Monthly Archives: July 2013
MISTAKES INJURED PEOPLE MAKE IN ACCIDENT CASES
1. NOT GETTING IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE
Nobody likes going to the doctor or to the emergency room. But if you are hurt in an accident and don’t seek medical treatment shortly after the accident, our experience shows that insurance companies use that against you. They argue that if you had been really hurt, or seriously hurt, you would have sought medical attention immediately. If you are in pain, go to an emergency room or urgent care center as soon as possible.
2. NOT GETTING FOLLOW UP MEDICAL TREATMENT
Insurance companies do pay a great deal of attention to whether follow up medical treatment is performed, and is consistent. Most primary care physicians recommend a wait and see approach to care. However, trauma specialists often advocate beginning therapeutic modalities promptly. Delay or inconsistent care can lead to trouble getting medical treatment authorization and can affect medical-legal issues in establishing causation. Avoid these issues by getting treatment with a trauma specialist promptly.
3. ADOPTING A WAIT AND SEE APPROACH
Cases, unlike fine wine, do not get better with age. There may be important evidence that needs to be preserved. Some claims require that notice of claim to the potential adverse party. And while the clock is ticking against you, the insurance company will almost certainly be working to limit their exposure and pay you less. Contact an attorney soon after a traumatic event.
4. TRUSTING THE INSURANCE COMPANY
Beware the insurance company representative who says you are in good hands or talks like a good neighbor. They may try to portray themselves as friendly, on your side, or lead you to believe that you are safe in their hands. Beware of quick cash offers which often will not reflect the full economic and non-economic value of your claim. Don’t take a quick cash offer to resolve your injury claim without talking to a lawyer first.
5. TALKING WITH THE INSURANCE COMPANY BEFORE TALKING TO AN ATTORNEY
In auto accidents, you need to contact your insurance company to report the incident and will be given a claim number. You will also need to be in contact with property damage adjusters who want to schedule an inspection of your vehicle. These preliminary contacts cannot be avoided.
There are perils in talking with an insurance company before talking to a lawyer. First of all, the insurance company may try to record a statement from you which they then may use to deny your claim altogether. Or, they may try to negotiate with you or ask you to sign something that ends your claim. Our experience shows that usually when this happens, the offers are usually from zero to very low, and the insurers are liable to pay you less than which you are entitled. After the damage is done and your case has been compromised, it may not be practical for a law firm to get involved and try to rehabilitate a case that is already deeply in trouble.