To add insult to injury, the insurance companies can sometimes play games with your claim. You can avoid some of the shenanigans when it comes time to settle, if you keep a few things in mind.
The Three Simple Steps
1) If you are hurt, get medical attention. This may seem like a no brainer but many people like to take the “wait and see” approach following an auto accident. Unfortunately, this can hurt your case. The insurance adjusters like to call this a “delay in treatment” and allege that, if you were truly hurt, you would not have delayed treatment.
2) Once you start treating, don’t take a “vacation” from treatment without consulting your doctor and your attorney. You completed your MRI and X-rays. Now, you’re following through with the recommended chiropractic care. You’re two months into it but hockey season started and, between work and driving kids to practice, you just don’t have time to get to your appointments. There are two big problems with this scenario. First, you aren’t following medical advice and could cause your injury to get worse by way of your own behavior. Second, you just made the insurance adjuster’s day! This is called a “gap in treatment” and is synonymous with “obviously, your client isn’t really hurt” due to your ability to just stop treatment. Gaps in treatment are a killer for personal injury claims. Furthermore, when you jeopardize your case though delay or gaps in treatment, you put the medical care providers at risk for denial of payment for services. If you can just quit treating, the adjusters may claim the medical services weren’t necessary in the first place.
3) If you know that the other driver was 100% at fault, there is no problem making recorded statements to the third party insurance company. Again, that sounds logical and reasonable. However, adjusters don’t get paid for being reasonable. In most cases, they get “bonuses” for denying claims or keeping settlements low. Furthermore, there is no rule that says they can’t later assert that the accident was your fault. After all, if you said you “felt terrible” about the accident, that statement can be construed several ways. Probably, you meant that it was an unfortunate way to spend a beautiful Saturday afternoon. However, taken out of context, the adjuster might assert that you were feeling remorseful about your negligence in causing the accident. Think the police report stating it was other driver’s fault will save you? Think again! Liability can always be disputed. Don’t make statements that can later be twisted and used against you.
If You Were Injured, Give One Of Our Offices A Call
Witt Law Group is a personal injury law firm located in Bremerton and Gig Harbor Washington. We handle personal injury and auto accident cases all over Western Washington. If you were injured in an accident, call our Bremerton Office at (360) 792-1000 or our Gig Harbor Office at (253) 312-3838 or CLICK HERE to fill out our online contact form. We can schedule a free, private consultation at one of our offices, or at a location of your choosing.