Hidden Costs of Car Accidents: What Insurance Adjusters Won’t Tell You

Insurance Adjusters and car accident victims often overlook future damages like health care costs, life insurance complications, emotional distress and potential insurance rate hikes. Make sure you've included everything before accepting a settlement offer.
Clayton T. Hasbrook

Written by Clayton T. Hasbrook. Last modified on February 20, 2024

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After a car accident, victims often focus on immediate needs and overlook potential future costs. Understanding these can make a difference in securing a fair settlement and one that covers all damages.

Future Costs to Consider

Increases in Health Care Costs

The rising cost of healthcare poses a significant concern for auto accident victims. As medical expenses continue to climb annually, it’s vital to include these potential increases when calculating future medical needs. The National Safety Council offers a comprehensive guide for estimating these costs.

Life Insurance Denial or Increased Premiums

Accident-induced injuries can complicate life insurance matters, potentially leading to higher premiums or denial of coverage. This impact goes beyond immediate medical costs, affecting long-term financial planning.

Emotional Distress

The psychological effects of an accident, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety, can profoundly affect a victim’s life. Compensation for these non-physical injuries is vital and often overlooked in settlements.

Drug and Alcohol Dependency

The risk of developing a dependency on medications or alcohol after an accident is a significant consideration often underestimated during settlement negotiations.

Insurance Rate Increases

For at-fault drivers, higher auto insurance premiums represent a financial challenge that should be considered when assessing an accident’s overall impact.

Insurance Adjuster Tactics

Insurance adjusters employ various strategies to minimize payouts. Being aware of these tactics can help safeguard your interests:

  • Examining Medical History: Adjusters may review your medical history to assess the severity of your injuries. Do not provide direct access to your records without consulting a lawyer.
  • Delaying Negotiations: Adjusters might prolong the claims process, using victims’ financial pressures to push for lower settlements.
  • Discouraging Legal Representation: Adjusters may claim that hiring an attorney reduces your settlement due to fees, not acknowledging that lawyers often secure higher compensation.
  • Eliciting Admissions of Guilt: Adjusters formulate questions to minimize their company’s liability by eliciting admissions of fault.
  • Offering Quick Settlements: Quick settlements may not account for long-term care costs and lost earnings.
  • Acting Friendly: A friendly demeanor is sometimes employed to collect information that can decrease the payout. It’s important to maintain professional communication.
  • Monitoring Social Media: Adjusters may look for online activity that contradicts injury claims, highlighting the importance of privacy.
  • Requesting Recorded Statements: The statements can be used against claimants, emphasizing the need for legal advice before providing such statements.

Estimating Future Costs

Accurately estimating future costs is vital in personal injury cases. Medical professionals and economists are key in analyzing these costs, taking into account inflation and other economic factors to ensure settlements reflect the long-term financial impact of injuries.

FAQs

Can I claim future medical expenses in my settlement?

Yes, future medical expenses can be claimed in your settlement, supported by medical documentation or testimony regarding expected future treatments and care.

How can I safeguard myself from insurance adjusters’ tactics?

Seeking advice from a personal injury attorney before interacting with insurance adjusters can protect your rights and help ensure you receive fair compensation. Many injury lawyers offer a free consultation, so discussing your case with one is beneficial.

Are emotional distress and psychological impacts compensable in personal injury cases?

Yes, emotional distress and psychological impacts, such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety, are compensable in personal injury claims.

Can an accident affect my life insurance rates or coverage?

Yes, injuries from an accident might be considered preexisting conditions, potentially leading to higher premiums or denial of coverage when applying for life insurance.

What should I do if an insurance adjuster offers a quick settlement?

Consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offers to ensure all future costs and impacts are adequately considered. Accepting a settlement and signing a release means you cannot claim additional compensation later.

How can future healthcare cost increases be accounted for in a settlement?

Medical professionals and economists can project future healthcare cost increases by considering inflation and other relevant factors.

How can I prevent insurance adjusters from using my social media against me?

Limiting social media activity and enhancing privacy settings can help prevent insurance adjusters from using your posts to challenge your claim. For instance, a simple vacation photo could be misconstrued to suggest you are not suffering.

What role does an economist play in personal injury cases?

An economist assesses and testifies on the present versus future costs of medical treatment, ensuring settlements comprehensively address the financial impact of injuries.

Ensuring Your Rights Are Protected

At Hasbrook & Hasbrook, we understand the stress of personal injury cases and the importance of considering future costs for a fair settlement. Our dedicated team is committed to fighting for the rights of accident victims, ensuring that insurance companies are held accountable. If you’re navigating the aftermath of an accident, let us help you secure the compensation you deserve while you focus on recovery. Contact us today to discuss your case and take a step toward justice and safety in our community.

Fact-Checked

This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by Founding Partner, Clayton T. Hasbrook who has years of legal experience as a personal injury lawyer. Our last modified date shows when this page was last reviewed.