If you’ve been hurt in a car wreck, you’ve probably already been contacted by the defendant’s insurance company. Insurance companies have a plan to get you to settle your case for less than it’s worth, sometimes for FAR less. They start by contacting you early, and claiming they must have a recorded statement from you. That’s not true. If your own insurance company asks for a recorded statement, they MAY be entitled to that, but the defendant’s company is NOT. Your health insurance company is likewise not typically entitled to a recorded statement. If any insurance company asks you for a recorded statement, simply tell them you’d prefer not to be recorded, but you’ll talk to them about your claim. At any rate, you should always consult with a lawyer before answering any detailed questions about your injury. It’s fine to talk about the damage to your vehicle, and it’s fine to tell the company if you were hurt, and what parts of your body are bothering you. Getting more detailed about your injuries, however, can be a problem later on when the adjuster starts to argue about “well, you only said so-and-so the day after the wreck.” That’s one way they minimize your claim.
Another trick adjusters use is to tell you that they have to “close the file,” and that you need to settle your case before they do that. This is as close to an absolute lie as they typically get (sometimes they will lie as well, but this specific trick is quite common.) With most personal injury claims in North Carolina, you have three years from the date of the injury to settle your case or file a lawsuit. Wrongful death and workers’ compensation claims have shorter time periods. When the adjuster says they have to “close the file” they are only trying to get your case off their desk so it looks better to their supervisor. It has NOTHING to do with the law or your claim.
For clarification on timing, and to avoid these and other tricks playing by insurance companies and their adjusters, you should consult a lawyer you trust to discuss your claims. Here’s what our clients say about their decisions to consult the Miller Law Group. Our firm has over 50 years of combined experience with personal injury claims, from car wrecks to animal attacks to motorcycle and trucking collisions. Contact us today or call 919-348-4361 for a free consultation. We’re the Miller Law Group, and we’ve got your back.