1. That they’ll get you the biggest payout for your plan.
The insurance industry’s basic model is designed to maximize profits by minimizing payouts. Whether you have minimal or full coverage, their end goal is to pay as little as possible to accident victims, because that helps their own bottom line, not yours.
2. That their “in-network” mechanic is your only option.
Insurance companies bring these mechanics business straight to their doorstep, so there’s incentive to minimize costs for insurance companies, even if that means an insufficient diagnosis of the damage of your car, or inadequate work done to repair it. These mechanics will basically put a band-aid on your car, and make it look like it’s fixed, but there could be internal damage that you won’t see or know about until after you’ve settled your claim and have no recourse.
The insurance company’s “preferred” mechanic is not your only option. You can almost always go to your own choice of mechanic. You’ll need to know all your options – call us today if you’ve got questions.
3. That if you lied on your insurance application, they owe you nothing.
Lying about where you park your car or how many miles you commute to work when you first sign up is not an excuse for drastically inadequate compensation after an accident. If you fudged your numbers long ago, you may still be eligible for much more money than they offer up front. There are a whole bunch of factors that go into it, but the simple answer is that even if inaccurate information is on your original insurance application, in many cases the insurance company still must pay your claim, although they may be able to change the insurance premiums they charged based on the new, accurate information.
That said: never lie to an insurance company — not to your own, not to the other driver’s. In the end, every lie you tell them only benefits them, not you. Honesty is the best policy, and while insurance companies lie to their policy holders every day, lying to the insurance company is illegal.
4. That auto insurance covers only car damage and some medical bills.
Depending on policy limits, insurance companies sometimes have the ability to compensate you for other damages, such as pain and suffering, daily expenses, medical bills or overall changes to your lifestyle. Most insurers won’t tell you this, counting on your ignorance to shortchange you.
Don’t let them do this to you. You have a right to know what you’re entitled to, and you have a right to claim what you are owed.
5. That if you don’t accept their offer, you may get nothing at all.
You are free to decline their first offer and without prompting, they may not offer anything else. But if you are entitled to compensation, and they are not offering a fair and full settlement, then you may have to fight them to get what you are entitled to.
This is why we are here.
Don’t take a cheap settlement. Hire a car accident lawyer in Los Angeles to help you get what you deserve.
6. That your injuries are from a prior incident.
You may hear this excuse whether you ask or not; it’s common. But if you had a pre-existing injury or condition, and you get into an accident that aggravates that injury or condition, or makes it worse, you are still entitled to full compensation. This is called the “Glass Plaintiff” rule, and the insurance company must take the accident victim as you find him. It means that the frailty of the injured person is not a defense in the case against the insurance company.
Also remember: just like the insurance’s “in-network” mechanic, you don’t have to use their “in-network” doctor. If you don’t have a regular doctor you know and trust, contact us – we can recommend a doctor for you who won’t look for any excuse to blame the injuries on anything but your car accident.
And no matter what doctor you visit, make sure to do as your doctor says – when you disobey your doctor’s orders, it hurts your case.
7. That the police report taken at the time of the accident is the official story, period.
You may have reported to the police that your injuries didn’t seem severe, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t. It is very common for an accident victim to find out later that his injuries are much more serious than they seemed immediately after the accident — this is common, since an accident is a big shock and you may not be at your most alert. Moreover, soft tissue injuries such as whiplash and strained muscles often get much worse the next day after the accident.
Don’t let any insurance company bully you just because your “story” changed. It’s not a work of fiction that you were injured in a car crash, and the police report is not the be-all-end-all of a personal injury case. Also, police make mistakes all the time. We are all human.
8. Your injuries are not severe enough to warrant compensation.
Human suffering is the last thing anyone should negotiate money for. Medical bills are one thing, but overall quality of life is another. Insults on top of injury are absolutely unacceptable. If as a result of a car accident, your quality of life is adversely effected, the insurance company must compensate you for that.
9. That your claim is closed and can’t be reopened.
Insurance companies are swift with closing the books after a payment, but slow or uncooperative if your injuries or extensive car damage surface later on. What seemed like harmless, temporary back pain may later be discovered to be a serious spinal injury resulting from your crash, and the insurance company may still be responsible for coverage. This is why it is absolutely crucial to have a lawyer review anything you sign with the insurance company.
10. That lawyers are sharks and the insurance company is your friend.
It’s actually the other way around. Respectable personal injury attorneys don’t get paid unless they win your case, either by settlement or court victory. They fight hard to protect your rights, and to make sure the insurance company does not rip you off blind.
On the other hand, you have to pay your insurance premium whether or not your insurance does its job of protecting you financially.