The Insurance Company Is Arguing About My Injuries. What Do I Do?
Bad faith insurance companies are common in every region of the nation, and in California in particular. Many times these companies are actually the common insurance providers with big advertising budgets and big legal fee budgets as well. Company claims adjusters are also trained professional negotiators who understand when they have the advantage over a novice injured claimant who may not know the true potential of a their accident injury claim. Some agents and adjusters will act nice at the beginning of a claim just to become very difficult later when the injuries are apparently much more serious than the extent that was established originally. This can be a frustrating situation for an individual who may know their agent personally and feel comfortable with them just to find out later the company was actually making the decisions concerning what and how much damage they would cover. This is also a solid indication that the injured claimant needs experienced legal counsel who can investigate the claim fully and provide representation.
Document You Injury Claim
It is very important that any and all medical complications that may have been caused by the accident are reported and treated. Do not omit any discomfort and additional injury, even if it seems relatively minor at the beginning. Always report everything to your personal medical treatment professionals and follow all treatment regimens thoroughly. In addition, keeping a journal regarding the intensity of pain and the specific complications suffered can be a good form of personal documentation that can also be corroborated by your doctor. Many times injuries do not manifest until later, such as back injuries that worsen over time, and having a comprehensive list of ailments can amount to a more valuable injury settlement.
Attend All Additional Requested Medical Appointments
Any time an insurance company adjuster is contesting the severity of an injury claim they will sent the claimant to a supposed “independent” doctor or treatment professional who will also evaluate the injury. These usually are doctors that have an ongoing working relationship with the insurance provider and will actually provide a competing diagnosis and prognosis for the injury. Depending on the prior test results and determination by your doctors, the insurance doctor will evaluate each determination of your doctors in an attempt to lessen the extent of the injury or possibly claim the injury was the result of a different incident than the covered accident. Always make all of these appointments and be sure to be on time for the appointment. Failure to comply with the insurance company request will assuredly become a component of a settlement offer.
Retain a Personal Injury Attorney
Personal injury claims that only include nominal injuries are often handled by the injured party, but this is not an advisable decision because many times claims are worth much more than the injured party understands, especially when there are multiple negligent or responsible parties who may be pursued for damages. This is common in accidents involving commercial vehicles or big-rigs as well as unexplained accidents that could be the result of a product malfunction. Not only will the insurance company have input and be allowed to defend against a claim, but the trucking company or product manufacturer will have the same legal right. These cases are always strongly defended and will require an aggressive personal injury lawyer who will fight diligently to ensure their client’s rights to financial recovery are enforced, including taking a case to trial if necessary.
Always remember that insurance companies want to avoid a trial at all costs, especially when it is obvious they will be required to pay damages that could be greatly enhanced by a sympathetic jury. Having a determined personal legal representative shows all involved respondents that you are serious about whole and equitable compensation for your injuries.