And how to arm yourself properly
As the old saying goes, you shouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight. While we certainly hope that this turn of phrase won’t ever literally apply to your circumstances, you’ve probably been in plenty of situations in which such a metaphor is apt. Fighting to secure just compensation from your insurance company is certainly one of them. If you’re gearing up for a duel with an insurer, here’s what you should expect.
1. Convincing You to Hand Over Medical Records
Your medical records are protected by federal and state privacy laws. You’re not obligated to sign any documents that would provide your insurer with unfettered access to them. If there needs to be a discussion of medical care you received as a result of your injury, consult with your attorney to determine how to approach it.
2. Telling You to Deal With Another Insurance Company
If your accident involved another person with an insurance policy from another carrier, your insurer may argue that that carrier is in a better position to negotiate and settle your claim. However, the law allows you to pursue whichever insurer you choose. If the circumstances require it, you’re free to deal with both.
3. Warning You About Filing Delays
Insurers often try to convince policyholders that their claims have come after the expiration of an internal statute of limitations and thus aren’t valid. This simply isn’t accurate. Under state law, you’re free to file an insurance claim and negotiate a settlement until the expiration of the state’s statute of limitations. That’s a much longer time frame. Wisconsin has additional rules that may help you even if you miss a time limit spelled out in your insurance policy.
4. Arguing That You Didn’t Pay out of Pocket
If your insurer argues that it won’t cover medical bills, lost wages, or other expenses that don’t technically constitute out-of-pocket expenses, don’t listen. In Wisconsin, the out-of-pocket status of a covered expense is often irrelevant: Insurers may be obligated to cover it anyway.
5. Convincing You Not to Work With an Attorney
For many injured individuals, this one is the icing on the cake. Before or during settlement negotiations, many insurance companies make a point of pressuring policyholders into forgoing legal representation from a trained attorney. They might make the argument that doing so is “simpler” or “faster.” In most cases, however, it simply results in a lower settlement.
Work With a Seasoned Personal Injury Attorney in Neenah and Appleton, WI
At this point, it should be clear that it’s not wise to do battle with an insurance company on your own. The stakes are simply too high to roll the dice like that. That’s why we’re proud to stand with regular folks across the Fox Cities area—and against insurance companies that aim to deny them what’s rightfully theirs. To learn more about what we can do for you, head to our Resources page or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.