Inside the Insurance Companies – Part 2
This blog post is part two in a four-part series designed to help you understand the inner workings of how insurance companies handle a claim filed after an auto accident.
Now that you have established a claim with the insurance company, you will likely be overwhelmed with requests from the adjuster. Here are some tactics insurance companies use to stall and complicate the claims process and deny your rights:
- Request for a Written Medical Release—most insurance companies want access to all of your medical records and gain permission to speak with your doctors. If you sign a blank medical release or authorization, you are giving the insurance company complete access to all of your medical records from any time in your life. This is an invasion of your privacy. During the claims process, you will need to produce accident-related medical records, but never sign a blank medical release.
- Discounting Your Injuries—too many adjusters describe serious injuries as “soft tissue injuries” or discount treatment by chiropractors. Even if you have no broken bones, you may have very serious injuries that require medical care, or even surgery. Soft tissue injuries can cause great pain, and chiropractors can be very skilled in treating injuries. Never let an adjuster talk you into thinking your injuries are not serious or do not require treatment.
- Attempt to Schedule a Medical Exam—when insurance companies dispute the extent of your injuries, the adjuster may try to persuade you to see one of their pre-selected doctors. You should choose your own doctor and obtain quality medical care—and never rely on an insurance company to pick your doctor.
- Refusal to Disclose Policy Limits—in Texas, insurance companies are not required to disclose their policy limits unless a lawsuit is filed. You are blindly negotiating your claim in the dark when you have no idea how much coverage is available to pay your damages. Experienced attorneys can obtain policy limits information in a lawsuit and often can persuade adjusters to disclose policy limits without filing suit.
If you or anyone you know has been involved in an auto accident, contact a board certified personal injury attorney to evaluate your potential claim.
Visit our website next week for part three of the Inside the Insurance Companies series.