When you are injured in an accident and are bringing a claim seeking damages, it is very possible that the other party will let their insurance company seek a settlement. As a result, the other party's insurance company, and their attorneys, may try and contact you. This cannot be stressed enough – do not talk with them without your lawyer. If the other side's insurance company contacts you, immediately inform them that you have legal representation for the matter. From then on they are barred from contacting you directly as they are legally obligated to go through your attorney.
Insurance Company Attorneys in Maryland Personal Injury Cases
For the most part, you are not legally obligated to cooperate with the other side's insurance company. However, there is little doubt that the other side's insurance company will attempt to contact you and when they do, they will likely try to obtain a statement from you about how the accident occurred and any resulting injuries. In addition, an injury from an accident may get worse over time. Therefore, your medical condition may not be fully diagnosed or even known at the time the other side's insurance company requests to speak with you. One of the reasons adjusters may try to contact early on in the case is so they can set a reserve value which they believe the case is worth. Talking at such an early stage may prevent a larger settlement since the insurance company may think that a later reported worsening of the injury is a ploy or exaggeration.
While you may feel that you were not at all at fault for your injury and have nothing to hide, talking with the other side's insurance company will do more harm than good and could end up seriously damaging your case simply because you said too much to an insurance adjuster. This is because the adjuster is looking for anything and everything to use against you so to mitigate the amount of money they will have to pay out since it is their job to save money for the insurance company. The person who contacts you may even seem nice and helpful, but the truth behind the matter is that they are looking for holes in your case that they can exploit down the line.
It is important to note that there is a difference between notifying the insurance company and entering into discussions with the insurance company. Typically, both yours and the other insurance company should be notified of the accident so to get the claims process started. However, there is nothing wrong with asking your attorney to help you with this process just to make certain that you are as protected as possible. Let your attorney know that you do not want to settle quickly and that you want to maximize your potential settlement amount. If your attorney disagrees with you, you may consider seeking a second opinion from other attorneys.
To reach their goal, insurance companies will often make a very low settlement offer at the outset of conversations with you and your attorney. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for the injured party to agree to a low settlement because they are in dire need of the funds for medical treatment or for lost wages which can quickly lead them and their families to financial ruin down the line. Thus, it is important to avoid a quick cash grab as much as possible in order to wait to determine your actual medical bills, lost income, injury, and any other potential expenses that resulted from the accident.
Once your claim progresses, the other side's insurance company will likely want to take your recorded statement. Do not do this without consulting with your attorney. The recorded statement can be quite damaging for a number of reasons since it is taken with the intent of undermining your legitimate claim.
Finally, make certain to not sign any releases or waivers of any kind until you consult your attorney. Any form that an insurance company will ask you to sign is technically a legal document that is hard to understand and can put you in a worse position. If you or someone you love has been injured and you're being contacted by an insurance company's lawyer, contact the team at Gilman & Bedigian. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will ensure that you don't have to deal with any unnecessary stress related to your claim, so that your time and energy can be focused on healing and moving forward with your life.