The first thing I tell clients is that following an auto accident in Memphis the insurance company is not there to be your friend. No matter how wonderful these companies may sound on television, and the promises they make during these shortened “infomercials,” they are in the business of making money. Just like lawyers, there are some very good insurance carriers and there are some that just want you to go away following an accident or filed claim.
If you have been in an accident you probably know that the insurance company will want you to quickly sign a release with them and settle your claim. Injured victims often describe a sense of urgency to make a decision about the settlement of their claim. This feeling that you experience is often created by an insurance adjuster. Adjusters will often pressure you to make quick decisions soon after an accident or before you have completed your treatment.
Many people find that without the help of an attorney they will accept less money and still face ongoing medical problems. The insurance company is not your friend during this process, although many of their advertisements on TV paint this picture. The adjuster will initially sound sympathetic, and show concern about your well being, but chances are that individual was hired by the company they represent to be more concerned about the bottom dollar and the insurance company's yearly profit margin than your well-being.
Don't be surprised if an insurance adjuster prematurely offers you an insignificant sum to settle your claim. Keep in mind and understand that insurance companies are for-profit businesses that make money by paying out as little as possible for their claims. Many times what they are offering you is only pennies on the dollars of what your claim is worth. The pressure the insurance company is putting on you right after your accident is FALSE. Don't allow anyone to pressure you to sign any documents related to your accident without the advice of a personal injury attorney.
After speaking with an attorney, you will soon realize that you need time to receive your treatment, discuss options with your medical providers, obtain the reasonable medical care recommended by your doctor and, then, discuss the possible settlement of your claim. An injured accident victim has only one (1) year in the State of Tennessee to bring a claim against any individual or entity that he or she believes is responsible for causing such injuries. Each state's legislature has passed its own statute. Some states' statute of limitations for negligence claims are more than Tennessee’s one (1) year.
Therefore, if you do not know when you are required to bring a claim against the person or entity that caused your accident, I strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney licensed in that particular state. Keep in mind, if you miss the statute of limitations, it is more likely than not that your rights against the responsible party have been lost. Similarly, if you sign a release with the insurance carrier shortly after your accident you give up your right to claim additional damages or medical expenses.
If you have been injured as a result of negligence by another party or been involved in an auto accident call The Chiozza Law Firm at 901-526-9494 for a free personal injury consultation. We will be happy to discuss your claim and advise you of your rights to ensure that you make the right decision for you and your family.