Talk to an Attorney before Talking to an Insurer
Regardless of whether we’re talking about a large or medium-sized insurance company, insurers are in business to make money. In order to maintain a favorable rating from Moody’s or Standard & Poor’s, an insurance company must maintain a three-to-one premium-to-surplus ratio. What does this mean? Simply put, it means that for every three dollars of coverage an insurer underwrites, it should have one dollar in surplus to cover losses on policies. When this ratio is upset, an insurer can be downgraded, negatively impacting its stock value and upsetting shareholders. In order to protect its financial interests, it is not uncommon for an insurance company to tie salaries, promotions and even annual bonuses to reduced claim payout goals. As a result, insurance companies have a financial incentive to settle personal injury cases for the least amount of money possible.
Reducing Claims Payouts — Talking to Injury Victims before They’ve Healed
It can take weeks, if not months, to determine the full extent of a head, neck, back or soft tissue injury. Even if you think you only have a mild concussion or a neck that’s a bit stiff, in the weeks or months following a car accident you could suffer memory loss, chronic pain, tingling in your hands or legs, reduced mobility or balance problems. Insurance companies are aware of this and realize that the sooner they settle a case, the better. That’s why claims adjusters often try to talk to injury victims as soon as possible after an accident; if they can broker a settlement before the full extent of your injuries is known, they can save money.
What Happens if I talk to an Insurance Company Employee after My Car Accident?
If you accept a settlement offer from an insurer before the full extent of your injuries is known, you may find that the compensation offered will not cover all of your medical expenses or lost wages. If you accept an initial offer from an insurer, you will be required to sign an agreement that prevents you from seeking additional damages at a later date. When an insurance claims adjuster calls, he or she may try to gain your confidence and trust by reassuring you that he or she only wants to see how you’re doing and collect certain information. In most cases, however, the claims adjuster is hoping you’ll say something that can be used to reduce your claim or shift more fault onto you later if your case goes to court.
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Assigning Fault in Car Accidents — Contact an Attorney to Protect Yourself
The more fault assigned to you in an accident, the more any compensation you are eligible to receive will be reduced. When an insurance claims agent calls asking questions about how fast you were driving, if you take any medication, what you remember about the accident, etc., he or she is fishing for anything that can be used to shift more fault onto you. If you hire a lawyer to represent you, however, the insurer has to talk to your attorney link to www.lilawyer.com/. Consequently, the best way to protect your rights and interests after a car accident — or any kind of accident — is to contact an experienced personal injury attorney in Long Island, NY.
If you’ve been injured in a car, construction, pedestrian, motorcycle, or slip and fall accident, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.