Did you or a loved one get seriously injured? We have put together 3 personal injury tips that may help answer some questions. Call us now!
1. Giving a Recorded Statement to the Insurance Company
Recently, someone in Hamlet called and wanted to know if it’s a good idea to go ahead and give a recorded statement about their injury to the corporate representative contacting them. The answer is, no, it’s not a good idea. Much, much more goes into a recorded statement than you might ever imagine. To begin with, the person who is taking a recorded statement for the corporation or the insurance company they represent has taken hundreds, maybe even thousands, of recorded statements. They have experience with how people answer questions, and they’ll use that experience to try to put you in the most negative light or maybe even get you to say something that actually will kill your case before it can every start.
Second of all, there’s all kinds of review that someone needs to make before they give a recorded statement. For example, in a recorded statement, you’re going to be asked, “Have you ever had any other injuries to your back or to a particular part of your body?” Well, most people can’t really answer that question because most people don’t keep a running catalog of their injuries over the course of their life. A lot of people will answer kind of flippantly, “No, I’ve never had an injury to my back before.”
The person asking that question on the other end, they know there’s a good chance that we’ve all complained about our back or a backache to a doctor before, particularly the older we get. As a result, they’re jumping for joy, because the next thing they’re going to do after the recorded statement is they’re going to ask you to sign a release to get all of your medical records going back 30 years, maybe more. Then they’re going to look for any record that shows that you’ve had an injury to your back. Then they’re going to claim you told a lie – “You said in your recorded statement you never injured your back, but 22 years ago, you told Doctor X that you hurt your back while you were lifting your child and you had a backache.” You’d forgotten all about that, but, guess what? Now the insurance company and the corporation are going to try to use that recorded statement to make it out like you’re a liar.
These are just two examples of why you should never give a recorded statement, unless you consult an attorney and unless you have an attorney with you when you give the recorded statement. A lot of times the recorded statement gets put off or it never happens because, when you come to my office, we’re going to do all the legwork to make sure you don’t get tricked in a recorded statement. Sometimes, when the insurance company sees that their trickery isn’t going to work, they just never reschedule the recorded statement.
If you’re having someone pressure you to give a recorded statement, wait. Contact my office and let’s work together to prepare for a recorded statement, and maybe we can make the recorded statement go away altogether. We can’t do that unless you contact an experienced personal injury attorney that knows all the different tricks when it comes to recorded statements. Call us— we’re here.
2. Pre-Existing Medical Conditions
Recently someone called me who had been seriously injured and they had a preexisting condition. They had been told by the insurance company that their case wasn’t worth much of anything because they had a preexisting condition. A preexisting condition is something that can be overcome, but it’s going to probably take preparing your case for trial and maybe even having to go to trial. It’s going to take someone that understands the implications of preexisting conditions so that they do a really good job preparing a deposition. It’s going to take work with your treating physicians to prepare the treating physician to bring out the things about preexisting conditions that show how unfair it is to try to use preexisting conditions to minimize somebody’s personal injury case.
If you were functioning well before you were injured, we want to bring that out, too. In jury selection, one of the most effective ways to neutralize the argument about preexisting conditions is to ask everybody in the jury box, “How many of you have a preexisting condition? How many of you think that someone with a preexisting condition shouldn’t be allowed to function in their life? How many think that simply because someone has a preexisting condition bad misconduct should be given a pass?” All of a sudden, a preexisting condition isn’t really that important anymore.
To get before a jury, you’re going to have to have an attorney that’s willing to prepare your case and willing to fight. A preexisting condition is something that needs to be framed and needs to be developed to where the case isn’t really about a preexisting condition. We all have preexisting conditions, except for people that are really, really young, and even some young people have preexisting conditions. Our firm is used to dealing with cases that have preexisting conditions. If you need help, call us. We’re here to help you with your case.
3. Taking the First Settlement Offer
Recently someone called my office who had been seriously injured in Richmond County, NC, and they wanted to know if they should take the settlement offer from the insurance company. By the way, it was the very first offer the insurance company had made. My response to this person was, well, I know that insurance companies run a lot of ads on TV, and they say a lot of things in their ads with slogans such as “We’re on your side,” or “You’re in good hands.” Then, they call you and offer a settlement and act like you’re supposed to take their first offer.
The reality is, no, you should probably never take the first offer that an insurance company makes. To use the words again, in reality, insurance companies like to take money in and they like to never pay it out. If they’re making a first offer, they’re going to see if they can get you to settle cheap. We need to let them know that, no, we’re not going to settle cheap and we’re not going to settle for some ridiculous offer. If it becomes necessary, we’re going to prepare the case for trial, we’re going to plan for the worse and hope for the best. Once the case is prepared for trial, and we know we haven’t given our power away, we might talk and negotiate at that point. If we do, this insurance company is going to know they’re going to have to pay a whole lot more than the kind of settlement offer they’re calling up and making to you at the moment.
If you are on the receiving end of this tactic, call our office. Let us talk to you and, if necessary, let’s meet and let us help you. We’ve dealt with insurance companies for a long time. We know their tactics, we know what they say on TV, and we know how they really are. Call our office and let us help. We’re here to fight for you.
Were you or a loved one severely injured by a negligent person in North Carolina and have questions about our 3 personal injury tips? Contact experienced Richmond County, NC personal injury lawyer H. Bright Lindler today for a free consultation and case evaluation.
My office takes care of everything, so you can rest and focus your attention on your recovery.
Like Us on Facebook