Insurance companies in Illinois often know well in advance when a victim will be calling them following an accident, and many times, they will even call the injured victim first. This is done for a variety of reasons that may not all be positive. The primary concept for injured parties to remember is that the call is a good sign that the injury has significant value in terms of financial recovery. However, it is also a solid sign that the insurance company wants to end the claim quickly.
The first potential issue when talking to an insurance company before speaking with an attorney is that the conversation is often recorded unbeknownst to the injured claimant. Information from the recorded call can be part of a denial defense. It’s important to always be cautious when discussing the accident because fault above 50% can be the basis of a denial defense in some states like Illinois. In addition, in states where fault is central to settling motor vehicle accidents, the claimant will often be talking to an insurance company other than their own.
The most important issue with discussing the claim when the responsible insurance provider calls is the claim value. Many times, the insurance company will be prepared to make an offer well below the actual claim value in hopes of settling the claim quickly. This is assuredly a red flag. Accident victims might want to contact an attorney experienced in handling car accidents, who may be able to evaluate the claim for maximum damages.
It is vital for every injured accident victim to consider the motives of an insurance company when they have been injured in a car accident. The main priority of the insurance provider is ending a valuable case well before an attorney gets involved for injured claimants. Once the settlement is accepted and the paperwork is signed, the case is over. For this reason, victims may want to consult an attorney before settling an accident case.