A lot of personal injury lawyers tell you what to do after an accident. Call 911. But that’s pretty obvious. (We tell people to call 911, then call 1-800-HURT-911®)
This article will tell you what not to do after an accident, which is not obvious.
The quick answer:
- Don’t take money from anyone to see their lawyer or doctor
- Don’t speak to anyone who contacts you about medical treatment
- Don’t speak to anyone who contacts you about a lawyer
- Don’t speak to any insurance company
Someone Offers You Money to Go to a Doctor
You may be offered as much as $1,500 to see a doctor. It may sound like a good deal, especially since you need to see a doctor anyway.
What Not to Do: DO NOT accept money from anyone or agree to go to the doctor being recommended! Find out why taking $1,000 now, can ruin your personal injury case and cost you tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars later.
The Hospital or Doctor Calls You And Asks You to Come In
You may receive a call on the day of the accident or the day after the accident from someone claiming to be calling from the hospital or medical clinic telling you to come in for a follow-up appointment.
This is not the hospital calling. This is a scam run by a medical clinic, similar to the one mentioned above when someone pays you money. You can ruin your personal injury case if you go to the medical clinic. Find out why someone calling you from the hospital or medical clinic is a scam.
What Not to Do: DO NOT go to the clinic. Do not make an appointment. Just HANG UP THE PHONE! If you need to see a doctor, go to your own doctor. If you need emergency medical treatment, go to the emergency room at a hospital. If you do not know a doctor to see, we will be happy to give you the names of doctors near you.
Someone from Your Insurance Company Calls You
Either you will get a call from an insurance company claims representative or you will call your insurance company.
The claims representative will be very nice to you and so sorry to hear about your accident and injury. It may feel nice to know that your insurance company cares. But, guess what, they don’t!
Your insurance company only wants to get the information they can use to reduce the amount of money your claims will cost them. The insurance company even has manuals telling the claims representatives what to say to you.
When you speak with anyone at your insurance company, your call will be recorded and what you say will probably hurt you, even if you think you’re smart enough to know what to say.
You will be asked about your accident and how it happened. You will also be asked about your injuries and how you are feeling. The insurance company doesn’t really care how you are feeling. They want to manage your medical treatment so it doesn’t cost them a lot of money. for instance, they may be able to prevent you from getting an MRI.
What Not to Do: DO NOT speak to anyone at your insurance company before speaking with a personal injury lawyer. If you receive a call, simply say “I can’t speak right now and I will call back.” Then, call us 7 days/nights for a free consultation with no obligation at:
Call Founding Partner Rob Plevy right now for your free consultation!
We’ll call you back within minutes!
When you fill out claim forms, you may not include important information and may include information that can hurt you. When you call us, we will speak with your insurance company for you and we will fill out and file all of the insurance company claim forms which they require.
Someone from Someone Else’s Insurance Company Calls You
The other insurance company will also try to call you to get information to protect them by reducing the value of your claim. They will say they just want to hear your story about how the accident happened.
Telephone conversations that insurance companies are always recorded. The claims representative is trained by the insurance company to get the information they need to reduce or eliminate your claim.
There are many tiny details in the law that they know about and you don’t, which can ruin your claim. For instance, in a hit-and-run accident, they will always ask you if you were cut off. If you say yes, they will deny your claim.
What Not to Do: NEVER speak to anyone at someone else’s insurance company! NEVER give a statement!
It’s possible that the claims representative will say that you don’t need a lawyer, that they will treat you fairly and that attorney’s fees will cost you a lot of money. This is absolutely not true. While research by insurance companies has shown that on average, people can get 3 1/2 times more money with a lawyer than without a lawyer, most personal injury lawyers can probably get you 5-10 times more money.
Insurance companies would love for you to be unaware of your rights. However, it’s unlikely that a claims representative will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer because it’s illegal. But Allstate was criminally convicted after doing that. It saved them so much money that, apparently, they did it again and were criminally convicted a second time.
Insurance Collision Damage App – Should I use it?
Find out what you need to do before you use your insurance company’s collision damage app, read Should I Send a Photo of My Car Damage for an Insurance Estimate.
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Watch Founding Partner Phil Franckel, Esq. talk about New York Serious Injury Attorneys.com, difficult cases, and the 1-800-HURT-911® Dream Team™
Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.