Wells, Purcell & Kraatz

How Should Someone Deal With the Other Party’s Insurance?

Many people that contact a law firm have been in discussions with an insurance company or with the at fault party. The story we often hear is that the insurance person was nice and wanted to know about the doctors he or she saw. They always seem nice, but generally as time goes on, the person filing the claim will begin to realize that this person really wasn’t his or her friend.

When people call the firm we always ask whether or not they gave a statement and many times they don’t remember. Many times the statements are recorded without the permission of the injured party. We frequently encounter new clients that want the obligation of dealing with the insurance company put on someone else—us—and rightfully so. Dealing with the insurance company can be a frustrating experience if you don’t do it every day.

As our attorneys begin to develop the evidence in the case, the insurance company will send a statement from the client and many times those statements are taken by experienced adjusters. The statements often include comments that are negative for the case. For example, “I really didn’t hurt after the wreck,” or “I had problems with my back before.”

Those statements are the foundation of the defense to the claim by the insurance company and those negative facts are unassailable. Those facts are taken to be true simply because they were extracted from the claimant in conversations when a lawyer not involved.

Once our attorneys commit to a case and acquire evidence that the insurance company thinks minimizes the claim or paints our client to be a liar or a fraud, we work hard to fight this perception.

Typically, in these situations, we end up in litigation because many of the things the insurance company thinks are important in their defense of the claim early on aren’t even admissible later in court. It’s something that many times on smaller claims we will tell people to go ahead and give a statement on, even if we are not representing them because we know enough about the claim after meeting with them. In fact, we often tell people that depending on their case, they may not need a lawyer.

For example, if you went to the emergency room after an accident, saw your doctor, and you are fine, you can go ahead and deal with the insurance company directly. It is probably going to be a better outcome for you. That being said, it is a small category of cases where we recommend this. In fact, they are a minority of the cases that we deal with because the insurance companies will generally overreach. They will ask for a medical authorization that’s unlimited in scope and time. We have had clients that sign medical authorization at the request of the insurance company and the next thing you know the insurance company is getting records for treatments that don’t have anything to do with the wreck. This is another example of how the insurance company or corporations will overreach in claims process when they’re dealing with a claimant.

What Are Some Unintentional Mistakes That Are Detrimental To A Personal Injury Claim?

People often do not realize they are hurting their case by giving statements as indicated earlier, but they are. Another common unintentional act that many people commit is they will go to a doctor who is known to a friend or a family member that is not as qualified to address their specific issue.

Many times, people have friends or family members that had an injury claim and their lawyers send them to a doctor in the neighborhood. They go see the doctor in the neighborhood and they treat with them for far too long before they realize that they’re not going to be able to deal with the insurance company. Only then are they knocking on an attorney’s door.

For more information on Dealing with Insurance, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 335-5525 today.


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