No one ever thinks they will be seriously injured; however, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s latest data, every day almost 100 people die in auto accidents, and almost 7,500 are injured. In fact, you and everyone you know will, on average, be involved in three accidents during your or their lifetime.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, chances are you are worrying about what to do next, who will pay your medical bills and lost wages and who is going to pay for your car. We rely on the insurance companies, that we pay insurance to for years and years, to have our best interest in mind. However, the truth is insurance companies are not in existence to pay you one penny more, that’s right, not one cent more than they have to. It is in THEIR best interest to make a simple accident ambiguous, confusing and complex because the longer the case drags on, the more money the insurance company makes earning interest on their money.
There are ways you can protect yourself by understanding what the insurance company is NOT telling you. Knowledge is power!
7 Truths About How Insurance Companies Operate
- 1. The insurance adjuster is paid to protect the interests of the insurance company. He/she is not there to help you.
- 2. Insurance companies exist to make a profit and do so by denying, delaying or paying out as little as possible on claims. They will fight you every step of the way.
- 3. The insurance company would like you to give a recorded statement as soon as possible so they can use it against you later. New York law does not require you to give a recorded statement. As a matter of fact, do not give any statement to anyone until you have consulted a lawyer.
- 4. The insurance company will take whatever steps are necessary to deny your claim and limit payouts even if the accident wasn’t your fault.
- 5. The insurance company is under no obligation to make any settlement offer. They will dangle the possibility of an offer only to obtain as much information as they can gather to use against you later. And if a settlement offer is made, it will be below the actual value of your case.
- 6. Insurance companies do not want you to get a lawyer involved with your case. The insurance company’s own research shows settlements in cases where the injured person is represented by a lawyer are significantly higher and the client receives more money even after payment of attorney’s fees.
- 7. Insurance companies have no problem taking you to court because they know jurors are most often not generous. Focus groups have proven that jurors are often skeptical, cynical and reluctant to believe the injured party. Jurors have become desensitized to blood and gore after seeing so much of it on TV, in movies, and on social media. It has become increasingly difficult for an injured person to recover the full value of his or her losses without having retained a highly experienced and well-qualified lawyer.
The bottom line is insurance companies know and count on many people giving up their legal rights and the money and benefits they are entitled to. Their tactics of setting up roadblocks and obstacles and of stalling and delaying are not by accident but rather by design. It is important that you get the help you need as quickly as possible. The last thing you need is to have the insurance company take advantage of you during this most difficult time in your life.
If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact Schwartzapfel® Lawyers at 1-800-966-4999. Personal injury is our only business and we are here to help.