Wednesday, February 8, 2017

How Recorded Statements Can Hurt Your Insurance Claim

How Recorded Statements Can Hurt Your Insurance Claim

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How Recorded Statements Can Hurt Your Insurance Claim
AOE 2 CARS How Recorded Statements Can Hurt Your Insurance Claim

If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision, you and the other parties involved may elect to settle the matter privately or seek compensation through an insurance provider. In the latter case, you are likely to speak with either your insurance company or another party’s insurer regardless of who is at fault in the collision. While it may seem to be a necessary step of filing, corroborating, or defending against a claim, making recorded statements to an insurance company can be hazardous to your case for several reasons.

1. Your statement may include admissions of fault. Most states do not use a no-fault system of automobile insurance. In such states, the party who is at fault or his or her insurer will compensate the other parties involved for their damages. When a claim is filed, the insurer will analyze each party’s statements and review any documentation provided by the parties such as police reports or damage estimates to determine which party was at fault in the collision. Prior to making any type of statement to either the other party or their insurance company you should consult with an attorney.

The website of a Pasadena personal injury law firm states “You must not discuss the facts of the accident with the other party. You must not give any written or recorded statements to the adverse party’s insurance company.”  If you do not believe that you were at fault for the collision, your statements may inadvertently say otherwise. Insurers will assign you a percentage of the fault and a jury will do the same in the event that litigation arises; in both cases, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage to which you are at fault.

2. Your statement may indicate that you did not correctly perceive the circumstances surrounding the accident. Victims often report limited recollection of the incident after a traumatic event. In many cases, there will be gaps in your knowledge that you may subconsciously fill with reasonable inferences, which may or may not be correct. If you incorrectly describe the roadway surface, the prevailing traffic conditions, or your actions immediately prior to the incident and if there is evidence that your statements are not correct, your credibility will be limited. Since many automobile accidents often boil down to two parties with contradictory statements, your chances of recovering damages will be compromised.

3. Your statement may omit certain damages. One of the first things that your insurance provider will ask you after a collision is whether you were injured. If you were not injured, answering in the negative is the only correct response. However, latent injuries are common after automobile accidents, as are normal aches and pains; the latter ordinarily resolves after a few days while the former can affect you for the rest of your life. Identifying whether a specific malady is a cause for concern is a job for medical professionals. Writing off your injuries as immaterial may come back to haunt you if your injuries later worsen. If you did not undergo an examination from a physician who gave you a clean bill of health, do not affirmatively state that you were not injured.

4. Your statement may contradict earlier or subsequent statements. One of the quickest ways to undermine your credibility as an accident victim is to change your story. If you made a statement to the police that could be construed as admitting fault but later deny any wrongdoing or if you provide different explanations to different people who are interviewed by the insurer, your account of the incident will be less credible than other accounts. Spontaneous statements at the scene or other claims made in private discussions with the other parties may contain inaccuracies that may be used against you.

5. Your statement may indicate that damages occurred under circumstances excluded by your policy. Most insurance policies carry a large list of exclusions and only cover damage that occurs in certain circumstances. Damage from wind, fire, vandalism, and animals is usually covered under a comprehensive policy, but many policies exclude specific events. If the damage to your vehicle did not occur as a result of a collision between two motor vehicles and if the damage arose as a result of a combination of factors, such as a wind and water damage, coverage may be denied.

Most insurers will require a statement from you and for that statement to be on the record. Even if the statement itself is not recorded, your answers to the insurer’s questions will be logged. Fortunately, there are alternatives to providing an insurer with a recorded statement at the outset of a claim. Using legal counsel as a buffer between you and your insurer is one way to skirt the issue.

A personal injury attorney experienced in handling accident claims will know how to handle negotiations with the insurance company. Even if the attorney is unwilling to handle the matter for you, consulting with an attorney allows you to explore your rights under the law and he or she analyze any statements that you intend to make before you say something that will harm you later.

Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer who frequently researches car accident claims. While researching information for this article she used an online search for Pasadena personal injury law firm which provided many valuable resources.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/8273925000/

 



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Holiday Crash While on Vacation? 4 Things You Should Know

Holiday Crash While on Vacation? 4 Things You Should Know

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5232864614 0690efa011 n 300x197 Holiday Crash While on Vacation? 4 Things You Should Know
Holiday Crash While on Vacation ? 4 Things You Should Know

Taking a vacation during the holidays is a great way to get away from your everyday life. However, it is important to remember that accidents and other unfortunate events can happen no matter where you go so it is always best to be prepared. Because of this, it is imperative to take steps to help protect yourself if you are involved in a traffic incident.

Additionally, you can reduce your risk of being involved in this scenario by becoming familiar with all of the road laws that your destination observes, which may be different from your hometown.In the case of an accident, here are some things to be aware of:

1) Contact a Local Accident Attorney – No matter where you are from, it will be necessary to utilize a local attorney if you are interested in filing a lawsuit against the responsible party. For example, if you are on vacation in Miami when a drunk driver crashes into your vehicle, you will have the right to take legal action against the responsible individual.

In that case, any number of Miami car accident lawyers could assist you and help to settle the matter accordingly. This will help you recover your vehicle expenses and any applicable medical bills. Unfortunately, your lawsuit will need to be filed in the area where the accident occurred.

In other words, you will not be able to take legal action remotely, but you will have the opportunity to help a local attorney build a case for you without being present until your court date.

2) Make Sure You Have the Proper Insurance Protection – If you are driving a rental vehicle, you will need to ensure that you acquire the proper amount of insurance to legally protect you in the event of an accident if your current policy does not cover rental cars. Additionally, individuals who do not have their own vehicle will need to disclose this fact to the rental agent so that they are offered the proper insurance policy for the specific area where they will be driving.

3) Always be Prepared for a Traffic Accident – The best way to deal with a traffic accident is to be prepared for it in advance. In other words, you should always have your driver’s license, insurance and proof of registration easily accessible.

Additionally, it is a good idea to take notes immediately after an accident, and you should also attempt to take photographs of the incident scene. Therefore, you will need to have the necessary supplies with you at all times.

4) Don’t Allow Yourself to be Intimidated – In some cases, tourists end up believing that they are at fault even if they were not. Because of this, you need to make sure that you do not let your unfamiliarity with the area of the accident cause you to take the blame when you did not actually do anything wrong. Instead, you should leave it up to the responding police officer to determine who was at fault.

As long as you follow these guidelines, you should be well-equipped to deal with an accident while you are on vacation. Remember, it is imperative to contact local law enforcement and to let your insurance agency know about the accident as soon as possible. Additionally, if you are considering taking legal action, it is a good idea to look into your local options before you leave town.

 Jamica Bell is a blogger and avid traveler. As she prepares for holiday travel, safety tips are definitely something that is on her mind. During her research, she found a host of Miami car accident lawyers that provided great resources for tourist during the holiday season.


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Simplify Your Search For An Accident Attorney By Asking The Right Questions

Simplify Your Search For An Accident Attorney By Asking The Right Questions

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Simplify Your Search for an Accident Attorney by Asking the Right Questions

ACCIDENT CAR Simplify Your Search For An Accident Attorney By Asking The Right Questions

Selecting an attorney should be done carefully and with diligence. You should devote as much time to selecting the right attorney for your case as you would the right specialist for your medical care. Like one car accident attorney in Atlanta, most offer a free consultation so that you can ask the right questions. You will want to choose a lawyer that has experience in the field that you need representation. There are also several other qualifications that you should verify before hiring an attorney. Knowing what questions to ask when you are interviewing attorneys will help you make the right selection.

Asking The Right Questions

1. Do You Have Experience In This Type Of Case? You want to make sure your attorney has had previous cases in is area of law. A lawyer that handles DUI defense may not have the knowledge and experience to resent someone in a car accident injury case.

2. Can Your Law Firm Handle The Case? While this may seem a little rude, you want to make sure that the firm is capable of accepting your case. Some firms overburden themselves and then none of their clients receive quality representation. If the attorney is working as the attorney, receptionist and errand runner, they may not be able to provide you with quality service.

3. Do You Go To Trial? Some law firms or attorneys do not like to go to trial. They will only accept cases that they know that they can win an out-of-Court settlement with and will not go to Court to defend their clients. While your case may not require a trial, you want to make sure that the firm is willing to go to trial if necessary.

4. What Should You Expect? It is very important to ask this question. Your attorney should be able to give you a timeline of the events that will take place during your case. They should explain to you how the compensation process works and what you should expect at each phase. They should also explain how payment for services and any other charges works at this time.

5. What Is Your Success Rate? Even if your attorney is fairly new to the firm, you should be able to see what the overall success rate of the firm is with handling your type of claim. This is important. The firm may be ultra-successful with some types of cases while performing poorly for other types. You need to know if they are successful with the types of cases that are similar to yours.

Sadly, many people perform more research on the type of television they wish to purchase than the attorney they are going to use to represent their injury claim. You need to make sure that your lawyer is one who is not only familiar with this type of case; they are also successful at these types of proceedings. Taking the time to research a firm and ask the right questions will be most beneficial to your case.

Car accidents are stressful, not only physically but mentally, as writer Melanie Fleury can attest to. If you feel that you have a case that needs representation, finding an attorney that will work for you is very important. Her research found that Stokes & Kopitsky, P.A., a car accident attorney in Atlanta, consults with clients for free and doesn’t charge a fee unless they win compensation with the claim.

Photo Credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/elycefeliz/4649829000/



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