Insurance Companies Are Not Your Friend: Beware of Giving Them Too Much Information After a Car Accident
Insurance can be a lifeline. If you are fortunate enough to have employer-provided health insurance, it has probably saved you more money than you realize. Likewise, if your house was damaged in a natural disaster, your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance probably softened the financial blow significantly. If you get injured in a car accident, though, car insurance companies are not your best hope, even though their adjusters might try to make you think they are. A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you in ways that even the best car insurance policy cannot.
How Insurance Companies Use Your Recorded Statements Against You
If you have been in a minor car accident before, you probably paid for your own car repairs, and then a month or more later, you got a check in the mail that reimbursed you for some of the money you spent on repairs and maybe even on renting a car while yours was in the shop. What happened during that month, and why did you get some money but not enough for a complete reimbursement? After the accident, your insurance company and the other driver’s collected as much information as they could about the accident, probably including recorded statements, and then they decided which driver was what percent at fault for the accident. South Carolina is a modified comparative negligence state, which means that you can get paid a settlement after a car accident, as long as it was less than half your fault. The amount of money you get is reduced based on the percentage of fault that belongs to you. If the accident was more than half your fault, you get nothing.
When insurance adjusters call you after an accident to get a recorded statement, they are really looking for ways to pay you less money. For example, they want you to say or imply that the accident was totally or partially your fault. They want you to say that your injuries are minor. They try to get you to contradict yourself so that you seem less credible. Your best protection against these underhanded tactics is not to talk to insurance adjusters at all. If they call you, have them call your car accident lawyer, who will answer their questions, or in some cases refuse to answer them, without damaging your case.
Medical Privacy: Don’t Let the Insurance Company Talk You Out of It
Insurance companies might even try to get your permission to access your medical records. You are under no obligation to give them permission. Car accidents do not cancel out medical privacy laws. The insurance company wants to find information in your medical records that will give them an excuse to pay you less, such as pre-existing conditions. If you file a lawsuit, they may even use your medical records to defame your character. If there is anything in your medical history that you don’t want people to know, the insurance company can use it against you if you give them access to your records.
Contact Us Today for Help
Car accident lawyers have your best interests in mind, but insurance companies do not. Contact The Stanley Law Group in Columbia, South Carolina or call (803)799-4700 for a free initial consultation.