The purpose of purchasing an auto insurance policy is so that you will be taken care of if you ever get into an accident. You pay a premium every month, and in exchange, the insurance company should assist you financially if you need to pay medical bills or have to have your vehicle repaired after a wreck. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way all the time. The primary goal of insurance companies is to make money and it can be very difficult to get the insurer to agree to a payout, even if you are entitled to the money.
Can you sue for rear-end collision? Yes, but there are instances when your insurance company won’t pay enough money for you to take care of all your obligations after an accident. This is why it’s essential to hire a lawyer to help you get the compensation you are rightfully entitled to.
If you suspect that your auto insurer is trying to rip you off, here are some signs to look for.
Offering a Low Settlement Amount
If your vehicle is totaled, the insurance company may offer to pay you cash equal to the amount of your car’s value. This amount often isn’t sufficient for you to purchase a new vehicle. The amount the insurer will offer you is based on the value of similar vehicles, and the company will try to reduce the cost based on the car’s mileage, as well as dings and dents in your car.
Refusing to Pay You for Pain and Suffering
The insurance company may attempt to pay only part of your medical bills by offering you what is known as a “reasonable and customary rate.” This is often much less than the cost of your medical treatment, which means you’ll have to take care of most of the cost of your care following an accident, even if you were not at fault for the accident.
Trying to Persuade You to Admit That You Are Liable for the Accident
If the insurance company representative starts asking you seemingly innocent questions about the accident or your injuries, this may be a way to get you to admit that you were totally or partially at fault for the collision. A claims adjuster may also try to convince you to sign documents or record a statement to reduce your settlement offer. Don’t provide any recorded or written statements to the insurance company without consulting with an attorney first.
Asking You to Sign a Medical Authorization Form
Don’t ever give your medical authorization form to the other party’s insurer. This document could hurt your chances of getting a fair settlement. If you submit this form, the insurance company will have access to all your medical records and will try to downplay the injuries you sustained in the accident by claiming that you were already suffering from certain medical conditions.
Offering to Give You a Final Payment Check
After a car accident, your bills will continue to pile up, but you may not have the money to pay them if you were hurt in the accident and unable to work, or if your car is totaled and you don’t have a way to get to work. The insurance company may try to offer you a final payment check, which is usually not enough to pay for your medical bills and living expenses. Depending on your financial situation, you may be tempted to accept a lump sum of money, but if you accept the final payment check, you won’t be able to pursue the matter further and get a fair settlement in court.
Seek Legal Advice
If the insurance company tries to discourage you from contacting a lawyer, this is a sure sign that you’re not being treated fairly. You should get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible to go over the details of your accident, contact witnesses, and figure out what you should say and not say to a claims adjuster when you contact the insurance company. These tactics will increase your chances of getting fair compensation after your car wreck.