If you have recently been in an accident of some kind involving a moving vehicle, you will likely be dealing with the aftermath of the unfortunate event and the financial, physical, emotional and mental effects of the incident on your life. At this vulnerable time for you and your family, you must be aware of the consequences of your every action, particularly as they may relate to the insurance carrier of the other party.
Say, for example, that you were involved in an car collision with a second moving vehicle, and that the accident was undoubtedly the fault of the other party. They maneuvered out in front of you onto the motorway because they did not see your vehicle coming towards them, and as a result you are injured and your motor vehicle is done in. What are the best steps to take to ensure that you are taken care of in the most appropriate and comprehensive manner?
When the accident is unquestionably the fault of the other party, their insurance agent may very well approach you and offer to settle the matter directly rather than going through the right, and often complex, channels of processing, communication and payment. This inappropriate response by the insurance carrier is referred to as third party capture and is motivated by the insurance agent's desire to avoid paying the full settlement amount or dealing with the details of a claim that is obviously going to take a toll on them. It is a legal action, but is often not in the best interests or full financial support of the victim.
What You can Do as the Victim to Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of
It is very important for you as the victim to understand what your rights are and how they relate to the insurance company of the party at fault in the situation. The insurance company's goal is likely to get rid of you and your case as fast as possible while spending as little money as possible. Because of this motive, they may make an offer of a certain amount with which they may aim to essentially "pay you off" by taking care of the whole matter with an immediate cash sum.
However, this cash offer is likely to be far less than what it would be once the claim is processed as it should be, perhaps reviewed by a court and certainly by your insurance agent, and finalized legally with a contract and series of documents. You may be tempted to accept the third party capture or third party offer because it is fairly instantaneous and means that you are able to avoid any further contact or hassle with the other party. It can seem like a good idea to take the money and run, more or less, but keep in mind that this means you cannot get any further funding from the party at fault. If you experience physical trauma or injury from the incident in the days or weeks ahead, then, you would be on your own financially and have no option to make a claim for later chiropractic, mental health, or recovery care under these circumstances.
Don't accept any third party offers, then, without getting a full medical overview from a GP. You should get a doctor's signature on whatever physical assessment forms that are available to you to record the state of your injury. Be strong in your decision to take the party at fault to court if you decide to go this route, as you will be able to receive the appropriate financial compensation that you ought to be eligible for, as well as full medical coverage regarding your injuries.