You Are Not Legally Obligated To Make A Recorded Statement
One of the first things an insurance company will ask you is to make a recorded statement. According to Florida state law, you are under no obligation to give a recorded statement. Recorded statements are designed so that insurance adjusters can ask you “gotcha” questions in hopes of leading you to claim responsibility for the accident. If you are asked to give a recorded statement politely decline. It is always best that if you are going to go on record that you have an attorney present, otherwise do not say anything.
Do Not Let Them Access Your Medical Records
Another trick that insurance adjusters will do is they will dig into your past medical history. If your shoulder was injured in the accident, but you had shoulder surgery ten years ago, they will use that against you. They will say your shoulder injury is actually from the past and not from your recent accident. You are under no legal obligation to allow an insurance company to access your medical records. Instead, make sure that all medical records requests are handled by your auto accident attorney. They will ensure that they only receive the medical records that are relevant to your recent accident.
Never Take The First Settlement Offer
Insurance companies are in the business of making money. The higher your settlement payout, the less money they make. One of the most common things they do is submit a lowball offer. Many people take this because they trust the insurance company is paying them a fair settlement. Others will take it because the financial pressure from the accident is growing and they need the money. However, they often make a lowball offer in hopes of paying you less, because once you accept the settlement you cannot go back for more compensation, even if your injuries still cost money. Instead, decline the first offer and let your attorney calculate the value of your claim.
Expect Them To Avoid You
One of the most frustrating things about dealing with insurance adjusters is they will actively avoid talking to you. They do this for a number of reasons. First, they are trying to frustrate you into taking the first settlement offer. Secondly, they know that if the claim isn’t settled by the statute of limitations, they won’t have to pay. These dirty tactics can be really frustrating but don’t worry. Your attorney knows how to get them to engage. They will make sure they do not duck you.
Adjusters Hate When You Hire An Auto Accident Attorney
Insurance adjusters will swear up and down that your accident isn’t severe enough for you to need an attorney no matter the details. That is because they know that if you have the protection of an attorney, they can’t pull their tricks. If they advise you not to get an attorney, it’s a good sign that you need to set up a consultation with one immediately. When you work with an attorney, they will handle everything. They will take over all communication with the insurance company, including talking to the claims adjuster. They will protect your rights and fight for you to receive full and fair compensation for your injuries.
For over 30 years, The St. Pete Lawyer has been protecting accident injury victims in Southwest Florida from the dirty tricks of insurance companies. We know all their tactics, but they know us. They know they can’t pull these tricks on our team. Give us a call at 1-727-381-9200 for a free case evaluation. We’ll make sure that you are protected.