If you’ve been injured in a car accident, or your car has been hit by another driver, resulting in damage, you may consider hiring a car accident lawyer. You may also consider fighting the insurance companies on your own. It’s important to weigh the odds and think about the impact of going up against a billion-dollar insurance industry without professional legal counsel.
Before you skip hiring a car accident lawyer, make an informed decision. There are risks involved with going against the insurance companies without a Maine car accident lawyer.
Pretend they don’t have to pay your medical bills from the car accident
Reduce the medical bills caused by the car accident because they claim the amounts are not “reasonable or customary”
Claim the car accident didn’t cause the injuries of the car accident (AKA use the “Causation Defense”)
Allow you to believe that they’ll pay for everything from the car accident, but fail to follow through.
Delay the car accident claim
Blame you for the accident
Use surveillance to accumulate evidence against you
Claim your injuries were present before the car accident
Fail to inform you of all the car accident coverages you have available to you in your own insurance policy
Pressure you into making ill-fated decisions before you’ve had time to speak to a car accident lawyer, including potentially taking less money than your case is worth.
Demand a recorded statement describing the accident
Fake concern for your welfare to get a quick car accident settlement
Fight the severity of your injuries and medical expenses from the accident
Deny your accident claim completely
1. The insurance company may pretend they don’t have to pay the medical bills from the car accident
The car insurance company may ‘let’ your own insurance cover your medical bills even if the accident wasn’t your fault. The at-fault insurance company may even suggest that since all your medical expenses were covered by your own insurance company, they do not have to pay you anything. That is not true. If the accident wasn’t your fault, the insurance of the at-fault driver is responsible for covering your injuries and paying back any medical expenses paid by your own company.
2. The insurance companies may try to reduce the medical bills caused by the car accident because they claim the amounts are not “reasonable or customary”
If you are injured as a result of a car accident you may receive multiple bills from the hospital, and doctors. The insurance companies may try to discount bills suggesting that the doctors and medical facility somehow charged you too much. Insurance companies often try and argue that they will only pay for “reasonable and customary” charges, but they have no legal basis to do this. The at-fault insurance company is responsible for the full amount of your accident-related medical expenses.
3. Claim the car accident didn’t cause the injuries of the car accident (AKA use the “Causation Defense”)
While outwardly the car insurance companies may present themselves as nice or reasonable, behind closed doors, they could be digging through your medical history to discover something in your past which “proves” you already had the injuries caused by the accident. They may even hire their own “experts” to claim your injuries look old. A lawyer can provide a cross-examination of these “experts” to prove the truth.
4. Allow you to believe they’re willing to pay for everything from the car accident
The car insurance company of the at-fault driver in a car accident-claim has to pay for all your injuries and expenses that result from the accident – whether you hire a lawyer or not. By leading you to believe they’ll make it easy, you may back away from hiring a lawyer. But while the insurance company is responsible for paying, they may do everything they can to avoid it. They’ll work to avoid paying for your bills and your pain and suffering. While the insurance company is legally held accountable for admitting fault, they will off-set this by doing everything they can to pay you as little as possible for your car accident injuries. Legal counsel can help mitigate your losses.
5. Delay your car accident settlement
By delaying your car accident case, the insurance company can delay paying you, leaving you desperate to settle for any amount. This can be problematic because until they pay you, you’re the one responsible for paying your medical bills. And soon you may be short on cash.
Second, the longer they hold onto the cash they owe you, the longer that money can earn them interest instead of landing in your pocket where it belongs.
Lastly, if they delay enough and you don’t take action, the statute of limitations will run out. This means you lose your right to collect compensation.
6. Blame you for the car accident while trying to be nice
Be careful of pleasantries on behalf of the at-fault car insurance company which may trick you into you suggesting the accident wasn’t the fault of the other person. And this statement can be used against you, reducing your compensation.
7. Use surveillance to accumulate evidence against you
In another effort to avoid paying what you deserve, especially if it’s a big enough case, the at-fault car insurance companies could hire a private investigator to capture footage of you in the hopes they get something that can be used against you.
A car accident lawyer can help fight this.
8. Claim your injuries were present before the car accident
If you have prior injuries that were re-injured in the accident the insurance company may try to dig through your unrelated medical records to find anything they can use. Do not sign any authorizations allowing the insurance company to go through unrelated records.
9. Fail to inform you of all the car accident coverages you have available to you in your own insurance policy.
Again, the car accident companies will always seek ways to avoid paying you what they are responsible for. A car accident lawyer can help you weed through what the insurance companies need to cover.
10. Pressure you into making ill-fated decisions before you’ve had time to speak to a car accident lawyer, including potentially taking less money than your case is worth.
You do not have to speak with the insurance company before you speak to a car accident lawyer. And the car accident insurance companies may try to pressure you into talking with them before you have sound legal advice.
If they do talk to you before you speak with a car accident lawyer, they may pressure you into settling for less, get you to settle by a particular date, or get you to say something that may be used against you later on.
Much of the time, these claims are simply not true.
11. Demand a recorded statement describing the accident
If the insurance company (adjuster) gets you talking they may try to get you to say something that could be used against you later in your car accident case. This can be particularly harmful to your case if you’re upset, emotional, or angry about the case. Legal counsel may help guide you through this process safely.
12. Fake concern for your welfare to get a quick car accident settlement
Do not forget that the insurance company reps (adjusters) are not your friends. In an effort to cozy up to you or make you feel like you’re in good hands so you trust them, they may present as if they’re your friend and have your best interests at heart. They do not. The insurance companies are trying to get out of paying what is owed or are trying to pay as little as possible.
These adjusters may try to talk you into settling early, or throw around “deals” that may actually hurt you down the road without getting you covered for unforeseen expenses (missed work and future medical bills you’ve not yet received).
13. Fight the severity of your injuries and medical expenses from the accident
It’s in the best interest of the insurance company to downplay your injuries so they can pay as little as possible. So no matter what you do about your medical care, the insurance companies will look for a way to spin it. For example, if you’ve waited to see doctors, the insurance company could use this hesitation as an argument against you.
Whatever you do regarding your medical care, the insurance company will try to spin it. They will even dispute treatments ordered by your doctor. If you received a lot of medical treatment, the insurance company may say you didn’t need it, and/or are faking it to build a case. If you get just a little medical treatment, they may say that your injuries are minor.
14. Deny your accident claim completely
An insurance company will do anything to avoid paying for damages. As an incentive to adjusters to pay out as little as possible, insurance companies have internal incentive programs that include gift certificates, parties, and gifts. When you’re under-compensated, the adjusters may get awarded.
The obstacles listed above can be mitigated by hiring professional legal counsel for your car accident case in Maine. A car accident lawyer will help you win more than you would receive on your own. A car accident lawyer can help you understand the loopholes, help you meet legal deadlines, preserve evidence, receive proper medical treatment, communicate with key witnesses on the case, and help you navigate what the insurance companies may be doing behind the scenes.
If you want the best legal counsel to help put the pieces of your life back together after a car accident, and a law firm that understands the insurance industry, contact Mann Law today. Call 207-709-0900.
Even if you haven’t done anything wrong you may feel inclined to say “I’m sorry!” Don’t do this. An apology whether you’re at fault or not could be considered an admission of guilt or “Party Admission” and work against you for your car accident claim in court.
Although the experience of a car accident can be high-intensity, scary, and unsettling, it’s important to stay calm. Any irrational behavior on your behalf at the scene of the accident could be noted on your police report and erode their trust in you.
To avoid paying out major compensation, insurance companies have been known to offer sums of money in return for signing a “Release.” The insurance company representative may say they’re sorry for your car accident experience and they want to compensate you for your trouble. They could even show up at your place of residence with a check and the Release. Don’t sign! Your signature would relinquish the insurance company for compensating you in full for all the expenses you endure as a result of the accident. The sum they offer may not cover all your bills.
Following a car accident, you may not be thinking clearly and bottom line, you’re not in a good position to sign away your rights. If you do find yourself in this situation, you can politely decline and contact a Maine personal injury lawyer. This attorney will advise you of your rights and you can make an informed decision.
To navigate the many loopholes, deadlines, and back and forth with the at-fault insurance companies, and to ensure your accident-related expenses like car damage and medical bills are properly paid in full by the insurance companies, you may consider hiring legal counsel.
If you’re still uncertain about hiring a lawyer but just need answers from a real person, you can contact Mann Law at any time. Call 207-560-0659 or use the form at mannlawllc.com to submit your questions.