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Dont Agree To That Settlement Too Soon
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Imagine if you had a car accident and a nicely dressed insurance adjuster makes a visit to see you within days of the accident to be sure you were not hurt. She offers you a check for $300 and gets a quick signature on the claim form that insures you were indeed unhurt and would like the medical claim from the accident closed. That seems like a pretty good gesture from the insurance you've had for many years doesn't it? Not so fast!

When you have an accident and you have full coverage with medical limits on it, whether it is a small fender bender or a roll-over accident, the insurance companies are on the move almost immediately. One of the first questions they will ask was if you were injured. Maybe you feel just beat up from the impact, or maybe you twisted your arm but decided it wasn't enough to seek medical attention.

So when the insurance adjuster comes out with a small check, maybe $300-500 and a form for you to fill out, that $300 seems pretty inviting, especially if the economy has had an impact on you and/or your family. You fill out the large form (with much of it in small print) that says you don't want to pursue any further compensation related to the accident. And since you weren't hurt you feel after the adjuster leaves, " I just got $300 and I'm not even hurt, how cool is that?!

Not so fast-again. The form you just filled out, even though it didn't exactly sound like it from the adjuster's words, has just taken any liability of any further medical claims on that accident off of the insurance company. And if that twisted arm becomes a broken bone or even life-long problem for you, you will not have the opportunity to ever submit another medical claim to them for that arm again. Well, I guess you could probably submit one, but you will get that ever so friendly letter with the word DENIED on it.

You see, the insurance company is out to protect themselves when an accident occurs, and that could even be an accident where someone hit you that didn't have car insurance. If that happens, the insurance company ends up paying the claims and they are the ones who go after the uninsured driver. And why is it that people don't have insurance? It's probably because they couldn't afford it, so the chances of the insurance company ever getting their money back that they paid out are not great, thus leaving them with the loss.

I know this because I was one of those that thought $300 sounded great after our roll-over accident in 2007. After getting fed up with the insurance company calling me what seemed like every day to close the medical claim part of the accident, I told them it was okay to go ahead and close it, send me the money and the form and then maybe they would quit calling me. And it worked, never got another call from the insurance company to see if I had any other medical issues. It wasn't until about 8 months later that the pain that started out as a minor tingling feeling, which I felt the day of the accident, changed into what may well be a lifelong chronic pain that I will endure for the rest of my life.

So when you have a car accident, even if you think that you're not really hurt beyond a few aches and pains, when the car insurance starts calling and offering you a few dollars to close the medical claim related to the accident, let me offer a few words of advice. Take your time, if you have any suspicion that something just isn't right with your body, don't allow the persistent insurance adjusters to get to you. If you do, and one day down the road the tiniest little pain you had when the accident first happened turns into something more than that, any and all medical bills you accrue will be your responsibility and not the insurance company's. It took a life changing story for me to learn this, I hope this helps someone resist the temptation of an inticing quick payment that looks so good when it is presented, and encourages you to hold off until you are positive that you really are completely healthy and uninjured before you decide to give in to the hasty insurance company.


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