Insurance companies are not on your side. No matter how compassionate they sound, no matter how gently they prod into the events of the crash, their goal is to save as much money as possible while placing higher premiums on those found at fault for a crash. Here are just a few of the things the insurance company doesn’t tell you.
You Don’t Have to Settle Right Away
In Alabama, you have two years from the date of the car crash to file a claim. Once you file, it may take months or even years before you recover a settlement. However, the insurance company may suggest that you don’t file a claim and that you accept their offer immediately so you can “get back to normal” as soon as possible. This is a mistake.
If you settle too soon, you may not have all the facts. You should wait for a full investigation and discuss your options with an attorney before settling. Additionally, car crash injuries are often latent, meaning they may not be obvious until days or weeks after the crash. If you settle too soon, you may not get the compensation you need to recover.
You Don’t Have to Provide a Recorded Statement
Agreeing to a recorded statement is one of the biggest mistakes people make after a car crash, especially in Alabama. Insurance adjusters use scripts that are designed to sway you toward a particular response. Once those words are recorded, even a straight forward liability case can become a legal nightmare.
Under Alabama’s contributory negligence rule, if you are even 1% responsible for a crash you cannot recover compensation. That means anyone involved in a crash must be extremely careful about what they say. Remember, there is no legal requirement to provide a recorded statement. If your insurance adjuster asks for one, politely decline and consult your attorney as soon as possible.
You Don’t Have to Accept Their Interpretation of Policy
In rare cases, your insurance adjuster may give an unusual interpretation of your policy. This is a tactic called “insurance bad faith.”
This is a process by which the insurance company attempts to avoid payouts by either refusing to investigate, twisting the language of the policy, delaying payouts, or refusing to answer the phone. If you suspect your insurance company is acting in bad faith, you should contact an attorney immediately.
If you suffered injuries in a crash and don’t want to deal with the insurance company, we can help. If you’d like an experienced Birmingham accident lawyer from Montgomery Ponder, LLC to evaluate your case, please send us an email or call (205) 377-5004.