Car accidents can impact our lives in sudden and dramatic ways. Not only must you focus on your physical recovery, but you may worry about the financial impact of your medical bills, lost wages, and other unanticipated expenses stemming from the accident. While Washington state allows injured car accident victims to pursue compensation, the process can be stressful and complicated. Most people assume that insurance companies are there to support us when we suffer an injury, but these companies prioritize their bottom line above all else. Unfortunately, this means that the insurance adjuster assigned to oversee your claim will likely attempt to pay you as little as possible to save the company money. Battling with insurance companies is the last thing you want to do during your recovery, so enlist an experienced and caring Vancouver attorney to handle these negotiations on your behalf. Your lawyer will work hard to maximize your settlement offer while you continue to focus on what matters most—your physical and emotional recovery.
Understanding What Motivates Car Insurance Companies
When Washington drivers select an auto insurance policy, they trust that the company will pay them the compensation they need if they suffer an injury at the hands of a negligent driver. Many people assume that they just need to inform their insurance company about the accident and request compensation to cover the medical expenses and lost wages caused by the accident. However, the auto accident claims process is far more complicated. As for-profit companies, auto insurers have a vested interest in saving money. When an accident victim files a claim, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to the case. Their primary goal is to pay the claimant as little as possible, so they will often use negotiating tactics in an attempt to undermine or discredit the validity of your claim.
How to Handle Conversations With the Insurance Adjuster
The insurance adjuster assigned to your claim will likely seem friendly at first, reassuring you that they just want to ask you a few questions to process your claim. They may tell you that the conversation is informal and that there is no need to involve an attorney. Below are a few strategies for responding to an insurance adjuster to protect the strength of your claim.
Refrain From Admitting Fault
The adjuster may attempt to get you to admit responsibility for the accident. Even a simple “I’m sorry” can be used to weaken your case, so stick to the facts of the accident. You can use the police report to corroborate the circumstances of the accident instead.
Be Wary of Medical Releases
In many cases, the insurance adjuster will coax you into signing a medical authorization form, giving them access to your medical records and past health history. You are not obligated to provide them with this information; in fact, allowing the insurance company to view your medical history may jeopardize your claim. For instance, if you suffered a back injury during the accident, the insurance adjuster could use your medical records to claim that you had a documented history of pre-existing back pain. While you should provide medical documents pertaining only to this accident, you should deny any requests for a release of all medical forms.
Work With an Attorney to Maximize Your Settlement Offer
It’s natural to become overwhelmed and frustrated when dealing with insurance companies. However, you are never alone in this process. Reaching out to a caring and skilled personal injury attorney is the best way to understand your options and pursue the compensation you are owed. Below are just a few of the benefits of working with a car accident lawyer on your insurance claim.
While this may be your first time dealing with an insurance adjuster, your lawyer has a long and successful history of such negotiations. Personal injury attorneys are deeply familiar with the tactics insurance adjusters use to deny compensation, and they know how to push back against these negotiating strategies. Your attorney will push for a favorable settlement offer to ensure you secure the financial resources you need to support your recovery.
Peace of Mind Promotes Physical Healing
Physical injuries take time to heal. However, stress and anxiety can complicate and prolong your recovery. When you entrust a personal injury lawyer to negotiate and secure a favorable settlement on your behalf, you can feel lighter and focus more mindfully on your recovery. Your attorney will answer your questions, address your concerns, and advocate passionately on your behalf at every stage of the claims process. Their goal is for you to secure the compensation you need to get your life back on track.
If you need help pursuing compensation after suffering an injury in Vancouver or Camas, call the trusted and compassionate legal team at Henderson Taylor Law Firm today at (360) 737-1478 to discuss your options.