In many of our cases, the other side is an insurance company. In our culture, we have an idea of what an insurance company is. It’s natural and normal to see them as something that can always help, that they’ll be there for us when we’re hurt. Often, however, insurance companies are the opposite of this. They can work against you, doing their best to ensure that you get as little money as possible for your injuries. Our car accident lawyer Los Angeles team can help you to receive all of the compensation that you deserve.
LA Injury Group Car Accident Lawyer in Los Angeles
It’s important to understand how an insurance company makes money. People pay their monthly premiums, all of that. You also have to remember that an insurance company knows how much money your claim is worth. When you’re injured in a car accident (or really, any other kind of accident or incident) they have a very clear, set idea as to what your claim could be worth. This is based on their past experiences, cases similar to yours, and so forth.
So, with that number in mind, they can work to make sure that you get less than that number. If that happens, then they make money. Indeed, this is how their business model works: they do what they can to make sure you get less than you should for your accident. That way, they make more money. As car accident attorney, our goal then is to make sure that you get all of the money that you deserve. We do this by providing you with quality representation, aggressively negotiating your case towards a successful outcome.
The Initial Methods
Insurance companies have a wide variety of methods to make sure that you get less than you deserve. One of the most common is that they contact you quickly after your car accident. Often, “quickly” is an understatement. We’ve had clients who were contacted by the insurance company the same day of their accident, or even within the first 24 hours. This may seem like they’re doing everything they can to help you. After all, you’ve been through a terrible accident, so they want to help you as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, that’s not what’s happening.
Often, this “call you quick” idea is to take advantage of you while you’re still in a state of shock and vulnerable. In the immediate wake of a car accident, you aren’t going to have your clearest head, nor are you going to be able to make the best decisions. This is no knock on you, that’s just human nature. There’s nothing in life that adequately prepares us for being in a car accident or any similar kind of incident. The insurance company, of course, knows that.
So, when they contact you quickly, it’s to get you to do something that you may end up regretting later, once you’ve had time to think about it. Often, the goal of this call is to get you to agree to something that’s not in your best interest. Typically, they want you to give a statement of some sort that can be used against you later. We always tell our clients that you don’t have to give a statement to the insurance company right after the accident. Talk to a car accident lawyer Los Angeles first.
You also don’t really have to answer their questions. These questions may seem innocent and innocuous, but they’re really anything but. While the questions sound friendly and informal, they’re asked in hopes of getting you to make it more difficult for you to receive all of the compensation that you deserve. A good example of this is perhaps the most basic question: “how are you feeling?”
Don’t Diagnose Yourself
When you’re asked “how you’re feeling,” odds are that you’re going to respond some version of “Ok,” or “been better,” or something like that. However, when an insurance claims adjuster is asking you the question, it means something else indeed. See, they’re asking it in hopes that you’ll say something like “oh, I’m fine” or “just have a little pain here,” followed by a gesture to a body part that was injured in the accident. That way, they can use that information against you later in the case.
You might ask: “how could they possibly do that?” Well, it requires a bit of bad faith. See, as human beings, it’s incredibly hard to diagnose ourselves. Sure, you might feel pain in one part of your body or another, but as a layperson (particularly one who’s just been through a vehicular accident) it’s quite hard to know exactly what happened, why and how. The insurance claims adjuster knows this. The adjuster also knows that many of the worst accidents from vehicular injuries tend to appear later on, removed from the accident itself.
So, they want you to say something like “oh, I’m mostly OK” because that way, months later when the full extent of your injuries are known and you’ve developed something like a serious shoulder problem, they can use that “oh, I’m mostly OK” against you. Then, they can say something like: “are you lying now or were you lying then?” You weren’t lying at any time, indeed you were telling the truth. Your shoulder was “mostly OK” and now it’s not. However, even these small moments can be used against you by an insurance company.
This is all the more reason to contact our attorneys as soon as possible. We can help you to get through the case without having to deal with the insurance company much on your own. Once you hire us, you can tell them: “you’ll have to talk to my attorney.” That significantly cuts down on how many ways they’ll try to trip you up. By having us on your side, you can take “the insurance company” off of your list of things to worry about.
The “Low Ball Offer”
The insurance company’s claims adjuster doesn’t always just call you quickly after the accident so that they can trip you up with a statement (although, they’d love to do that). Sometimes, they’ll offer you a deal, too. This can seem like a true miracle: just after you’ve been in a difficult vehicular accident, the insurance company is here with a great offer. It can seem like this is a blessing. It very much is not.
The reason that the insurance company makes this offer is so that you’ll take less money than your claim is worth. Early on in this blog, we mentioned how the insurance company “knows what your claim is worth.” They have that set number in mind. When they make this first offer to you, you can rest assured that this offer is far less than what this claim is worth. Indeed, that’s why they’re offering it to you now: if they can get you to take this offer without bringing in attorneys, they’ll make even more money. They won’t have to pay for their attorneys to deal with the case and they’ll get you to take less than your claim was worth. It’s a real win-win for them.
However, it’s not a win-win for you. That’s why we always recommend that people show us any documentation from the insurance company before they sign it. That way, we can let you know if it’s a good offer or not. Without the help of attorneys, you have to just hope. Getting started with the LA Injury Group is easy. All you have to do is give us a call at (818) 240-1800. We’ll set up an initial free consultation. Our attorneys will go over your case and figure out the best way to help.