Should you take a check from the at fault auto insurance company?
Don’t check a check from the auto insurance company for your trouble, lost wages, etc. However, do make sure you speak with an attorney before doing so. Why do you think they do this? They do this because some people, although hurt, would take money and deal with the pain. If you have never been to a doctor, how do you know the extent of your injuries?
The insurance company offers a settlement because they want you to take that check and cash it. Congratulations, you just settled your personal injury case without seeing a doctor. They do this for several reasons; the main one is to save money.
Evil insurance companies
The insurance companies are portrayed by one side as being evil. I don’t believe they are evil. I believe they have to weed out frivolous claims vs. real claims. The task for which to do that is very difficult.
They are also in the business of saving money. And you don’t save money by settling thousands of lawsuits in the millions of dollars. This is why they offer you money or a check right after you car accident.
The insurance company offering you a check is not a bad idea on their end. There viewpoint would be if you take the check and cash it, you must not be hurt. Some people are perfectly content with taking a check from the car insurance company after their accident. However, if you are hurt, this would not be wise.
But what if you are hurt? Should you still take a settlement?
Some people, not all think 500 extra bucks in their account is a lot of money, so they will endure the pain and take the money. However, what about injuries that my last longer or have not appeared. Make sure to see a doctor if you are hurt in auto accident or feel discomfort. It won’t kill you go get checked out by someone who treats auto accidents just to insure you are not injured. Don’t take any settlement from an insurance company until you get checked out by a doctor.
One reason you shouldn’t take a check from the insurance company right away is delayed injuries. These injuries may not be apparent right away. You need to visits a doctor to see if you have delayed injuries before you take any settlement from the auto insurance company.
Offering a check for your trouble
I have seen some clients that have been offered a check for there “trouble”. The problem is this, the way the wording is in the check and the document. It’s not just for your trouble, its settlement of personal injury.
Why you should not take a settlement check right after a car accident
Insurance companies don’t want you to see a doctor that specializes in auto injures. They don’t want you to find out what the extent of your injuries is. Offering quick settlements is one way they get out of paying large settlements. There are a lot of people who take these quick settlements days after the accident only to find out later that they have had a more serious condition that requires medical attention.
Once you take that settlement from the auto insurance company, you are on your own. You will have to pay for any medical expenses afterwards. Furthermore, some of those medical expenses can be quite expensive. In these types of instances, some people will not go to the doctor because they have to pay out of their own pocket for care. If your condition is serious and you took the settlement front he auto insurance company, you could be headed for long term pain
Issues can arise after the car accident and you not know about it. If you take a check from the auto insurance company you may feel fine. This goes back to delayed injuries. One week later you may start developing pain or discomfort. Because you took hat check from the auto insurance company, you are now responsible for paying medical. Long term issues because you never were treated could arise. It’s best not to take any insurance money until you see a doctor or speak with an attorney.
It’s very important to see a doctor after you have been involved in auto accident. This will determine if you need further medical care or you do not. Don’t wait for the pain to hit you 3 days after the accident.
Is it in the insurance company’s best interest to settle quickly?
You bet it is, once you settle, your personal injury case is over. The insurance company has an obligation to its shareholders to make money, how do you think they do this? One way is through premiums. People pay premiums to the insurance company and then they in turn pay out on claims.
Another way is through not paying on medical claims for injury. Soft tissue type injuries are very hard to prove, that’s why it’s so important to see an accident injury doctor right after your car wreck. The insurance companies want to settle cases quickly to save money.
Property damage claims are handled immediately in most cases. Most insurance companies offer lifetime repair on their work. One way they save money fixing your car is using aftermarket parts or junk yard parts. Is there anything wrong with this? Some insurance companies use aftermarket parts on a car that are over a certain age and mileage, this could be as little as 2 years.
Property damage claims are one way the auto insurance company saves money, the other is by offering you money for your claim. However, in some instances, they don’t word it in a way that makes you think you just settle your claim.
They may say, here is some money to help you get by. Or this is just for your lost wages. As an investigator for 20 years I have seen this only a couple of times. However, it is something to watch out for.
This is a value that is put on your car because it was damaged. It does not apply to vehicles that have been a total loss or over a certain age. If you have a car that is damaged and is within five years old, make sure you ask about diminished value. Diminished value could be as high as 10k on a brand new vehicle with high property damage.
Full and final settlement
If the car insurance company gives youa check for your “trouble” or for lost work. Make sure it does not say this is full and final settlement. Make sure you read everything on the check. If you take a check from the insurance company and put it in your bank or cash it and it states that, you just settled you personal injury case. Furthermore, i have seen a check like this. I went to see a client that wanted to hire us for representation. She stated the adjuster said it was for her missed work. I showed her the full and final settlement statement on it and told her it was good that she didn’t cash it or put it in the bank.
Is there anything wrong with the insurance company trying to save money?
Short answer is no. Insurance companies are a business. And these industries need to thrive because they employ thousands of people. Insurance companies try to offer a great product for a low price. The only way for consumers to get that low price is for the Insurance Company to offer low settlements, use aftermarket parts, and fix your car and body as cheaply as they can get away with. Arm yourself with the knowledge on how to deal with these good neighbors. Don’t assume the insurance company will give you what your injury case is worth. Be smart, go see the doctor first to document your injuries and get the settlement you deserve. Find one today in your area
Are you in good hands?
You give very valuable information here. Very complete. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks for pointing out that auto accident insurance can also deal with diminished values after an accident. I’d like to know more about how to find an auto accident insurance attorney because I want to help out a friend in sorting out the legal issues involved in an accident he was involved in. Hopefully, finding a good lawyer wouldn’t be so difficult for an accident like that.