10 Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid in Personal Injury Claims
July 14, 2017
Negotiating personal injury claims is a very tricky business that’s typically best left to an experienced personal injury lawyer.
But even if you have an attorney — and you should! — there are some things you need to be aware of when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies.
Here are 10 mistakes that could hurt you in the end:
1. Giving a recorded statement to the other party’s insurance company — This is something you should never do, unless you have your lawyer with you when you give a statement. It might seem like an innocuous task, especially if you weren’t at fault, but insurance adjusters are trained to interview you in a manner that might make you say something to negatively impact your claim.
2. Lying to the insurance company — This also sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s important to note. You should always be completely honest when you give information to both your insurance company and the insurance company of the other party.
3. Giving the other party your insurance records too early in the claims process — A good lawyer will advise you not to release your medical records before you are almost done with your medical treatment. This is because your injuries could get worse or change over time, and you don’t want the claims adjustor to have an incomplete file when it comes to your medical problems.
4. Exaggerating your injuries — If you are injured and you have someone helping you with the claims process, then you will get the award you deserve without having to stretch the truth on the extent of your injuries.
5. Talking about pre-existing conditions or injuries with the insurance company
6. Trying to answer every question, even if you don’t necessarily know the right answer.
7. Letting claims adjusters get informal with you — No matter how innocent it seems, you should never have “off-the-record” conversations with a claims adjuster. It’s called “letting your guard down,” and it’s exactly what they want you to do.
8. Using red-flag terms with adjusters — Be very careful when choosing which words you use with the insurance company. Words to avoid include whiplash and other medical terms. Don’t use them without a proper medical diagnosis. Also, don’t talk about complex legal terms like negligence if you are not a licensed attorney.
9. Giving out your social security number or contact information for friends and family to an insurance adjuster.
10. Assuming your claim will be accepted without a lawsuit — Sometimes, a claim can be settled without having to file a lawsuit. But often, that’s not the case.
This is why it’s so crucial to have a solid personal injury attorney on your side. If you or someone you love has been in an accident, contact Robert Armstrong’s office today.