In an ideal world, insurance companies would pay the full value of your car accident claim so that you could recover from your accident, catch up on your bills, and live your life as a restored individual once again.
Unfortunately, most insurance companies are focused on their own profits and bottom lines. When possible, they may try to underpay on your car accident claim, gypping you out of your deserved benefits and leaving you having to pay extra bills out of pocket.
It is in situations like these when a car accident attorney can help. For clues about when your insurance company may be trying to swindle you, read on.
1. You didn’t get a police report.
No matter what type of accident you may experience, it’s important to call the police for one main reason: to get a police report. This document can go a long way toward proving your claim with your insurance company. If you don’t have one, you’re more likely to be at risk of being underpaid.
Sometimes it could be that the police did not prepare a report for your accident. In that case, the situation becomes a battle of points of views, between yours and the other parties. The insurance company will then go with whatever story best suits its bottom line.
2. The insurance company uses a third party to appraise the damage.
Typically, the insurance company will send its representative to assess the damage to your vehicle. If the company tells you it’s going to an outside service instead, that’s not a good sign. Though this outside service will be presented as an independent agency, unscrupulous insurance companies may use the service to get a lower value on the damage than would normally be reached by a reputable agency.
The insurance company may then use that lower value to pay you less money than you deserve on your claim.
3. The representative asks you to record your statement.
If the insurance representative asks to record your statement about the accident, always refuse. The representative may pressure you, stating that the recording is needed for “quality assurance” or to be able to proceed with the claim. This is false and is often a warning sign that the company may try to underpay you.
You are not required to give a recorded statement. If the insurance company asks for one, it may be trying to goad you into providing information that will justify a reduced payment, such as an offhand statement or admission of guilt.
4. The insurance company delays progress on your claim.
Is your insurance company taking an unreasonably long time to decide if your claim should be covered? This could be a sign of a potential denial of your claim or an underpayment. Delay tactics are common when it comes to insurance companies trying to protect their profits. If you have a hard time contacting your insurance agent, that is another sign the company is creating unreasonable delays.
A Car Accident Attorney Can Help
If you notice any of the above signs while working with your insurance company, contact a car accident attorney. They can help protect your interests, investigate any disputes, and represent you should your claim be denied.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.