After being injured in an accident caused by another person's negligence, it may be tempting to exaggerate the injuries you sustained or, on the other hand, not be completely clear about how much pain you feel. But the adage "honesty is the best policy" is important to remember when you're pursuing compensation from the insurance company of the person at fault.
Clear Communication About Your Injuries Makes a Difference
Suffering through an accident is traumatic enough, but going through the process of filing a claim for the incident can add more stress to the situation, especially if you're seeking compensation for medical bills, property damage, lost wages, loss of earning potential, and pain and suffering.
As a result, some accident victims may exaggerate their conditions to ensure they receive a settlement necessary to recover from their injuries. A “bad” pain becomes “severe,” an “uncomfortable” muscle spasm becomes “excruciating,” and so on. While this may seem like the perfect way to get your personal injury claim expedited by the insurance company, nothing can be further from the truth. Being dishonest with an insurance company about the severity of your injuries can result in unwanted delays, less lucrative settlements, and even an outright denial of your claim.
Make sure the medical documentation you submit as proof of your injuries is consistent with the injuries you've described. Use clear and simple language to describe how your injuries have affected you, how they feel, and how long they've persisted.
Also keep in mind that the accident may have impacted your abilities in different ways. For example, you may be able to complete a key work activity, but doing so leaves you in a lot of pain afterward because of the accident injuries. This isn't an exaggeration, but may still require documentation and a set of examples to demonstrate the nature of your true condition. The more clear you are upfront with the insurance adjuster, the less likely your credibility will be challenged during the claim review.
Insurance Companies Use Surveillance to Validate Claims
Profitable insurance companies are always looking for ways to minimize the amount of money issued for negligent actions. So, when you file a personal injury claim stating that you're seriously injured, the adjuster isn't simply going to take your word for it, particularly if he or she suspects your injuries are exaggerated or inconsistent with your type of accident.
To avoid paying out a large settlement, insurance companies look for information to discredit the person making the injury claim. One common way to validate claims is to hire an investigator to do surveillance on your activities.
- While it may seem unfair that an insurance company can hire someone to spy on you, it's actually well within the law for an investigator to record audio and video and take still photographs of you anytime you're in a public place. However, the investigator needs a court order to tap your phone or take video or photographs of you through the windows of your home.
- In addition to spying on claimants in public, insurance companies may also monitor social media accounts to see if your posts demonstrate that you're engaging in activities inconsistent with your purported injuries.
Were You Injured in an Accident?If you were injured in an accident, you may dread working with an insurance company to get the funds you need to recover from your injuries. Fortunately, you don't have to face this on your own. Working with an experienced personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure that the insurance company issues a fair settlement for your recovery. Call the Inland Empire Law Group's Victorville or Rancho Cucamonga law offices today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case: 1-888-MY-IELAW.