When a driver is involved in a car crash caused by another driver, they often make the error of calling either their insurance company or the insurance company of the at-fault driver right away. This can actually cause issues with any damages they may be entitled to for their injuries.
The legal team at Shapiro & Appleton have been helping accident victims for more than three decades and understand how shaken up a car accident victim can be following the crash. It is not uncommon for an injured victim to be distracted by their injuries and not thinking properly. This makes them very vulnerable to the tactics that are used by insurance companies to avoid paying claims.
- What do I do if the at-fault driver’s car insurance is not returning my calls or dragging its feet after a Virginia car accident with injuries?
- Why Is My Insurance Company Unwilling to Pay My Personal Injury Claim?
- Should I Sign a Form from the Insurance Company Requesting My Medical Records?
The following are some of the most common types of tricks that the North Carolina car accident attorneys from our firm have seen:
The insurance company calls the victim immediately following the crash: Many insurance companies will contact the victim the next day – or even just a few hours – following the crash. An injured victim is often suffering from pain, could be on pain medication, or even still in the hospital at this point. The goal of the insurance adjuster is to catch the victim off guard before they have an opportunity to speak with a car accident insurance for legal advice. This is why your first phone call following a crash, and before speaking with any insurance company, should be with an attorney. If you are physically unable to contact an attorney because of your injuries, have a trusted family member or friend call.
Tricking the victim into accepting responsibility for the crash: It is critical to remember that the other driver’s insurance company is not on your side. Despite how friendly and concerned the adjuster may sound, their goal is to pay you the least amount – or zero – of compensation possible. They will ask questions and try to manipulate the conversation in a way that you could unknowingly admit blame for the accident. The insurance company already has a copy of the police report from the crash, which includes both driver’s statements of the crash. They do not need any more information from you that your car accident attorney cannot provide them.
Insisting the victim needs to provide a recorded statement: Another tactic insurance companies use is to insist the victim makes a recorded statement immediately following the crash. It is during this recorded statement that they are doing their best to get you to admit some kind of fault for the crash. Even an innocent statement such as, “I’m sorry the crash happened,” could legally jeopardize your claim. It is best to have your North Carolina injury attorney handle all communication with the insurance company.
Insisting that the victim was injured after the accident: It is not uncommon for car accident victims not to realize they have been injured immediately the crash because of delayed symptoms. Sometimes it can take days or even weeks before there are signs of an injury, such as a herniated disc, and the victim then seeks medical treatment. The insurance company could use this delay to claim that the victim was injured some other way after the accident. This is why even if a person does not think they have been injured, they should still seek medical attention right away.
Contact Shapiro & Appleton
If you have been injured in an accident, do not try to negotiate with the insurance company yourself. Let a North Carolina injury attorney work on your behalf to get you the best possible outcome based on the circumstances of your case. We’ll focus on dealing with the insurance company while you focus on your recovery.