When you’ve been injured in a car wreck, it’s only natural to be confused and scared. You’re hurt, and you still have bills to pay and losses to cover.
It can be a relief, then, to hear a friendly voice from the insurance agency on the other end of your phone. Frankly, when the insurance company calls, that’s what they’re counting on – because that makes it easier for them to mislead or outright lie to you.
What sort of lies do insurance companies try to pass off as facts? Here are some of the biggest:
“We will help you get everything you’re due.”
Here’s the reality: The insurance adjuster on the phone may sound like a lovely person, but they are paid to protect their employer’s interests. Their sole job is to limit their employer’s liabilities by chipping away at your claim wherever possible.
“We have to take a recorded statement.”
They want a recorded statement. Maybe their company policy is to get a recorded statement whenever possible – but you are under no obligation to give one. Insurance companies try to get you on record so they can pick through your words and take them out-of-context to devalue your claim. They know that people who are scared and in pain aren’t always thinking clearly.
“You can’t make a claim if you were also negligent.”
In West Virginia, you can still collect compensation for your losses as long as you were not more than 50% responsible for the wreck or your injuries. An insurance company may try, however, to make it sound like a minor mistake is enough to disqualify your entire claim.
“You can’t claim anything if you have a pre-existing condition.”
Insurance companies just wish this were true. Many people have pre-existing conditions that can be aggravated or worsened in a wreck – and that also deserves compensation, even if you are simply more fragile than some other people.
“This is the most we can offer.”
The odds are very high that the insurance company can, in fact, offer more. They want you to feel as if you’re lucky for getting anything, so they will make it sound like you’d better take their initial offer before it melts away.
When you’ve been in a wreck, don’t take the insurance company’s words at face value. Find your own sources of information and learn more about your legal options.