Most people who are injured in car or truck accidents realize that the at-fault party's insurance companies have a vested interest in keeping settlement amounts low. However, not many Texas residents realize the lengths that insurers will go to discredit and minimize the legitimate claims of personal injury plaintiffs.
Most people who are injured in accidents are motivated by the overwhelming need to heal quickly and return to work so that their lives and livelihoods aren't significantly disrupted. Because of this, accident victims are in a particularly vulnerable state, which is compounded by the fact that most individuals are not well versed in Texas personal injury law. The result is that they often make a decision about signing documents or accepting early settlements prior to securing legal advice from a Texas personal injury attorney.
When the defendant's insurer receives a report of an accident with injuries, they will immediately begin to take steps to limit their exposure. It's not uncommon for the insurance company to send accident investigators to the scene of a vehicle crash or other type of accident within minutes of it occurring. The mission of these investigators is to gather every piece of information that could be used to reduce or limit a settlement.
Oftentimes, when insurers recognize that they are liable for large sums of money, they make a quick offer to cover the victim's medical bills as long as he or she signs a waiver against future claims. To an injured victim with thousands of dollars in medical expenses, this fast money can be very attractive. However, the damages to which the defendant may be entitled usually exceed the reimbursement for medical costs.
Insurance companies will also try to convince accident victims that they are required to sign certain documentation that discloses information to which the insurer may not be entitled. Medical authorizations and employer verifications are two of the ways that the defendant's insurers can discover pre-existing medical conditions. Don't sign any document until you've spoken to a reliable Texas personal injury lawyer.
A defendant's insurance company may also try to obtain a recorded statement from the plaintiff. While a defendant is compelled to provide a taped statement to his or her own insurer, he or she is not legally required to submit to a recorded interview with the defendant's insurer. A non-recorded investigative interview should be adequate for the defendant's attorney's needs.
An insurance company will routinely advise you not to hire an attorney. The adjuster will provide you with several reasons as to why an attorney is unnecessary. This attitude should sound the bells and whistles. Why would they tell you not to hire an attorney? The answer to this question should be obvious: to keep the settlement as low as possible. The adjuster may also tell you do not worry—that they will take care of you. Nothing can be further from the truth. Their primary interest is to help their employer save money and limit your recovery.
Before making a decision about accepting an insurance company's offer, you should always contact a Texas personal injury attorney and discuss your case. You can visit our firm at www.clementslaw.com or call us at 1-800-750-1126 or 214-827-1122 if you're local.
We stand ready to work hard to help you and maximize your recovery.
In order to maximize an award or settlement, it's important that you retain the services of a competent, well-regarded Texas personal injury attorney. Solid legal counsel can prevent you from being susceptible to mistakes that could damage your claim against an at fault party.