Four Things the Insurance Company Does Not Want You to Know
1. Until you have consulted with your lawyer, never give an insurance company a statement.
They are searching for incriminating information. They want you to be at fault. Don’t give them a reason to ruin your case. It is quite common for the at-fault person’s insurance company to call you and request a statement concerning the accident. But if you seek advice from your lawyer first, you can easily avoid the insurance company tactics.
They may try to trick you into admitting you might have avoided the accident. In some states there is a doctrine called the last clear chance. With this, they can find you are not entitled to collect anything. The insurance company will claim you failed to take the necessary precautions to avoid an accident. Their questions may be recorded and answering their questions wrongly can be used in their favor to minimize your injuries and even refuse payment.
2. Never sign any type of insurance authorization form
No one is at liberty to view your medical records from the accident…unless you sign the wrong documents. The insurance company may send you medical authorization forms to get your signature, which will give them access to records that aren’t even relevant to the accident. They may also try to gain access to your employment file by asking you to sign a wage/employer information form.
Also, the insurance company may pay you a little visit. The insurance company will try to offer you $500-$1,000; they are hoping to settle the claim quickly. Of course, you will also be required to sign a full release which will deny future compensation if your medical condition worsens. It may be quick money now, but it can bite you in the long run.
3. Never ignore the doctor’s orders
Another quick route to obliterating your case is to not follow the doctor’s instructions. Along with this being potentially detrimental to your health, the at-fault person’s insurance company will use this as evidence that you really aren’t that injured if you didn’t follow your doctor’s instructions. This is a common tactic. So your best interest is to obey your doctor’s instructions.
4. Never be dishonest
Lies are the quickest way to destroy your credibility. If you are honest about all the skeletons in your closet, your lawyer can handle it in a positive manner. However, if you hide something about your past, whether it is your medical history, facts about the accident, your treatment plan or your criminal history, your credibility and potentially your case can be ruined.
A common mistake made is to have inaccurate or missing information on medical history forms. This may be unintentional, but can be used against you. If you don’t divulge a previous injury, the insurance company can attempt to make it seem as if you are hiding your previous injuries to make your current injuries appear worse.
Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.