Could you be victimized by an insurance company? Here is an unfortunate yet typical story that happened when a women was involved in a car accident and an insurance adjuster came calling. It has been discussed on the Pennsylvania Injury Law Report website and asks the question: What happens when the insurance adjuster knocks on your door with a release and check in hand? The information in the following story is vital to anyone who has been involved in an accident.
A married woman with two children is involved in a car accident in which she is driving alone. Her vehicle is hit by another driver who ran a stop sign. The other driver admitted it was his fault. The woman suffered bruises and neck and back pains. She goes to the hospital to be treated for her injuries and is prescribed a narcotic pain medication as well as advised to see her family doctor.
The next day, she receives a phone call from a car insurance adjuster who requests an in-home visit, in order to get a recorded statement. The woman is in pain, so she refuses. She discusses the phone call with her husband and he wants to get the issue over with so he talks his wife into meeting with the adjuster. The adjuster arrives the next day and the woman is alone. He begins to flatter her and say he will offer her something special, something he does not normally do, and it is a check for $1,000. The woman is completely surprised and accepts the money. The adjuster produces a release and writes her a check. She signs the release and the adjuster advises her to not discuss it with anyone else, neither family nor attorney. She is not given a copy of the release.
When the husband learns of what happened he calls the adjuster to cancel the settlement. The adjuster’s response is “too bad, she signed the release.” The adjuster may have saved the insurance company thousands to tens of thousands of dollars by settling this claim so quickly and cheaply. Once a case is settled, there is no going back to the insurance company for more compensation, no matter how bad the injuries or losses may turn out to be. The case is over and the discovery of further injuries will not change that.
There is no telling how seriously injured the woman was or what her medical bills might have eventually been. Many car accident injuries do not manifest themselves for weeks, months or years. The need for a spinal surgery caused by a car accident regularly does not show itself for six to twelve months or longer.
What happened to this woman is all too common. She didn’t have the information to make the best decision. She might not have been in the best frame of mind to making such an important decision, especially so soon after being injured. She had an insurance industry professional well trained in how to handle these types of situation take advantage of her.
The best way too avoid a problem like this while coping with injuries from a car accident is knowing your rights and never signing anything you are not completely sure of. Rarely is there ever a good reason to talk to an adjuster early or settle a personal injury claim quickly. The best personal injury attorneys will provide injured accident victims a free and confidential consultation. At least get a telephone consultation before even talking to an adjuster.
Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or hire an attorney for a personal injury case, get a copy of Mr. Bisnar’s book, “The Seven Fatal Mistakes That Can Wreck Your California Personal Injury Claim.” It is free to anyone who has been injured and believes they may have a personal injury claim.
Do you know of similar situations involving people who have been in car accidents and insurance companies? If so, please comment below.