Three Biggest Mistakes
Best Not To Sign Any Documents Until You Speak With a Lawyer
Don't give in to pressure to sign anything shortly after an accident or alleged medical malpractice that relinquishes your right to make a claim in exchange for a sum of money when you are hurt and unsure of the full extent of your injuries. Once you sign such a document you will be forever barred from making any further claims and the insurance company will be released from any liability, no matter how badly you are injured or whatever happens in the future. CONSUMER BEWARE:The greatest danger is that there is no law on the books that protects, you the accident victim, or prohibits the insurance company from settling for the lowest amount possible as long as you agree by signing the document~ and sadly that bell cannot be unrung, even if your bodily injury case is actually potentially worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and they pay you $500.00. Because insurance companies know that injuries generally become worse before they become better they want to close the books as soon as possible on you before small cases can become big cases. We have seen this most often in LIMITED TORT cases where the insurance company will offer out of pocket payments such as lost wages for one or two weeks as a condition to signing a Release of All Claims. Many injured folks don't realize until its too late that they have also given up their right to make claim for pain and suffering for their bodily injuries when the full extent of their injuries are not yet known. Pennsylvania victims of personal injury have been given the false impression that they are unable to recover pain and suffering if they choose the Limited Tort option and mistakenly believe that they can only recover out of pocket costs. If you have any questions about this critical issue we are here to help and we will be happy to speak to you at no charge or obligation to inform you of your legal rights and options. The best advice is never sign a release or other accident paperwork without consulting a lawyer.
Do Not Give A Statement To The Other Insurance Company
It happens often. Shortly after an accident the injured party receives a telephone call from the at fault insurance company adjuster who seems friendly and nice enough and wants to talk to you before they can help you. The adjustor is very skilled at their job and can lull you into a false sense of security when they say "before we can take care of everything we need to find out more about the facts of the accident so I just need to take your recorded statement". The insurance adjustor is not your friend and you are under no obligation to give a statement. Remember, an insurance company is a business for profit and questions will be worded in a manner that will cause you to be more inclined to make a statement against your own interests. Claims adjustors, who have limited settlement authority are only looking out for their company and their insured. There are many other dangers in giving a recorded statement at such a vulnerable time since you will be "locked in" to anything said even if you inadvertently made a misstatement about fault or if you failed to claim all areas of your body which were injured, as most of us tend to only focus on the injury that is most painful at that moment. Worse yet is that the statement will be transcribed and will be used against you in settlement negotiations or in court. Nothing good will ever come of it and it will only hurt you.
Failing To Seek Medical Treatment Promptly For Injuries
It is very important that if you feel as though you are injured you should seek medical treatment with a visit to the emergency room or your physician as soon as possible. It is a mistake to try to "tough it out" and hope it will just go away with more time as you could have something serious going on beneath the surface, or if you plan on making a claim. The insurance company will use a delay in treatment against you in their attempt to deny or minimize your claims with the assertion that "if you waited for weeks to get treatment you could not be badly hurt". Please take care to mention everything that is bothering you on your first visit, big or small. It is common that injured people tend to focus on the most painful parts and neglect to mention the other areas which may become more noticeable later on. If the injury is not initially documented the insurance company will take the position it was not caused by the accident.
Don't settle for less than you deserve. Insurance companies have trial lawyers. Shouldn't you have an experienced personal injury trial lawyer on your side? Obtain the benefits that a seasoned trial lawyer can provide you. Call Gary Brod anytime at 888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN) for a free no obligation consultation and explanation of your legal rights.