The hours and days after a car accident are chaos. There are so many important decisions to make while you're still reeling from the accident itself. One specific decision can have lasting negative effects on the compensation you receive: talking to the insurance company before talking to an attorney.
Here are the reasons why this is the biggest mistake you can make after an accident:
Once you settle -- its game over
Many people contact us after they have already accepted an offer from the insurance company. In many cases, some time has passed since their accident and they have new accident-related medical expenses that they weren't expecting. The initial amount they received wasn't enough anymore.
Unfortunately, once you have accepted payment from the insurance company, there is not much that can be done. Accepting their money is an agreement to the amount they offered you. Even if you incur new expenses over time, the insurance company isn't required to give you more money.
Cases are more complicated than they appear
Many people think they can determine the severity of their car accident based on how their car looks or how they feel immediately after it occurs. They check the exterior of their car, leave the ER without broken bones and decide that their accident wasn't serious. When the insurance companies call with an offer, they accept it based on this information.
Unfortunately, many issues, especially medical problems, don't emerge until weeks or months after an accident. X-Rays at the emergency room won't show a herniated disc that becomes increasingly painful over time. What looked like a small fender bender can become major body work. These both require more money but if the person already settled with the insurance company, they are on their own financially.
Insurance companies only care about themselves
Insurance companies are very manipulative. They contact car accident victims while they are still disoriented and pretend to be very concerned about their situation. People accept their offers because the agent they talk to convinces them that it's in their best interest.
Many are shocked that when they need more money, the previously caring insurance agent is now cold and unsympathetic. Requests for more money are ignored because the case is closed.
It's always important to remember that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. Insurance agents aren't on your side, they are employees whose job is to save the insurance company money.
Now that you know why talking to the insurance company is a bad idea, here is what you should do:
- Focus on your Health
- Your health is the most important thing. If you are injured in an accident, you should immediately go to the hospital. Keep in mind, many car accident injuries will not appear during a quick trip to the ER.
- Visit a different doctor 1-2 days after your accident
- This second doctor's visit is crucial to identify any injuries that were overlooked in the ER. Common accident injuries, like herniated disks, won't appear in X-rays.
- Call the Law Offices of Gary Martin Hays before you talk to the insurance company
- While you focus on your health let our attorneys handle the insurance company. Unlike the insurance agents, we are on your side. We know what your accident is worth from our years of experience handling these types of cases, and we know how to protect you from the tricks and lowball offers from the insurance companies.