If you were hurt at a friend’s house and their insurance company has contacted you about potential damages, you might be concerned about how to handle the situation. For many, the damages your friend’s insurance company wants to pay you are not going to be high enough to cover your injuries. Your friend might not even be aware of how severely their insurance company might be trying to shortchange you. When you have to deal with your friend’s insurance company – whether that be after a Baltimore car accident, a Baltimore premises liability injury case, or any other injury case in Maryland – you should speak with an attorney to handle the negotiations for you. Our Baltimore personal injury lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras explain.
How to Deal with an Insurance Company After an Accident in Maryland
The first thing to remember about insurance companies is that they have their own interests to protect. Even if the insurance company is the same insurance company you use or the injury case involved your friend’s insurance company, the insurance company is always going to want to save money and settle cases low to end them quickly.
This means that even in the best of circumstances, the insurance company usually does not want to pay you money, and they would prefer if you dropped your claim or accepted their first offer. Unfortunately, serious injuries with expensive treatment and recovery, such as spinal cord injuries, might make it impossible to accept such low offers.
To accomplish their goal of saving money, many insurance companies will make it seem like the offer they’ve given you is the only offer you are going to get, or they will push you to accept quickly and not give you the time to think about your claim.
Because these companies do not truly represent your interests, the best strategy for dealing with them is usually to work with a lawyer. Your own personal injury lawyer can represent you – and will be legally and ethically required to represent your best interests.
Once you officially inform the insurance company that you have representation, they should stop trying to contact you about the case. Instead, your Maryland personal injury lawyer will be the central point of contact, and all negotiations and settlement offers should go through them. With experience calculating damages and dealing with these kinds of cases, your lawyer can help you understand what your case should be worth and fight any claims that do not satisfy your needs.
Should I Accept a Friend’s Insurance Offer After an Accident in Maryland?
Having an accident at a friend’s house or being involved in a car accident with a friend can be difficult. Their homeowners insurance might cover the accident if the accident happened on their property, or their auto insurance might try to cover the accident if they hit you or if you were a passenger in their car. However, the insurance company and your friend are separate entities – pushing the insurance company to pay you in full is very different from asking your friend for money.
In many cases, your friend will want to get you the help you deserve, and the way that happens is by getting the insurance company to cover your case. However, your friend might not know what their insurance company’s plans are, and the insurance policy they have might give them little to no control over the insurance company’s decisions.
In many cases, it doesn’t do you or your friend any favors for you to accept a low settlement offer. It can be stressful for your friend to have to worry about ongoing cases against their insurance, and accepting a settlement will end that – but it can be far more stressful for you to deal with the effects of a serious injury, expensive medical bills, and lost work. You have no obligation to your friend to settle the case at a price that does not cover your needs.
Instead of settling, many cases end up going to court because the damages offered are not high enough to cover the victim’s injuries.
Can I Sue in Maryland if My Friend’s Insurance Company Low-Balls My Injury Claim?
If your case began with an insurance claim or with an insurance company contacting you about paying for your damages, you have no obligation to work within their system and accept the damages they offer you. Most of the time, Maryland law allows you to take the person who was responsible for your injuries to court. This includes potentially suing your friend for injuries at their house or in a car they were driving.
Although you might not want to sue your friend, it might ultimately be the best way to get yourself the compensation you deserve. If their insurance company is offering low settlements or has not taken steps to cover the damages you need, you might need to sue to get full damages. Unfortunately, your friend will have to be the target of that lawsuit on paper – but in most cases, their insurance company will cover most of the damages and even pay for their lawyer for them according to the terms of their insurance policy.
Our Baltimore slip and fall injury lawyer handles these kinds of cases and other injury cases and can advise you on the specifics in your case and help you understand how the case will progress, who pays for which damages, and what kind of risks are involved with a lawsuit.
Call Our Injury Lawyer for Help Dealing with Insurance Companies in Maryland
If you were injured in an accident, it can be stressful to deal with the insurance companies and get the compensation you need. Especially if the injuries you faced were your friend’s fault, we might be able to get you substantial compensation for your injuries by negotiating with the insurance company or taking your case to court. For a free case consultation, call Rice, Murtha & Psoras today at (410) 694-7291.