3 Tricks Insurance Companies May Use to Avoid Paying You
By Raleigh + Durham Worker’s Comp & Personal Injury Attorneys at Hyland + Padilla PLLC
If you’ve been involved in a motor vehicle accident, it may be your instinct to reach out to your insurance company–or accept a call from the other party’s insurance agent–to discuss the crash as soon as possible. As Raleigh, North Carolina personal injury attorneys we have one word for you: Wait.
Although insurance companies exist for precisely these types of incidents, they are not necessarily on your side. An insurance company’s goal is to keep profits high and costs to a minimum. Unfortunately, this often means that they use certain tactics or look for ways to wriggle out of paying the full and fair amount to which you’re entitled.
Insist on Obtaining Your Statement
Some insurance companies will demand that you give a detailed recorded statement as soon as possible after the accident–often before you know the full extent of your injuries or while your mind is still reeling from the crash. They’re hoping that you’ll mistakenly admit to partial fault, suggest that your injuries aren’t severe, or give a confused account of the accident. They’ll use your words against you, construing any statement remotely in their favor to deny your claim.
You are not under any obligation to give a written or recorded statement immediately following an accident. Never give a statement to an insurance company without careful preparation beforehand, while under mind-altering medication, or before a physician properly assesses the extent of your injuries. Also, never volunteer any information other than the most straightforward facts.
Spy on You
It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to use investigators to spy on claimants to catch them engaged in an activity that suggests their injuries aren’t as serious as asserted. For example, if you’ve claimed to have injured your back in an accident, an investigator might monitor your social media accounts to look for “evidence” to the contrary. Such so-called proof might be a photo of you throwing a football with your kids or a Facebook post about how great you feel after your gym workout.
Adjusters might even show up unannounced at your home to catch you doing something they’ll attest wouldn’t be possible with your claimed injuries, such as kneeling down to weed the lawn or carrying a heavy child. Insurance companies can now even use drones to check up on you.
Companies use their findings to insist on a lower payment or invalidate their claim.
Use Delay Tactics
Sometimes insurance companies will drag out the investigation of your claims as long as possible. Their goal is to coerce you into accepting a lowball offer out of desperation or just give up on pursuing the claim altogether. They might also fail to notify you of a critical filing deadline during this waiting period so that they can invalidate your claim.
What to Do?
If you’ve been in an accident in the Raleigh, North Carolina area, before writing or speaking with an insurance adjuster, especially the other party, we strongly recommend that you talk to an experienced Raleigh personal injury attorney, such as Hyland + Padilla PLLC. We can help protect you from bad faith tactics such as these, and fight to get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us today.