One of the most common complaints consumers have regarding their insurance providers is that, even though they have faithfully paid their bills for months or years, when the chips are down, the insurance company gives them the runaround for months on end and then denies their claim.
Such behavior on the part of an insurance company can leave a bad taste in a policyholder’s mouth, especially when watching commercials on television in which the insurance agent is portrayed to be “a friend,” who wants to help following an accident. Insurance companies are businesses, and as such, they have a constant eye on their bottom lines. Their goal, of course, is to bring in significantly more money in insurance premiums than they have to payout for accident claims.
Why Insurance Claim Denial is So Effective
The standard practice is to deny claims until they can deny them no more. This method actually works in a fair percentage of accidents. People get tired of spending the amount of time necessary on the phone with the insurance company trying to get what is rightfully theirs. Eventually, they simply give up, pay their own medical bills, and never feel the same way again about their insurance provider.
More than one quarter of consumer complaints relate directly to the delays they encountered while waiting to hear about the resolution of a claim. A denial of the claim is the next most frequent consumer complaint, while the third stems from unsatisfactory claim amounts offered by the insurance company. There are certain things you can do which will give you a greater chance for settling your claim in a timely manner and receiving an offer that is not downright insulting.
Record-Keeping is Key
First and foremost, the records you keep following your accident are the single most important thing you can do in order to get your claim paid quickly and fairly. If you are able, once you have received medical attention, jot down anything you think might be important later on and even things you think might not be. Make a note of the weather at the time of your accident, draw a simple diagram of the accident scene, write down your version of how the accident occurred, get witness names, addresses, phone numbers, and statements, if you can, as well as all the standard demographic information from the other driver.
If you were injured, keep immaculate records of each and every doctor visit, medical procedure, prescription and non-prescription drug you required, as well as documenting every single time you had to take off from work in order to get medical treatment. You will be very glad you kept careful records down the road-much as we all think we will remember certain things, the truth is that, as time passes, we tend to forget the details which can make the difference between an equitable settlement and no settlement at all.
Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
While you may eventually end up in Court as a result of your auto accident, this should actually be your last resort since claims can linger in Court for many years, keeping you from receiving the benefits you desperately want and need. Hiring a personal injury attorney soon after your accident is a smart idea. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney with a solid background in auto accidents will know exactly how to deal with your insurance company – and let’s face it, insurance companies tend to take lawyers much more seriously than they take the average layperson.
Additionally, it is your attorney’s job to be persistent. You should be able to focus on getting better, healing your injuries, and putting your life back together without also worrying about how you will pay your medical expenses or pay your bills after you’ve been off from work for a considerable amount of time. A skilled personal injury attorney can not only seek reimbursement for your medical expenses and lost wages but can also work to get money for your pain and suffering, which is an important aspect of your claim. After all, your life could be changed forever due to the carelessness of another driver.
Don’t let your insurance company further compound your injury – let your lawyer advocate for your rights.
Contact Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto accident, the experienced Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., can help. Our team of lawyers consists of some of the best attorneys in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we will fight aggressively for you throughout the legal process.
The attorneys at McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., have more than 90 years of experience representing injured accident victims and their families across Philadelphia, Berks, Bucks, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lehigh, Luzerne, Montgomery, and Northampton Counties. We are also proud to serve injured accident victims throughout the State of New Jersey. Contact us today at 215-568-1510 (PA) or 856-380-3999 (NJ), or fill out our confidential contact form to learn more about your legal options.