Eight Myths About Filing an Insurance Claim After a Maryland Car Accident
Though you might be generally aware that you can recover compensation after being injured in a Maryland car accident, you might not give much thought to the source of the funds. In truth, even though the other driver may have been negligent, it is that person’s insurance company that will likely be on the hook for monetary damages. The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) has established certain minimum auto insurance requirements, so all motorists must carry at least $30,000 for bodily injury, $60,000 for multiple victims, and $15,000 property damage. As such, your first step in the legal process is usually filing a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurer.
However, it is a mistake to believe that the process is nothing more than filling out some forms as requested by the insurance company. Plus, there are many other misconceptions about dealing with the insurer to obtain monetary damages, and people who believe them could be putting their legal rights at risk. You will soon understand why it is necessary to retain a Baltimore car accident lawyer when you review these myths about filing an insurance claim after a Maryland auto collision.
Myth #1: You do not need medical care for minor traffic crash injuries. Nothing could be more untrue, both from the standpoint of your health and your rights. Getting proper treatment ensures you can obtain a diagnosis of your injuries and get on the road to recovery quickly. To the claims adjuster, avoiding or waiting to seek medical treatment creates the assumption that your injuries are not too severe – otherwise you would have gone to the doctor immediately.
Myth #2: The claims adjuster’s job is to help you through the process. To the contrary, the role of the adjuster is to serve the needs of the insurance company, which involve maximizing profits and minimizing losses. Your claim represents a loss, so the insurer’s employees will try to find reasons to deny it. Their job is to fight your claim, not help you with your legal remedies.
Myth #3: Insurers pay qualifying claims right away. Because they need grounds to reject your claim, the insurance company will conduct a thorough investigation into your injuries and fault in the car accident. This probe can take time, but it can also serve as an excuse for delays in processing your claim.
Myth #4: It helps to tell the claims adjuster everything. Knowing that the insurance company is investigating to find reasons to deny your claim, you certainly would not want to help the adjuster achieve this goal. However, many car accident victims make the mistake of providing any and all information related to the claim. Any conversation you have with the insurer’s employee should be limited to confirming your contact information and offering details on how to reach your auto crash lawyer.
Myth #5: You can expedite your claim by providing your medical records promptly. Aside from giving the claims adjuster too much information, there are other reasons to hold off on forwarding your medical records:
- You may still be receiving medical treatment, so the records are incomplete;
- There is the possibility you will not fully recover; and,
- Your traffic accident attorney knows the ideal time to release medical records to support your claim.
Myth #6: There is nothing wrong with signing a release. If there is any myth that needs debunking, it is the mistaken notion that signing documents will get you paid faster. The problem is that the paperwork presented to you by the claims adjuster is probably a release; by signing it, you give up any right to seek legal remedies in the future.
Myth #7: You gain an advantage by settling quickly. Knowing that the insurer could drag out an investigation and delay payment, you probably assume that you should jump on an offer to settle. When your medical bills are mounting and you might not be able to work, the funds from an agreement are certainly needed. Unfortunately, you might give up some compensation by settling too quickly. As mentioned, you may still be receiving medical treatment and may not know your full prognosis. Plus, your injuries may render you unable to work in the position you held before the car accident. An uninformed, hasty settlement puts your future at risk.
Myth #8: If you do not settle, you are out of options. It is common for the insurance company to refuse to budge on your claim, either through a denial or a lowball counteroffer. Do not despair in thinking that this is the end of the legal process. You can still file a lawsuit in court to obtain fair compensation for your losses.
There ARE a few factors that could affect your claim, however, so keep in mind:
- The statute of limitations on Maryland personal injury cases is three years. You are out of options if you do not file a lawsuit in court before the deadline passes, and the clock starts ticking the date of the car collision.
- Maryland applies the rule of contributory negligence for auto collisions, so your own conduct might be a factor in your case. If you were also at fault in the crash, you are barred from recovering compensation.
Our Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Can Dispel Insurance Claim Myths
This information should debunk many of the misconceptions about your rights as the victim of an auto crash, but an overview does not provide you with the skills necessary to fight the insurance company. Instead of jeopardizing your rights or leaving money on the table, allow our team at Bob Katz Law to shoulder the legal burdens. We are ready to assist with gathering evidence, filing the essential paperwork, and settlement discussions with the insurer. If the company refuses to pay fair compensation, we will go to recover the damages you deserve under Maryland law.
For additional details and personalized advice, please contact our offices to set up a no-cost case review. We can explain the process once we review your unique circumstances.