Simply having been injured by another person’s negligence is not enough to win an injury case. There are four commandments that everyone should follow to ensure that you do not sabotage your own case.
Never delay in seeking medical treatment.
Not seeking medical treatment as soon as you need it is one of the easiest ways for an insurance company to attack your case. If you delay getting medical treatment, the insurance company is going to argue that you could not be seriously hurt because any other hurt person would have gone to the doctor immediately. They will also argue that by delaying treatment, you have not done what you need to do in order to get better. If the delay in medical treatment is long enough, an insurance company might also argue that there must have been another injury between the original injury and the doctor’s visit. If you are injured, go to the doctor as soon as you can. If you delay in getting medical treatment, you only give the insurance company additional reasons not to pay for your claim.
Never seek treatment from a medical professional who contacts you after an injury.
There are a few medical professionals, including chiropractors and doctors who will use police reports to identify victims that have been hurt due to someone else’s negligence. These medical professionals will then call the injured person, or even go to their house to attempt to persuade them to seek treatment at their facility. These people often create the impression that the insurance company for the other driver hired them to examine you and give you treatment, and they are ultimately misleading you. No insurance company hires doctors or chiropractors to treat people after a crash. These facilities that contact you are hoping to cash in on your case by giving you a large inflated bill and taking money from you. These facilities might even be affiliated with an attorney’s office and encourage you to go hire a specific attorney for your case. As you could imagine, insurance companies do not view these facilities favorable. The bottom line is, if someone calls you or shows up to your house offering medical services, look the other way.
Never give a statement to the at fault party’s insurance company without speaking to an attorney.
No matter how well-mannered or polite the insurance company representative is, they are your opponent. Even if the representative admits their insured client is at fault for your injuries, they will try whatever it takes to trick you into saying something that will hurt your case later on. Insurance representatives are trained to do this. When insurance companies win, they usually do so by downplaying an injured person’s injuries. Personal injury cases are complex. There are several aspects to cases that are counterintuitive and what you think will help your case might actually hurt it. Remember to never give a statement to the other party’s insurance company without speaking to your attorney first.
Never give a statement to your own insurance company about your injuries without speaking to an attorney first.
This commandment can be confusing because you have an obligation to cooperate with your own insurance company, however, you always have the right to speak to an attorney first. An experienced attorney can provide guidance in these conversations with your insurance company. There are two aspects to every injury claim, property damage and bodily injury. It is generally acceptable to talk to your insurance company about property damage to get you back on the road. This conversation will involve questions of repairs, rentals, and potentially a new vehicle. As for the injury portion of a case, this conversation will include discussions of your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You do not want to discuss the injury specifics with your own insurance provider unless you have already spoken to an experienced injury attorney. The reason you do not want to talk to your insurance provider about injury specifics is because your own insurance company may be responsible for paying for your injuries if the person who caused your injury does not have enough insurance to cover you. This scenario is quite common. When you purchase auto insurance, you pay for something called uninsured or underinsured insurance so that if someone injures you and they do not have enough insurance, you can still recover. Even though you pay for uninsured or underinsured premiums through your own insurance company, they will do everything possible to pay you the least amount they can.
If you have any questions about your injury case or these four commandments, give us a call at 317-632-3642. Stay safe and look out for each other.