It happened again and I'm just dumbfounded. Despite the fact that I have been doing this for almost 40 years, I still see individuals getting taken advantage of after an accident. A former client of mine- who we represented after she was injured in an accident- contacted me and said that her friend was injured in a car accident needs help. A short while later, her friend called me and told me an all too familiar story. Despite how many times I hear it, I am still appalled, disgusted, and yes, even somewhat shocked.
This gentleman was rear-ended and is experiencing a great deal of back pain. Like many people, he did not go to the hospital immediately after the accident. In fact, he did not go to see a doctor until a week after he was involved in the accident. Why? Simply because he figured his pain would go away. He continues to suffer ongoing back pain is currently seeing a physical therapist. He has made a number of mistakes in not treating with the right doctors but that is a discussion for a different post…
The reason he was contacting me was because he was extremely upset. He told me he was contacted by the insurance company that represents the person who caused the accident. He indicated that the insurance company offered to pay any deductibles which he had for getting the treatment that he received. In addition to that, the insurance company told him that they wanted to pay him $500 to close out his case. He told me he did not think that was much money for what he was going through and asked me what I thought.
The first question I asked him- which I explained he would probably not be able to answer- was “what medical problems did you incur as a result of this motor vehicle accident”? He told me that he did not have an x-ray, MRI, or CAT scan and is not quite sure what his injuries were. He also told me that he only saw his family doctor and a physical therapist. Since he is continuing to experience ongoing back pain, he will likely continue missing time from work since his job is quite physical.
In response to his question regarding the insurance companies offer, I asked him how he could even consider accepting some amount of money for his injury if he didn't even know the nature or extent of the injury, did not know how long he would be treating, did not know what his out-of-pocket expenses would be, was not aware of whether or not he would have any type of a permanent injury, did not know how much pain he would endure, did not know how long he would suffer, did not know if he would have to have any type of surgical procedure, and generally was completely in the dark about the nature of his injury and what his future care and treatment would be.
He told me that he had not really thought about these issues, but rather was told that this was the most amount of money the insurance company would be willing to pay him. That it was a fair amount, given the fact that he only received a limited amount of treatment and his out-of-pocket deductibles would be paid for by this insurance company.
I thought this was absolutely disgusting. The insurance company was trying to take advantage of the fact that he was not represented by a lawyer and did not know the first thing about a personal injury case.
I also told him that once he signed a general release (which he would have to do in order to get the money from the insurance company), despite anything that happens to him in the future regarding his accident-related injury, he would not be able to do a thing about it because he would have settled his case and walked away from any and all claims for the sum of $500.
This is just one of the many underhanded business tactics that an insurance company will use against you in trying to get you to accept pennies on the dollar after you been injured in an accident. You should never deal with the other party's insurance company, unless and until you first speak with an experienced Connecticut personal injury lawyer. Do not be taken advantage of by the at-fault party's insurance company. Our Connecticut accident attorneys will be happy to speak with you at no cost or obligation.
If our Connecticut personal injury law firm decides to take your case, we will do so on a contingency fee basis and we will advance the costs to develop your case. In other words, you will not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket for us to represent you. We are only paid a fee and recover our costs if we collect money damages for you. If there is no recovery then you will owe us no legal fees and no costs.