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Wilmington, North Carolina

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Gary Shipman
Gary Shipman
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Be careful with insurance claims

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Most people go their whole lives without getting involved in an automobile accident. For those of us who have experienced a little bit more of an unfavorable driving experience can appreciate the agony of going through an insurance claim. Even though insurance companies’ slogans may sound as though they are willing to help in every way possible to resolve the claim the fact of the matter is insurance companies do not make money during a claim against them. As a matter of fact the goal of the insurance company is to keep the claim as cheap as possible. Some may think if a driver has insurance coverage by a big insurance company like Allstate, State Farm, Geico, or Farm Bureau then all property damages, medical costs, and lost wages will be covered under the at fault driver’s insurance. The insurance company’s goal is to resovle the claim as quick and for as little money as possible.

The worst and most common mistake made after an automobile accident is assuming you are not injured. Sometimes injuries such as soft tissue injuries or herniated or bulging disc can be overlooked immediately after an accident but cause immense amount of pain and sometimes disabilities in the future. When involved in an accident one should immediately seek medical attention, tell the medical provider about the accident, and follow the instructions of the medical provider. If the injured party does not have a primary care physician then now is a good time to establish one.

Another common mistake is to blindly follow the direction of the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster will try to get you to sign a HIPAA release form. Once this is signed the adjuster has the ability to get your medical records and bills. In some cases the adjuster will review your past medical records and use this information to minimize your claim. The adjuster will make this appealing by saying he needs this signed in order to pay your medical bills. If you are injured then you should definitely consider consulting an attorney.

You should consult an attorney before signing a Release of All Claims or cashing a settlement check because once this is executed one can not ask for more regarding the same injury. Also please remember to be realistic about any claim for damages.