Being involved in a car accident can be a highly stressful and disruptive experience, even if only minor damage results. Unfortunately, some opportunistic individuals attempt to exploit accident situations by falsely alleging personal injury in hopes of easy financial compensation through insurance claims or lawsuits. While the ethics of such underhanded tactics seem dubious at best, it’s important accident victims facing false injury allegations stay prudent and protect themselves properly. Let’s explore some constructive steps to take under these unfortunate circumstances.
Contact Your Insurer Straight Away
Alerting your insurer about not just the accident itself but also any potential for false injury allegations gets an experienced advocate working promptly on your side. They can advise the appropriate procedures while discouraging fraudulent opportunists by opening an investigation. Your company understands false claim tactics and will commit to defending legit cases strongly. Keep them informed at each step when a potential exposure arises too.
Cooperate Fully With The Investigation
Your insurance company will likely want to obtain your statement regarding the accident details and your perspective on the claimed injuries. It is crucial that you cooperate fully and truthfully with their investigation. Provide any documentation you have, such as police reports, photos of the vehicle damage, and witness contact information. The more information and assistance you give your insurer, the stronger their defense will be if the claims turn out to be fraudulent.
Seek Legal Representation From A Qualified Law Firm
If the injury claims against you seem dubious or overly exaggerated, hiring an experienced attorney is recommended. Look for a law firm that specializes in insurance defense cases like Catania & Catania Injury Lawyers. Their team can advise you on your rights and responsibilities during the claims process. A skilled lawyer will work with your insurer to build the strongest defense possible against spurious injury allegations. They may help obtain medical records, provide expert medical analysis, and potentially even conduct surveillance if warranted.
Questionable Medical Treatment
One red flag of potentially bogus injury claims is questionable medical care sought after the accident. Look for treatment from medical clinics known for excessively billing car insurance or treatment that does not match the reported accident severity. Legitimate injured parties normally receive treatment appropriate for their condition from trusted healthcare providers. Consult with your attorney about investigating medical bills and provider reputation.
Demand Medical Examinations
Under most states’ personal injury protection laws, insurance companies have the right to request independent medical examinations of people making injury claims against their insureds. These IMEs allow neutral doctors to examine complainants and provide objective reports on the extent and causation of any medical conditions. When injury reports seem exaggerated, demand IMEs be conducted. Qualified physician opinions can help refute dubious claims.
Surveillance May Catch Dishonest Behavior
In extreme cases of likely bogus injury reporting where harming one’s health for financial gain is suspected, hiring a private investigator for surveillance may provide useful evidence. Look for contradictory behaviors like performing strenuous physical activities inconsistent with claimed limitations or injuries. Keep in mind surveillance requires justification and should only be pursued with attorney guidance. However, observations of clearly feigned impairment can help defeat fraudulent allegations in court if needed.
Be Prepared For Potential Legal Action
Regrettably, refusing to pay on deliberately dishonest injury claims may result in the other party pursuing legal avenues like filing a personal injury lawsuit against you. Even if their allegations are baseless, defending a lawsuit comes at significant expense and hassle. That is why obtaining the early involvement of an experienced attorney with expertise in achieving favorable outcomes in insurance defense cases is so important. A skilled lawyer can often deter unfounded claims just by making a solid defense apparent upfront without going to trial.
Cooperate During Mediation And Settlement Discussions
If the dispute over claimed injuries does not resolve and lands in mediation or other settlement talks, continue demonstrating cooperation. Offer legitimate evidence raising reasonable doubts regarding the validity or severity of alleged harms from the accident. Propose fair resolutions suited to only genuine economic damages from medically supported conditions if determinable. However, stand firm against demands inflated by fraudulent reporting and follow your attorney’s guidance throughout negotiations to help achieve the most advantageous outcome.
Do Not Admit Or Apologize For Any Fault
Avoid accepting responsibility or apologizing for causing the collision under any circumstances, even if you do feel at fault to some degree. Admissions of liability can seriously undermine your defense against unmerited injury allegations. Let your insurer determine fault aspects. Do share an open and truthful account of accident events upon request, but refrain from declarations about who was at fault that could negatively impact your position in the claim. With prudent avoidance of statements assuming liability, your chances improve by deterring baseless claims through negotiation.