Claims for injuries caused by automobile
accidents have taken on a life of their own, with lawyers now
clamoring to obtain those cases through television commercials,
etc. I'm sure you've seen all of the ads with lawyers telling
you to call them immediately and they can get you a quick check,
or making promises about what you can and cannot expect once
you've been injured in an accident.
The truth is, automobile accidents can be boiled down to a simple
proposition: you can take a quick settlement for a small amount
of money, or you can have a lawyer really work on your case
so as to try to maximize the fairness of the payment you receive.
This area of law has been complicated by the fact that fraudulent
claims have been on the rise, made by persons who are not actually
injured or who are trying to take unfair advantage of an insurance
company or someone who ran into them. Steve Roberts is not
interested in those types of clients and does not handle cases
unless they involve genuine injuries legitimately sustained
during the automobile accident.
That said, the good have had to suffer with the bad, as the
saying goes, and insurance companies today are very concerned
about fraudulent claims and are always interested in trying
to find some fact or circumstance that would provide the insurance
company or their insured with a defense to paying the injury
That said, one of the worst things an automobile accident victim
can do is to begin to talk to an insurance adjuster, or anyone
else, without being represented by an attorney. Insurance adjusters
are in the business of denying claims whenever possible, and
it is common sense that the fewer claims that are paid out by
an insurance company, the higher the insurance company's profits
will be. To that end, the insurance companies are not going
to try to pay you the highest claim that can be paid, nor pay
you one penny more than they absolutely have to based on the
facts of circumstances.
One of the insurance company's tools used to obtain evidence
against a person who is injured is to ask them to provide a
recorded statement. Often, this request for a recorded statement
is suggested as simply the need to obtain the facts so that
they can go ahead and process the claim and pay you. However,
there is a wolf in sheep's clothing here, because the insurance
company is going to examine very carefully every piece of information
that is provided during that recorded statement and if any of
it can be used to show that you were partially at fault for
the accident, then that information will be used to reduce your
Furthermore, there is often serious difficulty in trying to
obtain a rental car, get fair value for your vehicle if it has
been damaged or totaled, obtain lost wages if you missed work,
and handle all of the other miseries that seem to come with
being involved in an automobile accident.
And, if that is not enough, the person who is injured cannot
possibly know what the value of their injuries are unless they
consult with an attorney.
All that said, if in fact you or someone you know has been involved
in an automobile accident, it is of utmost importance that they
contact an attorney without delay and before they begin to speak
with any other parties, or any insurance adjusters.
This is a true story. an attorney was representing an injured
victim that had been involved in an automobile accident. He
had been advised by the attorney not to give any statements
to any insurance company and certainly not to make any statements
without the attorney present to protect his rights. A few
days later an insurance adjuster appeared at the home of the
injured victim, and the adjuster claimed that he was working
for the insurance company that insured the victim's automobile.
The client, having been warned by the attorney not to talk
to any insurance people, began to question the adjuster and
then called the lawyer for advice. After a short conversation
with the lawyer it was determined that the insurance adjuster
had actually misrepresented who he was. He was actually the
adjuster for the other person's insurance company, the person
who had run into the victim, and the adjuster was trying to
obtain the statement of the client, the injured
victim through false pretenses and without a lawyer present.
Certainly, this is not a practice that is condoned by the insurance
industry, and these remarks are not intended to indicate that
most insurance companies do not operate professionally. The
point is, however, that if you are an injured victim and you
talk to any insurance adjuster or give any statements to anyone,
especially recorded or written statements, you will do so at
your own risk and peril and chances are that some of your own
words will be used against you to reduce your claim.
That said, it is very important to obtain the advice of an attorney
immediately and be protected by an attorney during the entire
accident claim process.