in car accidents, which can cause a lot of pain and can make it difficult to go about your life. Soft tissue injuries can take time to recover from and can have flare-ups down the road. The bottom line is that insurance companies often try to minimize these sorts of injuries.
Car accidents can cause brain injuries. Even low speed impacts can cause blows to the head and jolting forces. The severity of traumatic brain injuries can range from mild to sever, with a range of short or long term changes and can potentially affect thinking, sensation, language, and emotion, which might include difficulties with memory, reasoning, sight, balance, communication, understanding, depression, anxiety, and many other potential difficulties.
Insurance companies can and will look through your social media profiles. If you are active on social media, you should realize that anything you post can be used against you by an insurance company to minimize your claim. People usually put out a polished image on social media, but insurance companies often use these sorts of posts and images to undercut damages claims.
You should be compensated for all of your damages caused by another party’s negligence. Tylenol, bandages, parking at the doctor’s office, time missed from work, all cost accident victims money, and these damages may be compensable.