So, you have been injured in a car accident and the next day you are already receiving the telephone calls from the other driver’s insurance company. Typically, this is an insurance adjuster for that company who wants to get a statement from you so he or she can report the claim to the claim’s supervisor in the best possible light for the insurance company.
How do you handle this? Well, my initial reaction is that you really should call a lawyer to handle this for you. The insurance adjuster is not there to help you out. Very often they are trying to get you to say you were not injured in the accident or you are feeling fine. Sometimes they try to record these statements for use against you at a later date.
Given this reality, you should contact a personal injury attorney following a car accident. I know this advice is not a surprise to you – especially considering I am a personal injury lawyer – but really it’s the truth. We handle these phone calls on a daily basis and underlying the tricks many insurance adjusters try to pull on claimants.
However, if you do talk to an insurance adjuster, it is important to keep the following in mind:
1. If you are injured or feeling pain from the accident, let them know that. Insurance companies will initially try to find out what your injuries or complaints are. If you don’t tell them, they will assume you are fine and were not hurt in the accident. It is important you explain in detail what pain you are in and how it is affecting your daily life.
2. Don’t lie or exaggerate the truth. If you do this and later on the truth comes out, your credibility will be shot and the insurance company won’t be inclined to believe you in the future.
3. Be careful of medical payment coverage. Many insurance policies have what’s called “med pay” coverage. This means the insurance company will pay you money for some medical bills and out-of-pocket costs without regard for who was at fault for causing the accident. This is very common in Michigan for slip and fall cases. Most homeowner policies allow for $1,000 or $5,000 of “med pay.” This means under the insurance policy, the carrier must pay for medical expenses up to the “med pay” amount. But in reality, the insurance company will offer to settle your entire case for the med pay amount, including pain and suffering.
4. But be forewarned. Med pay has nothing to do with pain and suffering compensation and the insurance company is obligated to pay this money to you anyway – it’s right in the insurance policy.
The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. is a personal injury law firm in Michigan. Representing injured people for over 40 years, the firm has offices located throughout the state and specializes in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, slips and falls, dog bite attacks, medical malpractice, social security disability and other personal injury claims.
If you have a question about IMEs or any other personal injury matter, please contact us at 1 800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733). The phone call and consultation is free.