When dealing with the insurance companies following an automobile accident you are rarely in good hands. Additionally, the insurance companies hardly act like a good neighbor. Putting all slogans aside, the insurance companies both yours and for the other vehicles involved are first and foremost businesses. Like most businesses, objective number one is watching their bottom line. In other words it is in their best interest to pay as little money as they can for your claims.
In Maryland, the rule of contributory negligence still looms large over claims following an automobile accident. Simply stated, if you are as little as 1% at fault for the accident or collision you can not recover for your injuries. Whenever any insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement, you should tell whoever is asking that you want to speak to a lawyer first. Rest assured, the insurance company will act friendly and comforting and will lead you to believe that they want to have an informal chat about how the accident occurred. However, the insurance adjusters who take these statements are trained in the art of asking vague or confusing questions that are designed to cast doubt on your version of the facts and could potentially lead to a determination that you contributed to the automobile accident. If you are not careful you could wind up costing yourself a chance at settling your case. To step back from the ledge a little bit, this is not to say that the insurance company will lie to deny your claim, but they will definitely not go out of their way to help you increase the value of your claim.
Sometimes you are lucky and there are other factors that can help corroborate your story, like an independent witness, video footage of the collision or a favorable police report. However, these factors do not always present themselves. In those instances the advice of an experienced lawyer will help you navigate the minefield of winning your case. Some of those situations are where the accident was a word vs word situation, for example where both people say they had a green light, instances where the police are never called, never arrive, or arrive but choose to not write a formal report. Those events happen more often than you think and when they do the insurance company has an easier opportunity to deny your claim. In order to even the playing field make sure you hire an experienced personal injury attorney before speaking with any insurance company about your car accident.
Another way the insurance attempt to gain the upper hand in car accident victims is to offer a small settlement immediately before the victim’s injuries are fully realized. Beware that if you accept these small initial settlements you are almost certainly giving up your rights to make a claim and be compensated for any injuries that may develop at a later date.
If you have been in an automobile accident in Laurel, Prince George’s County or any other place within the State of Maryland let the lawyers of Azari Law stand by your side and help you even the odds when battling the insurance companies.