Things Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Before a car accident, you talk to an insurance agent maybe once a year—and that’s if you’re checking in more than the usual client. After an accident, your phone might feel like it’s ringing off the hook with calls from your insurance provider and the other party’s insurance adjuster. Before you talk to the other driver’s adjuster, make sure you know what they are trying to do and how you can protect yourself.

When it comes to car collisions and other types of accidents, you need an advocate who’s ready to fight for you. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-937-7024 to schedule a meeting right away.

1. An Initial Lowball Offer is Very Likely

The insurance adjuster may give you a whole speech about how they fought tooth and nail to get you the best settlement they possibly could, but that is almost certainly not true. Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and one of the fastest ways to make more money is to give less out in settlements. They’re likely to throw out a low number at the beginning just to see if you’ll take it. A surprising amount of accident victims take the first offer, assuming that it is the best they will get.

2. Your Recorded Statement Could Hurt You

If the other party’s insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, it might seem innocent. It’s just a way to hear your side of the story and compare it to their client’s, right? Actually, your recorded statement can work against you when it’s time to negotiate a settlement. Any discrepancies between your recorded statement and other retellings may be used to question your credibility, and details that you add or remove later could raise red flags. Talk to an attorney before you agree to any sort of recorded retelling of the accident.

3. The Insurance Adjuster is Not Your Friend

Insurance companies are very good at convincing accident victims that they are on their side, even when they are representing the other party. This is why accident victims open up to them about where they may have made mistakes in the crash, past injuries, and other types of information that can ruin their personal injury claim.

The insurance adjuster isn’t really on your side. They are only interested in getting information out of you that they can use to drive down your settlement offer or pay you nothing. It’s often better to have all communication between you and the other party’s insurance company go through your attorney. Otherwise, you risk harming your personal injury claim just by telling your side of the story.

4. They Really Don’t Want to Go to Court

A court trial is a huge expense and inconvenience for the insurance company. They really do not want to spend time and money preparing for a court case that they are likely to lose. But if they let you know that they know you will demand more money. The insurance adjuster might seem unfazed by the idea of going to court and even say that you can try your case in court if you don’t like their settlement offer. It’s a bluff. They know that if you bring in a personal injury attorney, they’ll likely have to pay more to settle the claim. Their hope is that acting like they don’t care will make you think your case is worthless.

5. They Take You More Seriously When You Have an Attorney

Why do insurance adjusters discourage accident victims from hiring an attorney? Research shows that victims who hire attorneys usually get a larger settlement than those who negotiate on their own. Insurance companies hope that they can talk you out of it and protect their bottom line. However, if you do hire an attorney, their usual negotiation tricks don’t work. They are much more likely to come to the negotiating table in good faith.

Explore Your Personal Claim Options with Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne

If you’ve suffered an injury because of someone else’s negligence, don’t wait any longer to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. At Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne, we are committed to helping accident victims get the compensation they deserve. Call us at 251-937-7024 or reach out online to get started.

The most common big rig accidents

The sheer size of tractor-trailers increases the risk of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists who share the road with them. However, several factors can contribute to the risk of a jackknifed truck, which frequently has devasting consequences in Alabama. If you sustained injuries in a collision with a big rig, proving liability is critical.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, Alabama’s laws governing truck weight and size exceed federal laws in several areas. Trailers can weigh up to 84,000 pounds on six-axle trucks. The trailers can also measure up to 57 feet, as long as they adhere to the required distance from the kingpin to the center of tandems. However, due to the large size, mishaps that occur may cause catastrophic injuries.

Rollovers

Semi-truck trailers are longer and taller than they are wide, making the center of gravity higher than most cars and trucks on the road. As a result, rollovers happen more frequently with big rigs than other vehicles. Cargo should have tiedowns, wedges, cradles or dunnage bags that help prevent it from shifting. When commercial trucks take curves or try to stop too quickly, improperly loaded cargo can shift, making the trailer prone to tipping.

Blindspot accidents

Factors such as the lack of a rear-view mirror and the truck’s length and height can cause it to have more numerous and more prominent blind spots than a passenger vehicle. Although the drastic height difference can help the driver see farther ahead than other drivers, he may not see cars beside him. If you cannot see the side mirrors on a big truck when behind it, the driver probably cannot see you.

If you believe a negligent truck driver contributed to your accident and severe injuries, it is critical that you gather the information necessary to determine the facts quickly.

Florida accident claims life of former Alabama football player

Car accident cases in Alabama can run the proverbial gamut from perceived minor fender-benders that most assume to result in only minor vehicle damage to massive multi-car collisions that leave several vehicles destroyed and countless people needing life-saving medical treatment. Yet the common thread amongst them all is the expense that accident victims must deal with.

The hope is that auto insurance will cover the entirety of one’s costs, yet that may not be the case. When insurance coverage is not sufficient, those suffering due to a car accident may have to seek legal action.

Former Crimson Tide walk-on killed in car accident

Oftentimes, however, knowing exactly how to seek such compensation can be difficult. The circumstances of many car accident cases may leave one with perceivably no one to assign liability to. The recent case of a former University of Alabama football player, Rowdy Harrell, serves to illustrate this point. The young man and his wife died in a collision in Florida while vacationing there on their honeymoon. Per Bama Central, the man lost control of his vehicle and drifted into oncoming traffic, striking a pickup truck approaching from the opposite direction.

Seeking compensation from an estate

One might look at a case like this and consider legal action to be a moot point given that there is one around to provide compensation (given that those responsible perished in the accidents they caused). Yet their passage does not change the fact that those impacted by their actions may still need financial assistance to help cover any medical bills and repair costs they must now deal with. In such a scenario, one can seek compensation from another’s estate. Earning such compensation, however, may not be easy. Thus, one may want to first seek the council of an experienced legal professional to discuss their options.

Why Are Adjuster Settlement Offers Not Fair?

Alabama is an ‘at-fault’ state when it comes to insurance claims related to motor vehicle collisions. This status means that negligence or fault has to be proven concerning the other driver. Such requirements mean that documentation is so essential immediately after an accident. Photos and videos can establish the circumstances of a collision. A police report will help to record both a driver’s statements and how a crash occurred. A medical report by the administering hospital staff will provide documentation of any injuries caused by the accident.

The consequences of an accident

The injuries incurred with a collision can have longstanding consequences on a person’s professional life and everyday activities. Severe injuries like traumatic brain injuries, neck injuries and broken bones can take years of rehabilitation to make gains in recovery. This treatment comes at a tremendous financial cost. An insurance adjuster working for the insurance of the person you deemed to be at fault will attempt to call your claims into doubt to fight your claim. This process can be a stressful time, only drawn out by the following complications:

Ongoing treatment: It can be challenging to determine the real cost of medical treatment if you are continuing that treatment. Your recovery’s specifics may not be apparent for some time and may be determined by how quickly you should progress or heal.

Unclear fault: In many scenarios, the other driver will have an alternate interpretation or even a false narrative around the collision that may be difficult to disprove. When it is difficult to determine fault, an adjuster is more likely to provide an inadequate settlement figure.

Finding a settlement you can live with

If you think another motorist caused the accident that injured you, you could be entitled to fair compensation via their insurance company. Explore all the options available to make sure your rehabilitation and lost wages are adequately covered.