Insurance companies, whether your own insurer or the insurer of a third party, want to settle your personal injury claim for as little money as possible. If you’re filing a personal injury claim with an insurer in Kentucky, make sure you understand what you’re in for—and consider hiring a lawyer to help you avoid common pitfalls.
Below are five important things to know before you set off navigating the insurance claims process:
Giving a recorded statement to an insurer could impact your ultimate recovery negatively
Appearing without an experienced Kentucky attorney to give a recorded statement means you’re bound to the statements you make—including statements you may think are innocuous but actually sound like admissions of liability. Exercise caution when giving a recorded statement to an insurer, and, if possible, speak with a lawyer before speaking to an insurer.
Not conducting your own investigation leaves you at the mercy of the insurance company’s factual findings
It can be difficult to contest a bad set of facts as presented by an insurance company either during negotiations or at trial if you can’t present equally convincing facts that support your own arguments. If only one party in a two-sided negotiation has conducted a factual investigation, and it isn’t you, you could be at a serious disadvantage.
Demanding too little or too much can affect your final recovery negatively
If you make too small a demand when first negotiating with an insurance company, you could get stuck with a paltry recovery. If you demand too much, you might be showing the insurers that you are inexperienced, as you don’t understand how to value your claims. Either way, improper valuation of claims can lead to a smaller settlement.
Settling a claim without knowing the full extent of your injuries can bar you from recovering in the future on those injuries
Once you’ve signed a settlement agreement with an insurer, it’s probable that the agreement will include a release of future claims based on that accident. Don’t release your right to sue in the future without making certain that you’re being compensated for all of your injuries related to that event, as physical injuries and complications can often surface many months after the initial injury.
Without Having it in Writing, Don’t Rely on an Admission of Liability
When starting the negotiation process with your insurer, the adjuster might try to get you to let down your guard by assuring you that the party that the insurer represents is liable for your damages. However, unless the insurer goes on the record, either by putting the admission of liability in writing or in a recording, do not rely on this admission. Continue preparing your case and gathering facts to support your side.
Don’t Go It Alone
Insurance companies are staffed with experienced adjusters who do nothing but investigate accidents and settle claims all day long. Pitting yourself against these professionals puts you at an immediate disadvantage from the very start. Instead, get a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney on your side who won’t let you get taken advantage of in the insurance claims process. In Lexington and Fayette County, call Todd W. Burris at (859) 252-2222 for a free consultation.
NEXT MONTH: But that’s not all! More Essential Things to Know About Personal Injury Insurance Claims in Kentucky