Personal Injury Claim:
Personal injury claims are treated very differently than property damage claims. One of the first things the adjuster will request is a recorded statement. The insurance company will want to know background information about you, how the accident happened, and what injuries you have from the accident. They will sometimes also ask about any pre-existing conditions, which are prior health problems you have had to the same areas of the body you are complaining of being caused by the accident.
It is often preferred by attorneys to be present when an individual provides a recorded statement to an insurance company. This way, the attorney can get you prepared for the statement beforehand, make sure you are clear about what happened, and make sure you are accurately responding to the question being asked during the interview.
Most individuals are contacted by the other driver’s insurance company before they contact and hire an attorney. Thus, it is always important to be as short as possible when answering the adjuster’s questions. Be honest of course, but also be careful about how you word your answers. Sometimes, people can mistakenly answer or describe something. The insurance companies put a lot of stock in the answers provided in a recorded statement. If you do not have an attorney at the time you give a recorded statement, be smart and use your common sense.
Authorization to Get Medical Bills and Records
The insurance company will also ask you to sign papers to allow them to gain access to your medical bills and records and even talk to your healthcare providers. If you sign these documents, you are allowing the insurance companies to potentially have access to all of your healthcare history, which is very personal and could be detrimental to your case.
The insurance company will request forms allowing them to contact your employer for wage information and potentially obtain your personnel file, which again contains personal and private information. There are other documents the insurance company may want you to sign as well. You need to consider this very carefully. If I represent someone, I simply put those documents aside and tell the insurance company we will provide medical bills and records after you have reached maximum medical improvement and when we are ready to discuss settlement. The same thing applies to wages and any other documentation the insurance company may want to obtain.
Hiring an Attorney
Hiring an attorney results in the insurance company representatives can no longer talk to you. They may only communicate with your lawyer. This takes the stress off of you and allows you to focus on healing and getting your life back on track.
When hiring the best personal injury attorney for you, look for someone who primarily practices in this area, has several years of experience, and is someone you are comfortable with and is more readily available to you because this process can take several years depending on how long it takes you to recover from your injuries. It is a good idea to hire a top lawyer that is as attentive to your case as you are to help ensure the best outcome for your case.
A lot goes into resolving a claim after an accident. Ultimately, you make the decision as to whether you want to handle every aspect involved or hire a competent attorney to do so.