Getting into an accident in Coeur d’Alene or anywhere in Northern Idaho can leave you shaken and dealing with a serious injury. Once you receive medical treatment, you will likely be facing another unpleasant experience when you find out what insurance provider covers the at-fault driver. It could be any one of thousands of small and giant car insurance companies based in any part of the country.
You’ll likely be wasting a lot of time on the phone with this insurer and finding out how hard it is for victims to earn fair support for what they’ve been through. In fact, the goal of gaining compensation for your medical bills can get farther and farther away with each call.
American Family Insurance Coverage in Coeur d’Alene Accidents
American Family Insurance (or AmFam) is based in Wisconsin but provides drivers across the nation with auto insurance. Once you leave the scene of an accident your contact with the careless driver who hit you will probably end. A representative from AmFam, or perhaps dozens of representatives, will be taking up your case.
The first recommendation we make to the victims of accidents is to beware of the first call you get from American Family. They can phone you under the guise of checking on your health, but that’s often a cover for a common insurance trick.
They’ll try to convince you to make a recorded statement during the call, but this can be a very bad idea. They’ll ask you about the circumstances of the accident and how badly you are hurt. The problem is that you may not be clear on these factors in the aftermath of a crash. Any response you give on a recorded line can be turned around and used to weaken your insurance claim later.
Your injury may seem minor in the early going, and then a medical test comes back and finds you are more seriously hurt than you thought. If you’ve already made a statement that you aren’t hurt, the insurance company will use it to claim you are faking your injury. Recorded statements can be equally damaging when you try to prove your innocence in a collision.
American Family Insurance Tactics Used on Victims
A recorded statement isn’t the only weapon a well-established insurance company like AmFam will use against injured victims. Their goal is to pay you as little as possible for their policyholder’s mistake. It’s a bonus if they can get you out the door with no compensation at all.
This is unfair treatment towards people who may be struggling to restore their lives after a devastating accident. Having a personal injury lawyer at your side throughout the claims process can allow you to focus on healing. Leaving the battle with American Family to an experienced legal professional can free you from weeks and months of stress and also protect you from some common “bad faith” insurance practices.
These are a few of the other tactics insurance corporations like to use:
- Refusal to Settle: It’s often one of the first attempts an insurer will try to get you to give up on your claim. American Family can reject your claim in the hopes you’ll think your case is hopeless. This is a shady practice, but if you don’t have a legal expert monitoring your communication with an insurance agent you may be convinced you have no chance. That’s rarely the case, but if the insurance provider can persuade you that your case is groundless they can save their company thousands of dollars.
- Delayed Claim Response: It’s the simplest tool insurance companies use against victims. They can set your claim aside for weeks or months and not even acknowledge your accident. Of course, the longer you wait the more medical invoices you’ll receive. You could also miss more and more time at work and be losing thousands of dollars in income. They use this slow down in the hopes that you’ll be desperate enough to fall for their next trick.
- Lowball Settlement Offer: Once you’ve got bills stacked up and bill collectors at your door, you may be desperate enough to accept any offer AmFam makes you. That’s the idea. An AmFam adjuster will send you a “lowball offer” that may fail to cover even half of your losses while you’ve been down with an injury.
- Finger Pointing: American Family can also spend hours investigating your background, trying to find reasons to pin an accident on you. A police accident report may show that you weren’t at fault, but AmFam investigators could try to prove otherwise. They poke around into your driving record to find any reckless behavior that might point to a history of dangerous driving. They could also search your medical history for any similar injuries to your current ailments. AmFam could claim your current injury is just a flare-up of an old injury. Your personal injury attorney will have evidence ready to show how ridiculous these claims are.
Contact a Coeur d’Alene Car Accident Lawyer
When you’re at your most vulnerable, insurance companies can fight the hardest to avoid accountability in an accident. If you or a loved one were hurt by a careless driver, you should never face the costs of recovery alone. At CCD Law our attorneys advocate for victims’ rights and make sure those hurt in accidents are informed of everything available to them. This information may be vastly different from what an insurance company will tell victims.
Established in Spokane in 1948, Crary, Clark, Domanico, & Chuang, P.S. is licensed and practices in both Washington and Idaho. If our Coeur d’Alene Car Accident Lawyers represent you for your accident case, we will go to work building a strong insurance claim that agents will have no chance to reject. Contact us after any accident resulting in a serious injury for a free case evaluation. We will only offer you advice that is in your best interest.