How do insurance companies treat you after you're hurt in an accident?

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We have 2 teens and a pre-teen, so one of the things we've done lately, especially over the summer with kids coming and going all the time, is count the number of beers in the fridge.  Its not that we don't trust the kids (they're all good kids) but we were young once too...

So the other day, my wife thought beer was missing - the count was off.  Teens! The two kids in the house were immediately suspected, interrogated, and accused.  At least until my wife called me - and yes I was the one who drank them and threw the count off over the weekend.

To the parents of teenagers, this is funny.

But it got me thinking - this is how insurance companies treat you after one of their drivers causes a wreck.  They begin by disputing everything - witness accounts, police reports, property damage to your car, in an effort to avoid responsibility.  Then they try to interrogate you - on the phone, in person, even at the hospital if they can.  And they accuse - it was your fault, or you had a similar injury in 1984, or you should be better "by now."  They suspect you are faking, exaggerating or doing something wrong.  They try to bully and embarrass you.

Some accident victims let insurance companies get away with this - and even help them by giving a recorded statement, allowing access to all of their medical records since birth, meeting with an adjuster or insurance nurse in the hospital.

Don't do this - take the time to get better, or at least recuperate from the accident before you even think about talking to the other driver's insurance company (and even then, I don't let my clients do it).  And get a copy of our e-book on accidents in D.C., Maryland and Va to give you practical tips on how to handle a serious accident. 

And yes, we still count the number of beers in the fridge, but the kids have the benefit of the doubt (for now)...

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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