Rear-end collisions are almost always caused by a driver’s negligence. Speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, and intoxication are a few of the common causes of these tragic accidents.
The driver in the rear is often presumed to be negligent in a rear-end crash. However, this does not mean that you will have an easy time settling your claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company if you were hurt in this type of accident. Here are four tactics they could use to deny your claim or try to reduce the amount they pay you.
#1: Deny Liability
Although the driver in the front is rarely found to be at fault in a rear-end collision, the insurance adjuster could try to argue that you were partially or completely to blame for your crash. If they make this argument, you may need to collect additional evidence, such as the police report, eyewitness statements or an accident reconstruction expert’s report, to prove that the other motorist was the negligent party.
#2: Minimize Your Injuries
Another tactic the insurance company may use is to dispute the seriousness of your injuries to pay you less money in your settlement. They could try to claim that the injury is a pre-existing injury that was not at all caused by your car accident or that it is not as severe as you claim.
One way to refute these arguments is to seek prompt medical care and follow up on all medical treatments prescribed by your doctors. You should also be careful not to engage in any activities or work that you should not be able to do given your injuries.
#3: Request a Recorded Statement
You may be surprised to receive a call from the insurance adjuster for the negligent driver within days of your auto collision. They may ask you to give a recorded statement as part of their investigation of your claim. This is a question-and-answer session with the insurance adjuster that is tape-recorded and later transcribed into a written document.
While they may make this request sound reasonable, you should not agree to give a recorded statement. Here are three reasons why you should say no to a recorded statement:
- You are not required to give a recorded statement to settle your claim.
- Even if you are careful, you could say something that weakens your case. Insurance adjusters are skilled at asking tricky or confusing questions to elicit answers they can use to deny or reduce the value of a victim’s claim.
- Your recorded statement could be used against you in settlement negotiations and court.
#4: Offer You a Quick Settlement
If you have a strong case against the negligent driver, which is common in a rear-end accident, the insurance company may offer you a quick settlement of your claim. However, it will most likely be for far less money than you are entitled to under New Mexico law.
You should not accept the first offer made by the insurance adjuster and should wait until you know the full extent of your injuries—which could be months or longer after your accident—before settling your claim. You should also not agree to any settlement without first consulting with an experienced car accident lawyer.
Were you or a family member injured in a rear-end collision caused by a negligent driver? Call our Roswell office today to schedule a free consultation to learn how we will aggressively fight so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement with the insurance company.