Even the most minor car accident can require you to go through a complicated claims submission process, especially if you are injured. As you pursue compensation for your damages, unexpected contingencies can come up, especially if the insurance company is pushing back against your claim. Working with a car accident injury lawyer can strengthen your case by making sure you are prepared to respond to the other side’s tactics.
5 Unexpected Things to Prepare for During a Car Accident Suit
1. The Other Side’s Insurance Wants a Recorded Statement
When an insurance company receives a car accident claim, they conduct an investigation to determine whether or not the crash warrants a payout as required by the terms of the policy associated with the claim. If you have recently submitted a claim, the insurance company might ask you to facilitate their investigation by giving them a recorded statement.
The insurance company’s objective is to get information that will implicate you in the accident and reduce the value of your claim. Whether or not you are required to give a recorded statement depends on which insurance company is requesting it. If the request is coming from your insurance company, your policy might specify that you need to consent to the interview. However, if the other driver’s insurance company wants a recorded statement, you are usually under no obligation to comply.
2. Your Car Accident Injury Lawyer Tells You the First Settlement Offer Was Too Low
Some insurance companies try to settle quickly to avoid paying the true value of the claims they receive. They know that injured people are injured are not always in the best frame of mind to make financial decisions.
Don’t be surprised if you get a fast offer to settle out of court for an amount of money that is insufficient to cover your medical expenses. The best way to determine whether or not the offer is adequate is by having your lawyer review it.
3. The Insurance Company Says You Did Not Take Your Injuries Seriously
After you are injured in a car accident, the first thing a car wreck lawyer in San Antonio, TX will tell you to do is go to the emergency room. While you might feel fine, it is still important to get immediate medical attention.
In the first place, going to the emergency room gives doctors an opportunity to treat your injuries. Secondly, your visit will become part of the medical record that you will need to prove your damages. Thirdly, if you do not go to the emergency room, the insurance company might argue that you contributed to the cost of your injuries by not treating them right away.
4. Your Pre-Existing Condition Becomes an Obstacle
When you are injured in a car crash, the liable party is only responsible for medical expenses that resulted directly from the accident. If your claim leads to a legal battle, the other side might argue that had a pre-existing condition at the time of the crash which caused some of your health issues.
Texas law specifies that if you can demonstrate that another party’s negligence caused the crash, you are legally entitled to compensation for new injuries or the aggravation of old injuries even if you had a pre-existing condition when the crash occurred. A skilled lawyer can help you gather medical evidence to show that your condition had stabilized prior to the accident or that your new injuries had nothing to do with the pre-existing condition.
5. The Insurance Company Does Not Issue a Payout in a Timely Manner
The law is clear on how much time an insurance company has to pay your claim. After receiving official notification of the crash, they have 15 days to request any additional information they need from you. After receiving the information, they have another 15 days to issue a verdict. Sometimes, they might be able to extend the investigation by 45 days. If they determine that you qualify for a payout, they must send you a check within five days.
Your lawyer can help you make your case go as quickly as possible by keeping you informed on the deadlines that apply to you and holding the insurance company accountable for the deadlines that apply to them. In Texas, penalties for an insurance company that delays a claim settlement include paying your legal fees and an 18% interest charge.
Car accident claims can be costly and legally complex when one or more people are injured. Insurance companies are more likely to try to deny claims that are associated with high medical expenses. An experienced attorney can protect the value of your claim by helping you act preemptively against the insurance company’s tactics. Choosing an attorney who specializes in personal injury law will give you the advantage of legal expertise when you go up against the insurance company.