WARNING: Insurance Trick – “Telephone Release” in Auto Accident ClaimBy Stewart J. Guss on January 11th, 2014
I thought I’d seen all the dirty tricks insurance companies use settle claims dirty and cheap, but there’s a new trick on the block: Telephone releases. I signed up a new client last week who told me that he had been given a $500.00 charge card to use to pay for his medical bills. He told me that he hadn’t signed anything, but had given a recorded statement to the insurance investigator after his auto accident (my regular readers will know that I HIGHLY recommend you NOT give a recorded statement.) I told him NOT to use that card, and I sent my standard “letter of representation” to Nationwide Insurance, the insurance company for the driver that had hit my client.
A couple of days later, I get a phone call from the adjuster that my client had already released his claim. The adjuster stated that they had obtained a “telephone release” on the auto accident, and that the claim was closed. When I listened to the recording, sure enough, the adjuster smoothly weaved some release language into the conversation with my client who had, literally, just come home from the hospital after his wreck.
I’m going to do everything to fight Nationwide Insurance on this one. They may spend MILLIONS of dollars on their television advertising budget trying to convince you that “Nationwide is on your side,” but with dirty tricks up their sleeve like this? I find that hard to believe. My position is that they took serious advantage of my client who was still stunned, shocked, and in pain from the auto accident he had just experienced.
I’ve written before that the FIRST call you should make after your auto accident is to an experienced personal injury lawyer, NOT to the insurance company. Those insurance adjusters have ONE job, and ONE job only – to get a release from you as QUICKLY and as CHEAPLY as possible. Remember – a third party insurance company (the insurance company for the person that hit you in a car wreck) has NO LEGAL RIGHT to demand a recorded statement from you. There is NO good that can come of giving that recorded statement and what you say “can and will be used against you” to try to deny your claim.
If you have been injured in a auto accident, call me BEFORE you talk to the insurance companies. I’ve been protecting the rights of injured Texans for almost 20 years. I’ve represented auto accident victims from Houston, Katy, Spring, Cypress, The Woodlands, Tomball and throughout Texas. For a free consultation, call our office today at 800-898-4877. Remember, that call is free and there is no charge unless I win your case!