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1. My Insurance Company is there to protect me
It is not surprising that many people assume that their insurance company is on their side and will protect their interests. They do a good job convincing us of this in their advertising. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It is often the case that the insurance company, even your own, will fight you every step of the way, and we see this all the time in the personal injury industry. You have to remember that insurance adjusters are paid to protect the interests of the insurance company, whose business it is to make money. That is why you need a personal injury lawyer to protect your interests. At Santucci Personal Injury Law (“Santucci Law”), we work for you!
2. Only one adjuster will handle my case
It can be very confusing after an accident when you may be contacted by a number of different insurance adjusters. From one auto accident alone, there can be multiple insurance adjusters involved. You will likely be contacted by the following adjusters: the property adjuster (from your own insurance company who will deal with the damages to your vehicle), the accident benefits adjuster (from your own insurance company who will deal with your statutory accident benefits), and the tort adjuster (who works for the insurance company of the other driver who will deal with “bodily injury”). Insurance companies also hire “independent adjusters” to work for them, so you may even be contacted by an adjuster who works for a different company altogether but represents the interests of one of the companies listed above. You can see how this gets confusing! At Santucci Law, we will coordinate your insurance issues for you and communicate with all of the adjusters involved, on your behalf.
3. Settlement without a lawyer will be fair
Despite what you might think, the insurance adjuster’s job does not include making sure that you get a good settlement. That is your lawyer’s job! You might be surprised to learn that insurance companies are happy when you accept a low-ball offer so that they can close their file. The insurance company knows the value of your case. You likely do not. This is why you need the expertise of a personal injury lawyer when dealing with insurance companies in order to make sure that any settlement reached is fair and reasonable, and not below the value of your case.
4. My insurance rates will go up if I bring a lawsuit
If the accident was not your fault, then your rates should not go up. However if you were at fault for the accident, it will likely affect your rate, whether or not you bring a lawsuit. Insurance companies raise their rates from time to time for other reasons though, so do not assume that your premium increased because of your accident or any lawsuit that you may have brought.
5. Surveillance only happens in the movies
You may be surprised to hear that all insurance companies use surveillance as an investigative tool. It is undertaken much more often than you think. If you have made a claim for personal injury, the odds are that the insurance company has ordered surveillance of you, and a private investigator will be observing you and recording your activities by way of video surveillance.
6. I must let the insurance company record my statement
You are required to provide information to your own insurance company following a collision. This is set out in the statutory conditions of your policy. This can take the form of a written statement and sometimes your insurance company will request a verbal statement, but they must ask your permission to record it. If you do provide them with a recorded statement, you can ask to have it transcribed and you are entitled to be provided with a copy of it. You are under no obligation to give a statement to the insurance company for the other driver, although they will likely contact you as part of their investigation. It is always important to identify the person with whom you are speaking. Write down their name, and the company that they work for. You would be wise to seek legal advice before giving any statements. At Santucci Law, we will be the liaison between you and the insurance companies and will be present with you when you give any statements.
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Patricia Santucci is a personal injury lawyer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. She holds several degrees having attended King’s College at the University of Western Ontario, McMaster University, earned a Master of Arts degree at the University of Windsor and an Ontario Teaching Degree from Teacher’s College as well as her Ontario Teaching Certificate. After graduating from the University of Alberta law school she was called to the bar in 2000. You can find Patricia on Google+ and LinkedIn or directly through this website