When you are injured in a car accident in Denver, dealing with mounting medical bills and the long healing process is stressful enough. sometimes you have to miss days of work. other times, you may even be forced to quit your job. What’s worse, all the red tape and hoops you have to jump through when it comes to insurance claims only adds insult to injury. But it’s important to make sure you get all the money you’re entitled to. after years of responsibly paying your insurance premiums, you deserve to get every dollar owed on your coverage back!
Reading: How to cheat insurance companies
However, I am sorry to say that the insurance companies are not on your side. Even if you like your insurance agent personally, the company behind that agent will probably do everything in their power to limit the amount they have to pay you after an accident.
For example, an insurance adjuster’s sole purpose is to investigate claims to determine whether you should be paid for your injuries and, if so, how much money you should receive. however, if they want their employer to consider them “good” at their job, they have to save the insurance company as much money as possible. this means that they often use somewhat cunning tactics to avoid paying victims as much money as they deserve.
Insurance companies make money by receiving premium payments from their customers, so they will either try to talk you out of filing a claim or find every possible reason why you don’t qualify for payment. . In this way, insurance companies do not lose money. (This is also why you need a good Colorado personal injury attorney on your side, but that’s material for another article.)
here are the top 5 ways insurance companies cheat you after an accident
1. asking for a recorded statement
Most everyone is familiar with the Miranda Warning that says, “Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law.” This is also true for recorded statements that an insurance company may request from you after you’re injured. Insurance adjusters want to find out what your story is and how they can twist your words to make you look bad, thus making you ineligible for your claim. No matter what you say to any representative at an insurance company, whether informally or formally, will be used and dissected thoroughly to see if there’s anything they can use against your case.
Remember: When it comes to car accidents, there is no law in Colorado or any other state that says you must provide a recorded statement to the insurance company of the driver who hit you. Giving a recorded statement never helps you, and victims who do provide such statements usually end up being rejected in their settlement offer or their claim may be denied outright. If an insurance company representative asks you to make a recorded statement, hang up and call a car accident attorney right away.
2. pushing for a quick deal
Dealing with insurance companies and legal battles can be an extremely stressful experience. But no matter how badly you want to wash your hands of the entire thing and just get it over with, you should never fall into the trap of accepting a quick settlement from your insurance company.
Insurance companies use this tactic because it saves them a lot of time and money, and almost always ensures that car accident victims accept a much smaller amount before they fully understand their injuries and how much their claim is really worth. Until you have thoroughly investigated your situation and fully recovered from your injuries, you will have no idea how much your settlement should be.
Remember: Insurance companies are not on your side, not even your own insurance company. your goal is to hold on to your money; don’t give it to you therefore, limit the amount of time you speak with the insurance company on the phone and set strict guidelines in advance about when you will speak with them. when you talk to them, be sure to give very limited information. (Again, I cannot stress enough that a qualified Colorado personal injury attorney can make this entire process easier for you while getting more money from the insurance company for your medical and personal needs.)
3. ask for a signed medical statement
If you’re in a car accident, an insurance adjuster may try to convince you that you absolutely have to sign medical release forms, giving them access to all of your medical records, both past and present. They may tell you they cannot process your claim without you signing the forms, or that it’s just a routine practice and nothing to worry about. If you do sign these forms, the insurance company will have access to all of your medical information—not just the information pertaining to your accident.
why is this bad? I have seen insurance companies go back to a victim’s health history and deny payment based on prior experiences that have nothing to do with the accident and the victim’s current condition. they can use anything they find in your prior medical history against you, even going so far as to say that the injuries you are claiming for this accident are from a prior incident, thus denying your claim.
4. causing confusion
When it comes to the average individual, insurance jargon and contracts are tedious, time-consuming and confusing. Insurance companies often rely on a victim’s confusion (and the many other issues they may be facing, such as medical concerns) to push inadequate settlements or even to get victims to sign away their own rights! Consider this alarming story from a recent American Association for Justice report titled, Tricks of the Trade – How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse:
Your home is severely damaged by wind and rain during a hurricane. storm surge floods the lower level of his house three hours later. despite the destruction, she takes comfort in the fact that she purchased hurricane insurance as part of her homeowners policy. His home has hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, but he’s sure he’ll be covered.
you are wrong. the insurance company points to the “anti-competition” clause in your policy. “I had hurricane insurance,” you reply. but it does not matter. flooding negates coverage. how could you have known that hurricane damage would not be covered, even by hurricane insurance, if there was a flood? “You should have read your policy,” the insurance company says, pointing to incomprehensible legal jargon titled an “anti-competition” clause in your policy.
When filing a claim, do not sign anything until you hire an attorney to review the documents and learn your rights.
5. refuse to renew
Although you shouldn’t rush the process and settle right away, be sure not to waste too much time filing a claim if you decide that’s the route you want to take, especially if you’ve already contacted your insurance company with an inquiry. Many insurance companies will drop your coverage and refuse to renew a policy if they get a whiff that you may be considering a claim. If you make a phone call to the insurance company even inquiring about the possibility of filing a claim, and you decide not to, they have documented your phone call. Be 100 percent sure that you are going to file a claim before contacting your insurance company.
Do you have specific questions about Colorado state laws when it comes to dealing with insurance companies after a car accident? Contact our Denver accident attorneys today for a free consultation.