If you were injured in an accident in Missouri or Kansas, it won’t take long for the insurance company of the at-fault party to start calling you. Their persistent calls can sometimes feel like they are harassing you. They may want a recorded statement, to ask you about your injuries, to get you to sign their medical release. They may even try to push you to settle your claim before you are finished treating.
Just remember, the insurance company for the at-fault party is not your friend. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible or to deny your claim altogether. That’s why it’s important to call us before you talk to the adjuster, sign any forms or agree to anything. Our experienced accident attorney will provide a free consultation and strategy on how to help you move forward. Call us today at 816-203-0143.
Insurance Company Harassment After Accidents in Missouri or Kansas
Insurance companies have many tactics to reduce or deny claims. Keeping with up and avoiding common pitfalls can be challenging, which is why you need our Kansas City personal injury attorney on your side. Here are the top four (4) tricks they use to protect their profit margins:
1. They Send You a Blanket Release for (Unrelated) Medical Records
The insurance company may send you a release form asking permission to view your medical records. While they have a right to view the medical records related to your injuries, such as doctor visits, test results, and other information, they do not need your entire medical history and all your unrelated medical records.
For this reason, you should not sign any forms requesting medical records provided to you by the insurance company without first speaking with an attorney. Here are some ways the insurer will use these overly broad medical releases to discount or deny your injury claim:
- request records on unrelated pre-existing medical conditions
- use unrelated records to argue the accident did not cause your injuries
- cherry-pick medical records that suggest your injuries aren't severe
- try to deny payment for medications associated with the accident
To avoid these tactics, you should consult with our experienced accident attorney before signing any release provided by insurance company. Our attorney can help by obtaining and reviewing medical records and bills on your behalf and can discuss any potential issues with you before involving the insurance company. Don’t let this simple mistake reduce your chances of recovering your full compensation.
2. They Require a Recorded Statement
One of the most common reasons the insurance company is calling you after a crash is to obtain your recorded statement. However, just because they are harassing you for a recorded statement, does not mean you should comply. In general, you have no obligation to speak to or record a statement with the insurance company pursuant to Missouri or Kansas law. Certainly, you have the right to postpone the conversation until you speak to our personal injury attorney for guidance.
The insurance company is pressuring you to give a recorded statement so they can get more information. They will ask for your name, address, social security number, and date of birth along with the accident details. This includes how the accident occurred, type of injuries you suffered whether it’s neck, back and spine injuries, broken bones, burn injuries, and other personal injuries. And after treatment, how your treatment concluded and your current physical status.
While the questions may appear innocent, be careful-- answering them can work against you. Insurance companies often use the information to minimize the value of your claim and offer a lower settlement and even deny the claim altogether. For this reason, you should not give a recorded statement to the insurance adjuster without an attorney. Our Kansas City personal injury attorney can help you through this and make sure you understand what information to give, and why.
3. They Ask You to Sign a Release of Your Claim
When someone signs a claim release, they agree to give up certain rights. This is also called a waiver and is a legally binding contract. If you sign a release of claim, you typically won’t be able to obtain further compensation in the future, even if you experience additional medical issues. A release can act as a permanent waiver of rights, meaning you no longer have the right to assert a claim against the negligent party.
If the at-fault party's insurance company asks you to sign a claim release, you need to contact our personal injury attorney in Kansas City at 816-203-0143. Our accident attorney will help you understand what you are releasing and whether the compensation offered covers the full scope of your damages, including:
- Your past medical bills;
- Your future medical bills, if medical treatment in the future is needed;
- Your lost wages and earnings capacity;
- Your pain and suffering and emotional anguish; and
- Your permanent impairments, if any.
Some accident victims sign claim release forms only to discover other injuries manifested later. If you sign the release, you will be responsible – not the insurance company – for any excess damages in terms of your future medical bills, lost earning capacity, and lost wages.
4. They Send You a Low-Ball Settlement Offer
It’s an unfortunate truth, most insurance companies aren't interested in your well-being. They are businesses that want to offer you a quick low-ball settlement to save money. In most cases, the insurance company wants to settle before you realize the extent of your injuries or damage you incurred from the accident.
Some injuries take time to diagnose and treat. A concussion or spinal injury are injuries that can be slow to reveal themselves. If you accept a law-ball settlement, you will be financially responsible to pay for future treatment. Once you accept the settlement, you release the insurance company from any future liability.
Additionally, the insurance company wants you to accept a settlement before you consult with and get legal advice from our experienced accident attorney. They know our lawyer will understand the settlement offer is less than what you deserve. Never accept the initial settlement! Call our office today for legal advice and to know the way forward. We’re here to help.
Our Kansas City Accident Attorney Is On Your Side
If you are wondering why these insurance companies are harassing you after a crash, the reason is they are trying to get information they can use against you to pay less compensation or deny your claim altogether. This is why we are here for you. Our car accident attorney in Kansas City will help you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Call us today at 816-203-0143 or through our website contact form or chat for a free consultation. You can also instantly download a free copy of our helpful guide Crash Course: An Insider's Guide to Accidents in Missouri & Kansas. This guide is packed with tips and the steps to take after an accident, including the 9 mistakes to avoid that can wreck your injury claim. We’re here to help, and on your side!