Common Mistakes In Insurance Claims
Some accidents, like small fender benders for example, can be dealt with by the parties involved and be resolved within a few months if there are no complications. However, complication are part of life and can come out of several common mistakes made while dealing with car accidents, which then result in delays or denials. Common mistakes include:
Not calling the police. Many people simply don’t think to call the police. However, where there is no police, there is no formal investigation. The negligent party could deny fault after the fact and make it very difficult for you to prove your case. A formal investigation however, will record who was at fault, take down all necessary information and interview all involved parties.
Not getting witness information. Victims tend to forget to get contact information for the witnesses at the scene of the accident. If there is police presence and the witness is interviewed then this is not an issue; however, more often than not, witnesses only stop by long enough to make sure everyone is ok and then leave. Taking down the contact information would mean that there are others who can be contacted to collaborate your claim and would insure that the insurance adjuster cannot deny liability if applicable.
Giving statements without hiring a Los Angeles attorney. It is the insurance adjusters job to save the insurance company as much money as possible. This means that they will do whatever is necessary to not pay out your claim. Making an official statement to an adjuster without the guidance and protection of an attorney can lead you to saying something that the adjuster may construe to mean that you were not really injured or that you were the liable party.
Signing releases. At times the injured parties may sign a release thinking it means one think only to later realize that it is a general release that settles all claims. In such cases, a personal injury claim would no longer be viable. Do not sign anything before consulting with a lawyer.
Delaying getting medical treatment. There are many reasons someone may delay getting medical treatments. However, if you do not get treatment, an insurance adjuster may argue that you were not really injured at all to begin with or are much less severe that you claimed, and either deny you coverage or lessen the amount due. Do not delay medical treatment.
Delaying fixing the property damage. It is important to fix whatever property damage there is before you accept a check from the insurance company. At times, the check will be far less than what fixing the damage will really cost. Insurance adjusters hope that you will delay in fixing the damage so they can get away with giving you less money.
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Sharona Eslamboly Hakim, Esq. is a successful personal injury attorney and the principal of the Law Offices of Eslamboly Hakim firm in Beverly Hills, California.