Call Now To Learn More About Your Legal Rights

(479) 337-7077

OR Text Us:

(479) 358-1998
Mullins & Blake Attorneys

Text Us:

(479) 358-1998

How Not Wearing A Seatbelt Can Impact Your Recovery In An Auto Accident Claim

In this article, you will learn:

  • How fault can be determined in an auto accident
  • Why to hire an attorney even if fault was clear
  • Common traps set by the insurance company to harm your case

This underscores the importance of early involvement of an attorney in your case, because a lot of times, the other driver’s insurance company will reach out and try to get a recorded statement from you about the facts of the accident, and they’ll almost always invariably ask, “were you wearing a seatbelt?” You still have a claim if you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, but oftentimes, they will use your words in a recorded statement to twist them against you and try to pledge a certain percentage of fault on you, thereby ultimately lowering your recovery and jeopardizing your chance at a fair settlement for your claim. It will not lower the value of your claim if you don’t give a recorded statement, and it stops the insurance company from creating ammo to use against you.

What To Expect If You Didn’t Have Auto Insurance At The Time Of The Accident

The other person that hit you is responsible for paying your property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and your pain and suffering, and giving you a rental car. Their insurance is responsible for paying you your damages. In some states, if you don’t have insurance, it will affect your chance to recover against the other driver’s insurance, but that is not the case in Arkansas. Your insurance status does not matter, and has no bearing on your ability to make the claim against the at fault driver.

Why To Hire An Attorney Even If Liability Was Clear

As I said before, even if it’s clear to you and the police say that they are at fault, if you give a recorded statement, they are going to twist your words against you and assess you at fault where you are not going to be able to recover the fair value of your claim.

The Problem With Giving Recorded Statements To The Insurance Agency

The insurance company cannot require you to give a recorded statement. That usually results in them attempting to twist your words and place a percentage of the blame or the fault for the accident on you. You are under no obligation to talk to the other person’s insurance company without your attorney.

Why To File A Claim Even If The Other Side’s Insurance Company Already Paid Your Property Damage

Just because they paid you your property damage claim doesn’t mean that they are going to pay you the fair value of your injury claim, and that’s why you need an attorney that has experience to be able to tell you what that actual value is so you don’t leave money on the table that is owed to you. Insurance companies often make it difficult for you to receive a fair settlement and a fair resolution to your claim. One of the tactics they use is different adjusters; you will have one adjuster for your property damage and then your claim will be reassigned to a different adjuster for your injury claim. So, while the property damage adjuster may have been friendly and helpful and provided a quick resolution to the property portion of your claim, the injury adjuster may not have the same attitude.

Why It Is Not Automatically The Other Party’s Fault If You Were Rear-Ended

Often, if a driver pulls out in front of another driver that already had established control of their lane, then the person that pulls out and ultimately gets hit from behind may actually be at fault for entering the lane improperly.

Delay Tactics Used By Insurance Companies To Sabotage Your Case

I’ve seen some insurance companies just not call you back or answer your phone call. They just straight out ignore you. They turn it into a waiting game and hope that you will accept a low settlement when you finally get in touch with them because you’ve waited so long to talk to a live person. I also see them reassign adjusters regularly, another delay tactic, that serves to frustrate you and force you to be put in a position where you want to accept a settlement offer that maybe isn’t the fairest offer that you should be getting.

Tactics Insurance Companies Use To Try To Minimize Recovery In An Injury Claim

Insurance companies may try to talk to you before you’ve even been to a doctor. They try to call you the same day of the accident or the next day and offer you what seems like a lot of money in your pocket to settle your claim right then and there when you haven’t been to the doctor yet to assess any injuries that you might have. We also see them try to relate your property damage to your bodily injury claim, and a lot of times, they’ll say if you didn’t have a lot of property damage, you couldn’t possibly be hurt and in that case. The insurance company is trying to play doctor and argue that they know better than your own healthcare team. They also try to use a delay in treatment to pay very little. If you’ve waited a couple of days because you didn’t have a rental car yet or your car was a total loss and you didn’t have transportation to see the doctor or there wasn’t an appointment available right then and there, they try to say if you were really hurt, then you would have gone to the emergency room or got treatment sooner when you are still trying to manage things on your own. That’s why if you get an attorney, we can help you manage all of that, get you the rental car, and get you the care that you need.

Common Reasons Insurance Companies Use To Deny Claims Altogether

A common tactic I see again, goes back to property damage. They really like to argue that if there is minimal property damage, then they think that they know better than your physician, and they try to avoid paying out anything on your claim if you don’t have a significant property damage claim. In that instance, it is very important to secure legal representation early on in your claim so that you can show the insurance company that you value your health, you value your claim, and that you are not going to let them bully you and push you aside when you deserve compensation for your injuries. Another thing I see is that the insurance company will deny the claim because the person that caused the accident didn’t pay their insurance, and so there is no coverage.

In that case, we look to other insurance sources and assets of the defendant. So, again, it’s something that is really hard to do on your own, and an attorney is vital in the process of trying to find additional insurance or other assets to pay your claim when you’ve been hit by somebody who turns out to be uninsured.

For more information on Recovery In An Auto Accident Injury Claim In AR, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (479) 337-7077 today.

Mullins & Blake Attorneys

Call Now To Learn More About Your Legal Rights
(479) 337-7077