The Florida Auto Insurance industry is an interesting business. It’s the only one that is supposed to be your safety net after an accident, yet its primary goal is to make money and pay out as little as possible. Sound like a conflict of interest? It is.
After an accident, victims are often hurt, worried, angry and even confused. The last thing they need at that moment is to be taken advantage of by an insurance company. What’s more, those first few days after an accident are critical for protecting your rights. They are a time to focus on recovering from injuries, NOT a time to speak to an insurance adjuster, even one from your own insurance company. In my more than 25 years of experience in personal injury law, I have seen every tactic the insurance companies use to protect their own interests. Here are a few things they don’t want you to know:
1. The insurance company is not really on your side. They will contact you immediately and appear sympathetic to your injuries, and they will likely offer to give you a check right away, before you’ve had time to seek treatment for your injuries. Don’t sign a thing! Remember, the claims adjusters and insurance company lawyers (even the ones working for your own policy, as in the case with uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage) get paid to give you as little compensation as possible.
2. You really DO need a lawyer when you’re hurt. Even studies done by the insurance industry have proven that accident victims who hire a lawyer get much higher settlements than those without legal representation. The insurance adjusters don’t want you to know this. That’s why they are often quick to cut you a check after your accident.
3. Your injuries may not be apparent for a few days after the accident. More times than I can count, I’ve seen people get into an accident and feel fine right away. But any doctor will tell you, injuries can show up days, even weeks after an accident.
4. The insurance company will use whatever tactics it can to delay your claim once they know you’ve retained legal representation. In some cases, they may change adjusters handling your case, which only slows the process and frustrates the accident victims.
Don’t take chances with your own health and well being. A car, truck, or motorcycle injury can take months or even years to recover from. It’s important that you focus on getting well, while your experienced attorney fights for your rights. The Insurance adjusters can’t possibly be on your side when they have high-powered lawyers protecting their interests and representing them. Only your attorney is really on your side.