McCoy & Hiestand Attorneys at Law

Interacting with insurance companies following a Bardstown car accident can often be confusing. Insurance companies may attempt to persuade individuals into making statements that may not necessarily be true, just to try to settle for the least amount of money possible. In order to avoid having a claim negatively impacted by the at-fault party’s insurance company following a car accident in Bardstown, it is important that a person contacts an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

An attorney can use their knowledge and experience from previous cases to ensure that a person is taking the proper steps in their case. Interacting with insurance companies after a car accident in Bardstown can be complicated, but an attorney can help a person make decisions that are in the best interest of their case.

Mistakes to Avoid

An individual will never want to speak to the insurance company without their attorney’s authorization. This is because the insurance adjusters are professional interviewers and they have a way of asking questions that assume facts that could incriminate the individual. They will often attempt to trick the individual they are talking with into admitting things that may not be true. For example, they will ask things like, “How are you feeling today?” And a lot of people just out of politeness will say, “I feel fine,” even though they may have ruptured a disk. However, the insurance company will most likely use that against them as some sort of an admission that the individual is not in fact not hurt.

Why These Mistakes Are Made

There are two reasons that people make the mistake of talking to the insurance company. The first is just general human nature. When someone is speaking to another person, they may feel like it is polite to talk back to them, and to answer their questions. Nobody will want to be perceived as rude. However, the insurance adjusters speaking to these individuals are not interested in politeness. There is no need to feel any sort of compulsion to be friendly with them.

The second reason people make this mistake is that sometimes people are still under the belief that insurance companies are there to help. Insurance companies will want to try to get to an individual as quickly as possible, so that they can make the individual an offer of a very small amount of money, hoping that it will be taken before the individual can realize the extent of their damages.

What To Do If Contacted By Insurance

The insurance companies have a very strong incentive to contact an individual early on in a case, to try and get the individual to settle for the smallest amount possible before it is understood how extensive the damages truly are. The insurance companies will usually contact these individuals by phone, by email, and even in person.

Something to be careful about, especially when an individual is dealing with damage to their vehicle, is not to discuss their current medical condition with an insurance adjuster, even though the individual will usually be prompted. It is crucial that this is all done with the assistance of an attorney, to ensure that the insurance companies do not harass the person involved and instead have to deal with an attorney.

Situations to Converse with the At-Fault Party’s Insurance

An individual may give a recorded statement to the insurance company when they have been unable to speak to their own insurance. For example, sometimes in a situation where the individual who is at fault also dies in the wreck, an individual may be permitted to speak to the other party’s insurance company. This is to establish that both the law enforcement officer and the other individual involved both view the case the same way. However, it is very important that an individual not do this without an attorney present.

Cashing a Check from the At-Fault Party’s Insurance

An individual will never want to cash a check given to them by an insurance company, and similarly they will never want to sign anything given to them by the other insurance company until they have spoken with their attorney about it.

The reason an individual does not want to do this is that a lot of the time, it will be considered what attorney’s call an accord and satisfaction. That means that an individual has settled their case. That may not be what an individual is intending to do, so they will want to make sure that their lawyer has an opportunity to look at the check to make sure that an individual is not in fact waiving their rights to continue with their property damage or bodily injury case.

Common Scenarios

Insurance companies may give an individual a check in two legitimate cases, and in one that is not legitimate. The two legitimate are, for example, to reimburse an individual for a rental car or to pay them for the damage done to their car so that it can get fixed. In both of those situations, although there may be nothing improper about the case, it is still good for an attorney to review the check.

This is because sometimes an insurance company will try to trick the individual, and write on a check “full and final settlement.” If an individual cashes a check thinking it is just for reimbursing a rental car, but it actually says full and final settlement, they may be releasing their entire claim before they even have an idea of whether or not they are hurt.

Benefits of an Attorney

An attorney can help an individual deal with an insurance company by sending them a letter of representation and, at that point, the insurance company is not allowed to contact the individual. The person involved is going to have a lot to deal with in terms of getting their body taken care of, making sure they are not in pain and that nothing is broken, and getting their car fixed. For that reason, it is important that an indvidual lets an attorney maintain contact with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

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MCCOY, HIESTAND & SMITH, PLC
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