If you have been injured in an accident in Kentucky, one of the many obstacles that you will face is wondering if your insurance is really on your side. Insurance companies all advertise that they are on your side. You cannot turn on the television without seeing a commercial about an insurance company. You may be familiar with these tag lines: “You are in good hands with …”, “…is on your side” or “like a good neighbor…is there.” Are they really on your side?
At the end of the day, all accident victims need to remember that all insurance companies, including their own, are businesses. They want to make money. You have a contract with your insurance company. The contract is your insurance policy. Your policy states what the insurance company will pay for an automobile accident. There is no gray area. If it is listed in the policy, then your insurance company will pay. If it is not listed, they will not pay. An important fact to remember is if there is a reason not to pay, the insurance company will do everything they can to take advantage of that reason.
The insurance adjusters have a job to do, too. They take your statement, contact witnesses and look at medical records, so they can decide what your case is worth. They are looking for anything that will alter the value of your case. An example of what could make the value of your case go down is if you said that you weren’t hurt, or if your spouse said that you looked okay to them. Is there reference to old injuries in your medical records that you didn’t tell your current doctors? These are what they are looking for after your accident. Be careful.
The adjuster is friendly to you because this is the best way for them to obtain information from you. This information will could allow them to lower what they will ultimately pay out. The insurance company uses the philosophy that we speak more freely with people that we like. However, the information they gather may not be favorable to you or your case.
What you should be aware of when it comes to insurance companies
As an accident victim, you need to be aware that the insurance adjuster will attempt to contact you almost immediately following your accident. This is while you are still hurt, on pain medication, in a vulnerable position and, many times, in need of money. They will try to get information from you that will help them defeat or devalue your claim. They will also try to discourage you from contacting and hiring an attorney. Some of the things they will tell you are:
- The attorney will take your entire settlement.
- The insurance company will not settle with you if you hire an attorney.
- The offer made will be taken away as soon as you hire an attorney
- They are your friend. You don't need to hire an attorney.
Again, be careful. As an attorney that has represented accident victims in Kentucky for over 20 years, it is my goal to try and level the playing field for accident victims of Kentucky. That way, you will know what to expect during your case.