5 Things to Remember When Dealing With An Insurance Company
No matter how caring and compassionate TV ads make an insurance company appear, you may discover that this is far from the truth once it’s too late and you’ve been injured. These companies often act as adversaries, often disputing every detail of your case. If you are forced to deal with one of these companies without an attorney, keep these following five things in mind. It is always advised that you have legal representation in any significant injury case if you hope to be treated fairly.
The insurance company is NOT your friend.
In fact, we would go so far as to say they are your enemy. These companies are commercial enterprises and they do not want to pay you. They engage in many actions to avoid paying claims at the level that is still deemed technically fair. No matter how friendly an adjuster acts, or how hard they try to get you to admit something, keep in mind that these representatives are not on your side.
You are not required to give a recorded statement to an insurance company.
If you agree to a recorded statement, it could backfire. Many people who are still on painkillers or in treatment have greatly regretted that they have given a recorded statement. It is advised that you have an attorney to help you avoid the pitfalls, as you may believe you are required to give a recorded statement, but in fact, you are not.
The first settlement offer will be far too low.
Settling an injury case is negotiated. The first offer is always lowball. They hope you will take it, and may even advise you not to get a lawyer. Do you know why? They do not want to pay you what is fair, and they are aware that a qualified lawyer knows the truth. Never accept the first offer. You may regret it later.
Keep full documentation of everything that happens.
All communications with the insurance company should be in writing. If you have a conversation with an adjuster or another representative of the insurance company, write a letter documenting the call with all that was said, and send it to them, keeping a copy for yourself.
When a file is “closed” it does not mean your case is over.
You can be under the impression that if you don’t agree to the terms offered that you will lose your chance to get compensation. This is untrue. There is a statute of limitations that governs this issue, not the rules of an insurance company. You can sue later if the company threatens to “close your file” and the company will be forced to defend themselves in civil court. In New Jersey, you have two years to file a lawsuit for most cases or your claim will be forever barred. There are also strict notice requirements for claims against governmental entities (usually 90 days).
Do you have an injury claim? Connect with the legal team at the Todd J. Leonard Law Firm for information about filing a claim or lawsuit. We know how to manage an injury claim and get results. Call us at (973) 920-7900.