If you or somebody you care about has been involved in a vehicle accident caused by another driver, you should be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, property damage losses, lost wages, and more. However, insurance carriers focus on profit, which means they want to pay as little as possible for any claim you make. Here, we want to examine five tactics that insurance carriers can use to devalue car accident claims in Colorado.
Right after a vehicle accident occurs, it is likely that you will get calls from various insurance carriers. You should report the crash to your personal insurance carrier as soon as possible, but you also need to expect that the at-fault driver’s insurance carrier will call you.
This may seem innocuous, but they are going to call very soon after the incident in order to throw you off guard and ask questions before you even really know all the answers. At this point, you may not even know the full extent of your injuries, but if you say something along the lines of “I don’t think I have been injured too badly” and then discover that you have a substantial internal injury, this simple statement could jeopardize your claim.
You do not need to speak to the insurance carrier to make any kind of statement in the immediate aftermath of a vehicle accident other than to let them know that the incident occurred.
Insurance carriers are going to ask you to give a recorded statement, but we want you to know that this is not required under Colorado law. The reason insurance carriers want you to give this recorded statement is to try to catch you saying something contradictory to prior statements or statements that you will make about the vehicle accident moving forward. We encourage you never to agree to give a recorded statement to the insurance claims adjusters.
It seems innocent enough to ask you for your medical records after a vehicle accident, particularly if you have made an injury claim. However, you need to be very careful about what type of records the insurance carriers receive.
Often, insurance claims adjusters will send over blanket medical record authorization forms that allow them to obtain all of your medical records from health care providers, even records from before the incident. Unfortunately, insurance carriers could use any prior injuries you have sustained against you by saying that these previous injuries are the cause of your pain and suffering and not the vehicle accident.
When you agree to give medical records to the insurance carrier, you need to make sure that it is only for the records pertaining to the injuries sustained in the vehicle accident.
Insurance carriers are very keen on offering quick settlements. Remember when we mentioned above that the insurance carriers call right away? Well, this is another tactic to try and settle the claim before you really know the full extent of your injuries or property damage. Insurance carriers bank on the fact that individuals want the money now, but quick settlement offers are typically far below what you should actually be receiving for your incident.
It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to try and either outright deny the liability of their policyholder or try and shift some of the liability onto you. We encourage you to work with a skilled attorney who can push back on these allegations. Additionally, even if you were partially at fault, you may still be able to recover compensation for your losses.
Call us today to speak with a Denver car accident lawyer.