7 Effective Ways to Deal With Personal Injury Insurers
Dealing with an insurance company can be difficult because it feels like they have the upper hand. Quite frankly, in many ways they do, especially if you are unfamiliar with the claims process. Below are seven effective ways to deal with personal injury insurers so that your rights are preserved.
- Don’t Assume Fairness
One of the primary facts that you need to know about dealing with an insurance company is that they are under no obligation to treat you with fairness. Additionally, they are not obligated to respond quickly to your requests. While it will often depend on the nature of the injury, it can take insurance companies a long time to respond to requests. Once they do, there’s a chance that your claim will be denied. If it’s approved, there’s a possibility that the offer will be much lower than it should be. It’s one of the reasons why working with a lawyer is beneficial.
- Recognize Negotiation Tactics
Individuals that work for insurance companies are trained to negotiate, especially insurance adjusters. It’s what they do for a living, which means they have developed a level of expertise. What’s important for you to keep in mind when dealing with insurers is that they work for the insurance company, not you. Their goal is an outcome that’s in the best interest of the insurer.
- Request Payment of Medical Expenses
When it comes to medial expenses for an injury, it’s not automatic that insurance companies will cover the costs. Subsequently, you should always request payment for any costs incurred from medical care after an injury. The reason why this process has become more complicated than ever is because insurers will sometimes make the assumption that you are being dishonest, which is considered fraud. There’s also the issue of having a pre-existing condition that will sometimes need to be sorted out before a claim is paid. Either way, you should make it known that you want your medical expenses paid.
- Ask For a Higher Settlement
If you’re not familiar with claims processes, then you probably don’t know that the first settlement offer is usually the lowest. As a result, it’s necessary to avoid accepting the first offer. This doesn't mean you’re being difficult. In fact, it’s usually necessary because the first offer probably won’t be fair. Sometimes there is an injury and you don’t really know the full cost of the medical expenses because the depth of the injury is unclear. Unfortunately, what often happens is a settlement is accepted, but it doesn't end up covering the real cost of the injury. This is one of many reasons why it’s necessary to work with a lawyer.
- Use the Appeals Process
Just because an insurance company has made a decision doesn't mean you have to accept it. Instead, you can appeal the decision and provide the information necessary to prove your point. For instance, if your injury was from a car accident and the price they want to pay for your car is much less than it’s worth, you can simply find sufficient proof that what’s being offered is below fair market value.
- Choose Your Words Wisely
When communicating with the insurance company, you must always understand that anything you say will be used against you. If they ask you a question by phone, your response will likely be recorded and used later if necessary. An attorney can guide you through appropriate communication with insurance companies.
- Follow-up Regularly
In the event that you don’t hear from an insurance company regarding a claim, it’s important to follow up until you receive a response. Although some insurers will try to close a claim quickly, there are other instances when the process seems to linger. It may even feel like your requests and calls are being ignored. If this happens, remember to follow up until you have a resolution.
These are all ways to more effectively deal with insurers. There is a lot to think about, which is why a trusted lawyer is a good resource when you’ve been injured.