After any kind of accident, the last thing you want to do is fight your own insurance carrier. The old adage from our law firm is: YOUR insurance company will give you an umbrella and as soon as it rains they will snatch it away as fast as they can!
Besides the endless run around and delays, your own insurance company, and especially the third party’s insurance carrier, can make your life a living hell.
Please keep in mind that insurance companies are businesses and they are in it for profit above anything else.
They will do anything to reduce or deny your legitimate claim for the sake of making an even greater profit! You should question every word out of the claims adjuster’s mouth because they are not on your side, they are working for their own company!
Your goal, unlike theirs, is to fully and fairly recover all of your damages from YOUR accident including but not limited to medical bills, lost wages during your recovery period, pain and suffering, and any future losses.
In order to MAXIMIZE your damages, it is vitally important that you take the following actions/ advice to avoid the seven deadly sins that you can expect from the insurance industry to MINIMIZE your recovery and reward:
1. You must request in writing a written explanation from the insurance carrier for the following: You have a legal right to an accurate time line telling you when you need to submit billing or Med-Pay information. You also need to be alerted to the statute of limitations in order to bring your claim in a timely manner.
2. Organize and keep all of your files, records, and relevant paperwork in one binder. Later, you can hand this to your attorney. Your binder and relevant paperwork should include your original policy, your declarations page, any and all documents that you have signed. Always insist upon getting a copy of any paperwork that you have signed. Your paperwork should specify all of your benefits. Keep every piece of paper that your insurance company has sent to you. You also have a right to request any missing documents from the insurance carrier.
3. We recommend that you thoroughly review all documents that you receive from the carrier to determine whether your claim was legally denied and on what basis. We would be happy to look over vague or convoluted additions, amendments or addendums that appear to permit the insurance carrier to deny you coverage under certain circumstances. These may not apply.
4. Always be skeptical and confirm your signature and review any initials to determine whether they have been forged. Insurance carriers are well-known for being dishonest and downright deceitful. Therefore, you need to request copies of all of your documents which support their denial of your legitimate accident claim. Check to see whether the signature on these documents is really yours or someone else’s.
5. Every request that you make must be put into writing and you should keep copies of all receipts, especially if you send those as attachments to your carrier or to the adverse insurance carrier. Don’t allow the adjuster to call all the shots. If they are not responding to your written requests, then demand that they forward your written request to the carrier’s legal department and to the upper chain of command. Pretend that you are a pit bull, be persistent and be tenacious. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, but if you don’t want to pursue the matter for yourself, then hire us to help you reduce the stress and MAXIMIZE your compensation.
6. The insurance company is not permitted to legally deny your claim on the basis of you filing an error. Filling out paperwork incorrectly or omitting something minor is arbitrary and capricious and must be challenged to prevent a final denial of your claim. Sometimes a carrier will state that you filed the document prematurely or before some arbitrary deadline. Do not buy that false and misleading allegation! Instead, seriously consider hiring competent legal counsel to represent you.
7. Do not allow the insurance adjuster to record your statement over the phone or in person on how the accident occurred or how badly you were injured. The insurance adjuster will try to catch you off guard and possibly while you are under the influence of some prescribed pain medication that can put your memory at risk for no fault of your own—and that is only the beginning. We don’t allow our clients to speak to any third party insurance adjuster unless we are present. We also insist upon recording the interview ourselves and only after the carrier agrees that their transcripts from the recording will be supplied to our client without cost or delay.
Finally, one of the most important ways to avoid insurance carrier deceit and to ‘even the playing field’ is for you to hire a qualified personal injury plaintiff’s law firm to represent you from the onset. Insurance carriers will only take you seriously after you have elicited the assistance of a legal professional such as our law firm. Since our law firm does not charge for consultations, you have nothing to lose by calling us and so much to potentially gain.
At Fiumara & Milligan Law, PC since 1992 we have been helping accident victims make the most out of their insurance and that of the offending third party and thoroughly know the insurance claim process. We are familiar with the underhanded tactics that the insurance industry employs to deny or reduce your claims.
The best way to counteract these deceitful tactics is to contact us immediately. We know when to settle and/or pursue litigation in order to get you the maximum compensation that you deserve and are entitled to under the law.
Knowledge is power and our knowledge used to fight and protect your best interest will yield full and fair compensation that you deserve. We are here to help put your lives back together after a bad accident or incident.
For more information about your rights and legal options, please feel free to contact us at (707) 571-8600 in Santa Rosa or (415) 492-4507 in San Rafael.