Liability Insurance Claims
Is the Insurance Policy Applicable
What info is OK to Share with the Insurance Adjuster?
Should I Talk to an Adjuster?
Be Careful Submitting Your Medical Records
Insurance Policy Limits
Accidents With Out-Of-State Vehiles
Uninsured and Under-insured Motorsist Claims
Uninsured Motorist Claims
UM/ UIM Claim Requirements
Household Extension of UM/ UIM
UM/ UIM Claim Even When You’re Not In Your Car

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Speaking to the Insurance Adjuster

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Speaking to the Insurance Adjuster

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What Information to Share with the Insurance Adjuster and Insurance Company

Did You Know?

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Michael Grossman has been fighting for car accident victims` rights for over 20 years. Call Mike to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

Our firm is often contacted by prospective clients who have been injured in a car accident, who are fed up to deal with an insurance adjuster on their own. The problem is that many of these people have already said all the wrong things to the adjuster, and have damaged their case beyond all repairs. To help you avoid the same fate, this article will explain what you can say to an insurance adjuster.

Be Smart: Get an Attorney
All the situations that you make experience when you are involved in an accident cannot all be discussed throughout this article. The most important piece of advice that we can offer you is to hire an attorney from the beginning.

The role of an insurance adjusters
Insurance adjusters aren’t there to help you; they are not your friend. They are there to help the insurance company. Thousands of our former clients and other individuals have told us stories of insurance adjuster lying or misleading them, resulting in a lot of lost time, heartache, and money. Every dime they give you is money directly out of their profits; they will find all possible ways to limit the money they pay out.

Things you can say
There’s nothing wrong with telling an insurance adjuster where, the date, and the time of day the accident happened. There is nothing wrongful with telling the insurance adjuster what kind of car you drive, and who your insurance carrier is. You just don’t want to tell them anything about your injury. Insurance adjusters will use all the information that you give them to create a defense to your recovery efforts, don’t be subject to this.

What if the info I’m telling the insurance adjuster is harmless?

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If we had a dime for every time we were told something was harmless but wrecked their case, we’d be rich. Most of our clients are intelligent, hard-working people. However, since you’ve likely never experienced a legal case such as this, don’t make the assumption you can wing it. Every word that you say is significant to an insurance adjuster. The questions that they ask are designed so that they elicit information that is only helpful to them.

The last thing you can and always should tell an insurance adjuster is that they’ll have to talk to my attorney. Our best cases for our clients are where we’re hired from the beginning and client doesn’t have to talk to the insurance adjuster at all. If you have been injured as a result of an accident don’t just hire an attorney, hire the attorneys with experience, past success, and the ability to win your claim. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices are here to help you through the recovery process. To schedule your free consultation with us call 1-855-392-0000. We would like schedule a time to discuss the merits of your case with you.
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BEFORE Speaking to the Insurance Adjuster

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » BEFORE Speaking to the Insurance Adjuster

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An Insurance Adjuster Just Called Me About My Accident. What Should I Do?

Did You Know?

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Our Houston Texas attorneys have won hundreds of car accident cases. Call us today to discuss your case. 1-855-392-0000

You should always consult an attorney who is experienced in personal injury negotiation and litigation before you provide any statements to an insurance company. Even if the insurance company is your provider, you should still consult an attorney. Many people don’t even hesitate to speak with an insurance adjuster. Often, the first thing we do following a car accident is call our insurance company. It’s one of those phone calls after an accident that just seems like first nature. We call police or medical assistance. Then we call our family. And then after the scene has somewhat settled and we are no longer in immediate danger, we call our insurance provider. We proceed to tell them everything that occurred. We explain what we were doing before the accident, where we were coming from, where we were going, who was in the car with us, and what we were specifically doing at the time of the collision. We then proceed to discuss any damage to our vehicle or injuries we have suffered. During this time we are entirely focused on rebuilding the damage and getting back to normal as soon as possible. We often do not consider the incredible damage we might be causing by speaking with an insurance company. While insurance companies aren’t bad; speaking to them prematurely or providing excessive information can be harmful to the recovery process.

The Insurance Company Does Not Work For You

Frequently after an accident, an insurance claim adjuster will call you and say that they are assigned to your case and will be working with you. Many people mistakenly believe that this means that the insurance company is working for them. That is absolutely wrong. The insurance adjuster works for the insurance company. This is often very confusing. They use language that leads you to believe that they work for you and have your best interest in mind. They say things like “I’m here to help you,” or “I will be assisting you in your recovery process.” This language is used specifically to make you trust the insurance company and believe that they represent your interests. In reality, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company.

Often the insurance company will do everything they can to delay, diminish, or deny your claim altogether. They are in the business of making money and they cannot make money if they are giving it all to you after your accident. The insurance company will strictly analyze your statement and the statements of everyone else involved in order to uncover ways to reduce your compensation or to deny your claim entirely. They want to pay you as little money as possible. Think about it this way: when you buy a new car you shop around. You research online, you visit different dealerships, you compare different brands and models and when you do decide which car you would like to purchase you probably haggle with the dealer in order to get the best deal possible. You do not want to pay any more than you absolutely must. The insurance company takes a similar approach when evaluating your claim. Consequently, this means that everything you say can be used against you.

Speaking With An Insurance Adjuster Will Often Hurt Your Case

Anything you tell a representative of the insurance company will likely be documented and heavily scrutinized later. As mentioned before, insurance adjusters use specific language to make you feel comfortable enough to tell them anything. And they are working harder each day to research your case to reduce your claim against them. Things that people would often not consider relevant to the case can completely alter negotiation settlements. Simply stating where you were coming from when you were involved in a car accident or mentioning something insignificant that you were doing at the time of the accident can be escalated by the insurance company to show that you are at least partially liable.

Often you will be contacted by the insurance provider of the other person involved in the accident. Many people are relieved when they find that the other person, who they believe is at fault, is also insured by the same insurance company. In most cases, this can actually be worse. Due to this common provider people will think that the insurance company will not fight hard to challenge the claim. When this situation arises the insurance company used by both parties will often have the exact opposite reaction. If the insurance company represents both you and the other party who caused the accident, they will be responsible for compensating you both. They must compensate you for your personal injuries and the damages to your vehicle. And they will be required to pay the other driver for any of their personal injuries and vehicle damages. Essentially, when both parties are represented by the same insurance company, the end result is a double pay out by the insurance provider. Insurance companies in this situation will work even harder to find ways to reduce or dismiss your claim.

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You should never speak with an insurance adjuster prior to consulting an attorney. They will be looking for any reason they can find to delay, reduce, or deny your claim and prevent you from receiving just compensation. You should consult an attorney who is experienced in personal injury negotiation and has a long standing history of dealing with insurance companies. Grossman Law Offices has been helping people like you, who have been hurt in car or truck accidents, for over 20 years. We care about our clients and work diligently to protect your rights. We also understand how difficult the recovery process can be after an accident. The last thing you should have to worry about is handling manipulative insurance companies all by yourself. If you have been involved in a car accident and need assistance dealing with insurance adjusters, call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000. We’re available day or night.
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Giving Medical Records to the Insurance Company

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Giving Medical Records to the Insurance Company

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We Discuss Why You Should NEVER Send Your Medical Bills to the Insurance Company After an Injury Accident

If another driver injures you and damages your vehicle, his insurance company might ask you for your medical records related to the accident. Should you provide your records to the driver’s insurance company? Should you talk with the other driver and his insurance company at all? What should you do if you are injured? How can you protect yourself after you’ve already been hurt?

If you are hurt in a car wreck, after seeking medical attention the first thing you should do is call a lawyer. Car, truck, van and other vehicle accidents seriously injure tens of thousands of Texans every year. On average, someone suffer serious injuries in a car wreck in Texas once every few minutes, every hour of the day, all year long. If you are wounded in a car wreck, call Grossman Law Offices. We’re ready to help you enforce your civil justice rights.

Medical Records

Your medical records will form some of the most important evidence in your lawsuit against the driver who hit you. Records from doctors, nurses and EMTs are the best way to reliably prove the harm done to you in an accident. And proving the harm done to you is the best way to achieve a fair recovery.

A common tactic by insurance companies in lawsuits is to ask people for medical records. If you send your medical records to the other driver’s insurance company, you are taking risks. Some of those risk are as follows:

The records you send may or may not be accurate.
They may or may not relate to the injury you suffered in the wreck.
They may or may not help you achieve a fair result.
Another reason insurance companies ask you for your medical records is trickier. If the other driver’s insurance company asks you for records and you send them yourself, you are showing the insurance company you do not have an attorney. You are also showing that you do not know what you’re doing. These are great reasons for the insurance company to take advantage of you as much and as quickly as possible. Insurers make fair offers to injury victims when those insurers are forced to. When you do not have a lawyer, you do not force insurers to do anything. You are at their mercy. Get a proven personal injury lawyer to protect your rights. Your lawyer is best qualified to make the important decisions about your records.

Authorizations

You do not need to send insurance companies your records in order for those companies to get your records. All an insurance company needs is for you to sign a simple authorization form, and the company can go get your records itself. These authorizations are called many different things: sometimes “HIPAA” authorizations, meaning they comply with a federal law known as the Health Insurance Protection and Accountability Act of 1996. If you sign a medical records authorization, a healthcare records authorization, a HIPAA authorization or anything else like that, you risk the insurance company getting your full medical records, even those unrelated to the accident.

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The Bottom Line

Your attorney is the one who should make the decisions about any documents to turn over to anyone when it comes to your injury. Let the attorneys at Grossman Law Offices bring their decades of experience to work for you and your loved ones. Call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000 to visit with our staff members right now.
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Accidents With Out-of-State Vehicles

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Accidents With Out-of-State Vehicles

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Issues and Concerns You May Have About an Injury Accident With a Car From Another State

Typically, when you are involved in a car or truck accident the other motorist will also be from Texas. While no accident is easy or stress-free in resolving, it is much easier when both motorists are from the same state. It can be much more difficult to resolve a car accident claim when the parties involved are from different states. This creates numerous problems; you should always seek an attorney to assist you when this conflict arises. Out of state motorists will likely be working with an attorney to represent them, their state may have different insurance requirements, and their state might have different laws which could greatly affect the outcome of the dispute.

Out of State Insurance Companies

Most insurance companies can be incredibly difficult to deal with. Their objective is to spend as little money as possible and frequently they are indifferent to your personal problems resulting from an auto accident. They hear sad stories every day and are trained to react without emotion to your misfortune. No matter how much you plead with them and explain in detail why you need them to pay for your medical bills or car repairs, they will deny as many claims as possible and often attempt to give you the smallest amount of compensation. Combine these issues with out of state insurance companies and negotiating a settlement with them can seem almost impossible. Many types of documents and various forms of evidence will need to be sent to these out of state insurance companies which can prove difficult when met with certain deadlines. Additionally, if the insurance company is located in a different time zone simply talking to them on the phone can prove incredibly challenging. You need an attorney who can assist you with this complicated and tiring process. Our job is to help you so that your regular life is disrupted as little as possible and to make sure that you receive the compensation necessary for your recovery. We are experienced in negotiating claims with out of state insurance companies and understand how to make this process work in your favor.

Out of State Attorneys and Conflicting Laws

Many out of state drivers cause car accidents because they are not familiar with our traffic laws and are unfamiliar with our roadways. Similarly, other states have different court procedures and common practices which could harm you if you become subject to them. For every accident there are numerous potential venues to file a claim. Most often the claim is filed and settled in the district of which the accident occurred, but occasionally, people will attempt to move the venue to their home state. This could create numerous problems for you and limit your potential recovery. Their attorney will be fighting relentlessly to have the claim filed in their state. This makes the negotiating process easier on their client and could also result in them being favored in court. Many other states have very different laws, like Louisiana which follows the Napoleonic Code, and these can sometimes be incredibly detrimental to your claim and subsequent recovery. You need an attorney who will help you keep the case here in Texas. Our attorneys have a great deal of knowledge about different venue locations and can help you determine which venue would be most beneficial to your case. Once we determine which venue is best suited for your argument we can help make sure that this is the court that the claim is judged.

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Out of State Claims Can Be Costly

By helping to make sure that your claim remains in Texas, we are helping to save you money. If the claim is filed and settled out of state you will be forced to send all relevant documents to that state and in many cases you will be forced to travel there as well. You should not be punished simply because another person chose to travel to Texas and ultimately involved you in a car accident. They chose to travel to this state and they should be required to adjudicate any claims against them in this state. Costs for adjudication can skyrocket when you are forced to travel to a different state. For example, if the person who hit your car is from New York and they seek to have the case resolved in New York you would have to pay for all travel expenses when you go to New York to resolve the claim. This would include airfare, hotel accommodations, and local travel expenses such as rental cars or taxi cabs. You could also lose money when you are forced to miss work for several days due to traveling. If you have been involved in a car accident with an out of state motorist, call Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000 any time, day or night, for a free consultation.
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Uninsured and Under-insured Motorist Claims

Can I File an Underinsured Motorist Claim?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Can I File an Underinsured Motorist Claim?

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In Order to File an Underinsured Motorist Claim, You Must Have Exhausted the Liable Driver’s Insurance Policy First

The quick answer is no. An underinsured motorist claim is a claim brought through your insurance coverage to make up for whatever damages that exceeds the policy limits of the at-fault party’s insurance; such as loss of wages, medical bills, physical damages, property damage, and other like forms of damages. If you were to settle your claim for the maximum policy limits you will be able to make an underinsured claim with your insurance company, but by taking a settlement offer that is less than the policy limits you forfeit your rights to make an under insurance claim. This is because by settling for less than policy limits you are in effect consenting that sum of money will cover all your injuries arising out of the accident.

How Can I Make Sure That I Settle at the Maximum of the Policy Limits?

Negotiating settlements without a lawyer is extremely tricky, the insurance company and their representatives are skilled and trained at what they do; they will try to take advantage of your lack of experience and lack of attorney representation to persuade you to settle for less than what you deserve. In negotiating settlements the Stowers Doctrine has been long used to facilitate fair settlement procedures.

Often times insurance companies will impose a tactic known as shaving, this is offering settlement of less than the policy limits of their policy in order to save money. The Stowers doctrine provides that if an insurance company fails to accept a reasonable settlement offer from the plaintiff and the action proceeds to court, the insurance company will be liable for the entire judgment even if such judgment exceeds the amount of the policy limits of the insurance coverage.

Certain elements need to be met before the doctrine is activated. Stowers inflicts no duty on an insurance company to make independent efforts to settle. The insurance company is only required to respond to settlement offers that it receives from the plaintiffs. In order to qualify, the offer must be a clear offer to release the insurance company and their client from all liability for an amount that is within the limits of the policy. The insurance company must be given a reasonable time to respond.

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The duty to settle under Stowers is not unconditional. The insurance company is not required to settle if a reasonable uninsured would not do so. However these types of claims are rarely successful. To be successful in these type cases it is important to be represented by someone who will serve your best interest, will inform you of your rights, and has experience in all facets of personal injury law. The attorneys at Grossman Law Offices have more than 20 years of experience in the practice of personal injury law and will make sure that you receive the maximum amount of recovery that you are entitled to under the law, call 1-855-392-0000 for further information on how they can serve you.
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The Difference Between UM and UIM Claims

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » The Difference Between UM and UIM Claims

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What is the Difference Between Uninsured Motorist (UM) and Underinsured Motorist (UIM) coverage?

Uninsured motorist coverage allows one to recover from their own insurance coverage in instances where the individual and vehicle at fault in the accident are not covered by insurance. While minimum coverage is required by state law, many drivers today still drive without insurance. In fact, according to news sources one of every seven drivers on the road is uninsured. This can leave you in a difficult situation if you get into an accident with an uninsured motorist; you would likely need the assistance of an attorney to aid you in your possible avenues of recovery.

Unlike uninsured motorists, underinsured motorists do have insurance; the insurance coverage is generally at or close to the minimum requirements of state law. While motorists are perfectly within their rights to carry such a low amount of insurance, this small amount of coverage goes only a little way in covering all the costs related to an accident; such as injuries, property damage, lost wages, and other costs. Underinsured motorist coverage will protect you from accidents such as these, where you’re insurance will pay the remainder or set amount of money toward the amount the at-fault driver’s insurance did not cover.

Different states take different approaches to their policies on uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage requirements. Some states require that uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage is part of your regular insurance package while other states have no such requirement and treat these as optional additional coverage types.

Why is This Important to me?

This is important to consumers because the reality is that people who are underinsured or uninsured generally lack substantial assets that could be sought in a lawsuit or aid in their insurance’s lack of coverage. Drivers need to be proactive in protecting themselves from these future accidents with uninsured and underinsured motorists.

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How Does Texas Treat Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

The Texas Insurance Code requires that all automobile insurance companies in Texas offer underinsured motorist/uninsured motorist coverage as a part of the standard Texas Personal Automobile Insurance Policy, with the purpose being to protect those who are insured against the negligent acts of the financially irresponsible (Member Mutual Ins. Co. v. Hermann Hospital, 664 S. W. 2d 325 [Tex.1984]). Basically, by purchasing this coverage, the policyholder has purchased liability insurance for the uninsured or underinsured motorist (Sikes v. Zuloaga, 830 S. W. 2d 752 [Tex. App.—Austin 1992, no writ]). While Texas has done its best to protect its motorists from situations such as this we can never be too careful and insurance companies often try to limit the amount of money they have to pay out. You need someone that can help explain your rights to you.

Being in an auto accident can be a scary experience and often times you are left not knowing what to do or who to turn to. That’s why you should contact Grossman Law Offices at 1-855-392-0000. They have more than 20 years of personal injury experience and are eager to help you get through this trying time.
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Household Extension of UIM Coverage

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » Household Extension of UIM Coverage

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How Does the Household Extension for Underinsurance Coverage Apply to my Spouse’s or Child’s Automobile Accident Injuries?

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Underinsured motorist coverage is coverage that is part of your insurance coverage to cover any costs that is beyond the policy limits of the defendant’s insurance. Underinsurance applies more than one would think. It was originally designed to cover your car and the passengers in it. It would be there in case there was an accident with damages greater than the amount of the coverage that is set out in the defendant’s insurance. It has since been expanded to even cover other areas. The household extension for underinsurance coverage is part of that expansion, it provides that the members of your household can claim underinsurance coverage that is part of your personal car insurance even if they are not riding in the car at when their injuries arose and their damages were not fully covered by the defendant’s insurance. Such as if your child rides in a car pool to school and is hurt, the underinsurance coverage will cover any remaining outstanding costs. Hiring an attorney in situations like these can be extremely beneficial in maximizing your recovery efforts.

While we have intentionally made getting payments from the underinsurance coverage of your personal insurance sound easy that could not be further from the truth. Insurance companies do not like to just hand over money because every dollar they give out is taken directly from their profits. In order to qualify to seek underinsurance you must settle for the policy limits of the defendant’s insurance. To be able to get access to your underinsurance coverage you will likely need the advice of an attorney that is experienced in such matters. Getting the insurance to pay such claims is very technical. Having legal representation is invaluable because it not only informs and provides you with all your avenues of recovery it also holds your insurance accountable, because if they do not pay when they are required to do so we are prepared to bring insurance code violations under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) which is extremely complicated and extremely damaging to the insurance company.

Insurance companies are notorious for not paying out when they should or trying to pay you the bare minimum. By hiring an attorney to represent your interest you are not only letting the insurance company know that you are to be taken seriously, but also helping yourself by having someone on your side that is informed of relevant case law and how to apply it.

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The attorneys of Grossman Law Offices have a proven track record in representing clients in matters such as these. They have successfully fought insurance companies for underinsurance claims, effectively arguing household extension claims ranging from college age children that were injured in friends vehicles while away at school, to children that are riding in a car pool. If you or a loved one has been involved in such a case then you need to be informed of your rights. Grossman Law Offices have been practicing personal injury law for more than 20 years and deal with cases just like these on a day-to-day basis. Call now to schedule your free consultation at 1-855-392-0000.
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UM & UIM Claims Outside the Vehicle

Houston Personal Injury Lawyers » UM & UIM Claims Outside the Vehicle

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Do I Have to be in my Vehicle in Order to File a Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Claim?

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First, what is the difference between an uninsured motorist and an underinsured motorist? An uninsured motorist does not possess auto insurance of any kind. You may be thinking, “Aren’t you required to have insurance by law?” The answer is yes, however one of every seven drivers on the road possess no insurance making accidents with uninsured drivers very common. While someone who is underinsured is a person that does not possess enough insurance to cover all the damage that is caused by the accident which includes; property damage, lost wages, medical expenses, and other like damages. The underinsured motorist claim/uninsured motorist coverage in your insurance policy covers events when you or your vehicle are in an accident with a motorist who is uninsured, underinsured, or flees the scene of the accident.

Are the Passengers in my Car Covered by the Underinsured Motorist/ Uninsured Motorist Claim Policies in my Insurance Coverage?

Much like when you lend your car out to someone, under-insured insurance policies in your insurance will follow your car and protect the driver and all the passengers in it when a car accident with an underinsured driver takes occurs.

What if I’m Not in a Car When I Get Hit by an Underinsured/ Uninsured Motorist?

We hate to think of tragic events happening when doing something as harmless as going for a walk, unfortunately this happens. So what if you or a loved one is injured or killed in a pedestrian accident and the motorist is uninsured? Before you worry whether you’re own medical insurance will cover you, having uninsured motorist/underinsured motorist coverage in your auto insurance plan may be able to contribute to the amount of medical costs and other costs that you may experience as a result of the accident.

What if my Car is Parked and Someone Crashes Into it and Does Not Have Insurance?

Your amount of coverage from an accident involving your parked vehicle does not change because you were parked or moving at the time of the accident. Your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will cover the cost set out in your insurance policy.

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What Happens if I am Riding my Bicycle and Someone Hits me and Flees the Accident Scene?

If you are hit by a car while riding your bicycle you will be covered by their auto insurance, however if they do not have insurance or flee the scene what will happen? You will likely be able to use the under insurance/uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your injuries. To ensure that you are afforded all the protection that you are entitled to, you need to make sure that you are represented by skilled and knowledgeable attorney’s that have experience getting clients the maximum amount of coverage that they deserve.

Getting in a car accident or being injured by a motorist while walking, cycling, or other activities can be a scary and confusing time. Often people are pushed into signing releases before they are ready and are made fully aware of the extent of their injuries. Don’t be one of these people, know your rights! Call 1-855-392-0000 to get in contact with Grossman Law Offices. We have more than 20 years of experience practicing personal injury law and are eager to help you fight for the damages that you deserve.

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