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Get a Lawyer's Help When Dealing with Insurance Companies

Posted on in Personal Injury

get-a-lawyer-s-help-when-dealing-with-insurance-companies

People who have been in an accident face many worries. They have to worry about their pain, medical bills and possibly missing work. Another distraction they face are efforts by the other side or an insurance company to get them to sign papers settling their claim. As a recent case shows, accident victims should consult their lawyer before signing anything.

Martha T., an elderly woman, was in a car accident. Shortly after she left the hospital - and while she was still on medication and was very weak - an insurance adjuster for the other driver contacted her. The adjuster gave Martha a check for a small amount of money. Martha claimed the adjuster told her this was just a part payment for her medical bills and that she'd receive more money later. But the adjuster had Martha sign a document to "release all claims" against the other driver.

Martha later had more medical bills. She asked for more money, but the insurance company refused, saying she had signed the release. Martha sued, claiming she was mislead into signing.

A court ruled that if the insurance company used fraud to get Martha's release, then it was void. The court said a jury should decide if fraud was used, and the jury could consider that the insurance adjuster knew Martha was very weak when she signed the release, and that he covered up the document (except for the signature line) to get Martha to sign it.

This case is a reminder that if you are in an accident, do not sign anything without first consulting your lawyer. Getting legal help before signing anything or talking to the other side or an insurance company is much easier than going to court later to try to undo a bad settlement.

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