How to Avoid Playing into Insurance Companies Hands

If you ever get hurt by someone else's fault, avoid playing into insurance companies' hands. Despite their promises in ads, they are interested in profits, not you. Avoid talking to the other party's insurance adjuster. When that adjuster calls, it will be good if you have already talked to a lawyer who should have advised you to say, "I'm represented by an attorney." At that point, the adjuster has an ethical obligation to discontinue the conversation. You can do other things, too, to avoid being taken advantage of by an insurance company after you've been hurt. The practical suggestions I'm about to give center around their common defenses.

First, get medical treatment right after the accident. A delay in treatment gives the insurer the opportunity to argue that if you had been hurt, you surely would have gotten it. Delay in treatment also gives the insurance company a chance to argue that between the accident and your first medical treatment you must have been injured by something other than the accident.

Second, it will try to defend by showing that you have had lengthy breaks in treatment for your injuries. That's because their lawyers can argue to the jury that if you weren't getting treatment, you weren't hurting. It's a logical and compelling argument. It's not true in many cases, because some people just don't have insurance to cover treatment they need. Nevertheless, you can avoid this common and misleading defense by going to your doctors as often as you need to and not letting the insurance companies use gaps in treatment against you.

Even if there's no insurance to cover the treatment, a good personal injury attorney can arrange for treatment until your case is settled and you have the money to pick up the cost of treatment yourself. In other words, don't play into the hands of insurance companies when there are ways to protect yourself.

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