Most people know that they should contact their insurance company after a car accident, whether it is their fault or was caused by someone else. If another driver caused an accident that resulted in injuries, you may feel like contacting their insurance company as soon as possible. But, this may not be the best move for you to make.
Insurance adjusters will work to settle your claim as quickly and cheaply as possible, although they won’t tell you this. There are many other things the insurance company won’t tell you, including information about fault, recorded statements, medical records, and settlement timing.
Finding fault for car accidents in Texas isn’t always easy
It is possible that the victim in a car accident could actually hold some fault for the event. Personal injury claims and cases must look at the degree of fault to determine a compensation amount. In Texas, a modified comparative fault method is used. This means that even if a claimant is partially at fault for a car accident, they could still receive compensation.
The 51% bar rule is used in personal injury cases in Texas. This allows a claimant to seek compensation as long as they are less than 50% at fault. However, the settlement they get could be reduced depending upon how much they contributed to the car accident.
You don’t have to give a recorded statement
Unfortunately, the insurance company won’t tell you that you are not required to give them a recorded statement until you are ready. They may say they are asking routine questions or they need more information because their insured hasn’t made a statement yet. If you have been in a car accident, you should be ready for this. The adjuster will ask for things like:
- The extent of your current injuries
- Past health issues
- Property damage
- What may have caused the car accident
They will be looking at your current and past claims
After a car accident, the insurance adjuster may call and request certain personal information from you like your name, address, and social security number. It may seem normal or harmless, but they can use this information to research your claims history in a national database.
The Claim Index Database System stores information about your previous bodily injuries, auto, and even homeowner’s insurance claims. The insurance reps can see how and when you were injured as well as any settlement you received.
After you give a recorded statement, the insurance company will send you medical authorization forms and releases. They are looking to get your permission to view records about your current injuries and bills. What they won’t tell you is that agreeing to this will give them access to unrelated health information from the past. They will be able to see all of your injuries, treatments, and progress records.
Your settlement doesn’t have to go quickly
The insurance company won’t tell you to wait to settle your claim until your medical treatments are completed. If your injuries were serious, healing may take months or longer. Even if you feel fine now, you do not know how you will feel in the future. If an adjuster tells you it would be better to settle your claim quickly, remember that they are not a doctor. It is better to wait until you know the full extent of your injuries, treatments, and medical bills. Other benefits of waiting include:
- Potentially getting a larger claim
- Knowing that more will be covered, which decreases your stress
- Being able to hire an attorney to help you
- Settling when YOU are ready, not the insurance company
- Your pain and suffering can be acknowledged and addressed
Contact a professional Amarillo and Lubbock car accident attorney
Remember, you should not sign anything or give a recorded statement to the insurance company without legal representation. If you would like the help of an experienced attorney, contact Attorney Dean Boyd today.
You can reach our caring team 24/7 by calling (806) 242-3333. You can also Send Us an email to learn more about our Car Accident services. If you would prefer to visit in person, our offices are located at 4423 SW 45th Ave in Amarillo, Texas or 5012 50th St #103 in Lubbock, Texas.