If you’ve been involved in a serious Illinois truck accident, you’ll need to file a claim with your insurance company to obtain compensation for your damages. Most likely you are now facing lost wages, immediate or permanent disability, medical bills from the accident, and the potential for future medical needs.
An experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer will know the tricks that adjusters employ to help sway the claim in their favor.
Hiring the legal expertise of one of these skilled attorneys is your best chance at obtaining a higher settlement with less hassle.
Your Insurance Claims Adjuster
When you file a claim for an Illinois truck accident with your insurance company, your claim will be assigned a trained insurance claims adjuster. While this person will most likely come across as sympathetic and caring about your injuries and hardships, they are still an employee of their company. Their duty is to make it as easy as possible for their company to justify denying your claim or offering an extremely low settlement.
Insurance companies did not go into business to hand out money to their clients or their Illinois truck accident victims. They will often employ tricks and tactics designed to get their claimants to damage their cases and allow them to justify denials or low settlements. Remember that an insurance claims adjuster’s main goal is to decrease the amount of money their employer must pay out to your claim.It is in your best interest to run all correspondence with your claims adjuster through a trusted Chicago truck accident lawyer. Before making any statements, releasing any information, or accepting any settlement, let your lawyer advise you as to your best course of action.
Giving Statements to Your Insurance Adjuster
You should never give any statement, written or oral, to anyone concerning your accident without first getting your lawyer’s approval. Insurance claims adjusters are trained in coercing victims into making damaging remarks during recorded statements. They may prod you to give details about your injuries and lead you to make false statements about the severity of your medical needs.
In some cases, they attempt to get you to blame yourself for the Illinois truck accident, either by hurried questioning or slyly phrased questions intent on placing more blame on you than the other driver. There are many ways they manipulate conversations to try to either make you look like the driver most at fault, or to attempt to downplay the severity of your damage claims.
Continue reading to educate yourself regarding some of the other tactics insurance companies use to downplay your Illinois truck accident claim, including medical record releases and clauses in settlement letters.
Medical Record Releases and Property Damage Estimates
Two types of documents that can severely impact the amount of damages you are eligible to collect through your Illinois truck accident claim are medical records and property damage estimates. In many cases the truck drivers’ insurance company will ask you to sign a release to allow them access to your medical records. Insurance companies also employ their own property damage estimators.
The danger of releasing your medical records to the other insurance company is that if you do not have your Chicago truck accident lawyer review the release statement, you may be allowing them access to previous medical records unrelated to your Illinois truck accident.
For example, if you sustain a back injury as a result of your Illinois truck accident, and the insurance company has access to old medical records that show you had back surgery 5 years prior, they can potentially use this as evidence to deny or significantly reduce your claim.
Property damage estimates that come from an insurance company or a contracted company are often much lower than most independent estimates. Approving a property damage estimate too early in the claims process can leave victims with higher repair bills because they accepted a low offer. Victims are often desperate for financial assistance and will accept these initial offers just to get the ball rolling on their settlement.
Do not accept any sort of check or settlement letter from an insurance company until your Chicago truck accident lawyer can review it. Many of these early settlements include fine print that can prevent you from requesting further compensation for future medical treatment that may come to light.
Until you are cleared by your doctor that no further medical treatment is necessary for your injuries, or a detailed treatment plan including long-term medical expense estimates has been drawn up, you should wait on signing any settlement offers. There are many unknown factors in the future of your medical and personal needs that shouldn’t be neglected in an early settlement.Hiring a Chicago Truck Accident LawyerTo prevent unintentional damage to your Illinois truck accident claim, you should seek the help of an experienced Chicago truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. By allowing your lawyer to help you handle the paperwork, reporting, and development of your claim, you better the chances of obtaining a fair settlement.
A Chicago truck accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Barry G. Doyle, P.C. knows how to deal with both personal car insurance companies and the insurance companies serving the truck companies. Contact us today for a free case evaluation – 312-263-1080.