If you are involved in a workers’ compensation or personal injury case, you will be seeking compensation from another’s party’s insurance provider. These large insurance companies handle hundreds if not thousands of injury claims a day, but as an individual, odds are you’re unfamiliar with the process. Not only can collecting payment from an insurance company be confusing, it can be downright predatory as the profit giant attempts to limit their liability.
Insurance companies hope to get you to sign off on an agreement or come to a quick settlement because of your lack of experience and your desire to put an end to the legal process, but don’t let them profit off your inexperience. Any time you are asked for a signature for your injury case, make sure the document has been vetted by your lawyer. Let us say that again. You should only sign documents pertaining to your injury case after they have been thoroughly analyzed by your lawyer.
What Could Go Wrong
We’ve received calls from clients in the past who mention that they received some information from the insurance company and it’s asking for signatures. That’s a big red flag in our book. It may not seem like a big deal, but the legal language in these correspondences can get confusing. You may not totally understand what you’re agreeing to, and arguing that you misunderstood the document in court is going to be tough to prove. Instead, have your lawyer look over everything pertaining to your case that requires a signature.
At the outset, it may sound obvious that you shouldn’t sign a settlement agreement without first talking to your lawyer, but there are other ways an insurance company can screw you over outside of the final sum of money. For example, they may be telling you in a roundabout way that your medical care options will be limited, or that you will not be allowed to discuss the case in the form of a non-disclosure agreement. These may not be deal breakers for you, but that doesn’t mean you should sign it without consulting your lawyer. At a minimum, bring it to your lawyer and have them explain the totality of the agreement.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that your injury lawyer not only works for you, but that they have your best interests at heart because they are paid a small portion of your total award, meaning they want to get you the most money possible. Put us to work, and let us review all your documents before signing them so you don’t end up tanking your own injury case. Never assume that your employer or their insurance company will act in good faith, because their interests are completely different than yours.
Signing one document or providing testimony over the phone without consultation can really set your case back, so don’t be afraid to tell the other side that you will get back to them after meeting with your lawyer. There are deadlines that need to be met, but as long as you stay in touch with your lawyer, it’s unlikely that you’ll miss a crucial deadline because you were being thorough. Don’t let the other side rush you into signing documents or an agreement. Take your time, have your lawyer look it over, and do what’s right for you and your family.
If you’d like us to review any documents you’ve received from your company or a third party insurance company, reach out to the experienced injury lawyers at Hey Workers today.