We see this all the time. You were injured in a car accident through no fault of your own. Then comes the phone call from the insurance adjuster representing the driver who hit you, ready to offer a settlement to make things right. But should you accept it?
Be careful. Insurance adjusters are trained in tactics to keep payouts low. Being familiar with the most common strategies can prevent you from falling into traps that could jeopardize your claim. However, your best defense is to contact an experienced Atlanta car accident lawyer to handle all talks with the insurance company for you. With an attorney by your side, you can focus on what should be your first priority, healing, rather than making sure you get a fair deal. That’s our job!
Were you hurt in an Atlanta car accident? Call The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. to learn about your rights to compensation in a free consultation. Our personal injury lawyers have helped clients all over Georgia and won over $45 Million in settlements!
Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters
Here are some of the most common strategies that insurance adjusters may try on you:
Tell you their offer is final. Settlements are negotiable.
Deny your claim. If you were hurt due to someone else’s negligence, don’t give up on compensation if you are denied on the first try.
Request a recorded statement. The insurance company can use anything you say against you, so don’t agree to talk until you’ve spoken to a lawyer.
Ask you to sign a medical authorization immediately. If you aren’t careful, you could give the insurance company access to your entire medical record instead of only the records related to the crash. This gives them the opportunity to look for any pre-existing conditions that might be used as an excuse not to pay you full and fair compensation.
Offer you a quick settlement. Don’t take it. Once you sign off on a settlement, there’s no going back.
Tell you not to hire a lawyer. You have the right to hire an attorney at any point during the claims process. You may also be told that an attorney is too expensive. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you don’t pay any upfront costs for them to handle your case. They are only paid if they win compensation for you.
Discount your pain and suffering. Adjusters may say claims similar to yours have settled for less. A lawyer will know what your case is truly worth.
Order surveillance on you. An insurance adjuster may hire an investigator to get photos of you doing things your injury should prevent you from doing. The goal is to destroy your credibility.
Request unnecessary information. You may also be loaded down with paperwork and tasks. The hope is that you’ll settle sooner for less money out of frustration.
Recommend medical treatments. Only follow your doctor’s orders.
Try to place more than 50 percent of the blame on you. In Georgia, if you are found to be 50 percent or more responsible for an accident, you cannot receive any compensation at all.
When to Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta
After a car crash, you should always contact a lawyer if:
Someone was hurt or killed.
There are questions of who is at fault.
The insurance company is denying your claim or offering a low settlement.
You aren’t sure what to do.
How We Can Protect You
You have important issues to deal with following an auto accident, but your priority should be rest and rehabilitation. Don’t let the insurance company take advantage of you! Act now and protect your claim by calling The Champion Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. for a free consultation.
About the Author
The Champion Firm is a full-service personal injury law firm serving the greater Metro Atlanta area. Our award-winning team of attorneys specializes in car accidents, wrongful death, premises liability, and slip-and-fall cases. Learn more about our team here.