What Not to Say to An Insurance Adjuster

Posted on Friday, April 1st, 2022 at 7:59 pm    

What Not to Say to An Insurance AdjusterThe hours and days after an accident are probably a blur. You’re trying to figure out what happened to you. You might still be in the hospital or trying to get out of bed with a pair of crutches. Then someone calls you. “Hi, this is Bob from XYZ Insurance! Got a minute to talk?”

No matter how cheerful and friendly they act in their commercials, insurance companies are not your friends after an accident. They are not there to help you, and they don’t have your best interests in mind. And if they’re calling on behalf of the other party, they really aren’t looking out for you. Insurance adjusters want one thing, and that is to pay as little as possible for everything.

What to Do When the Adjuster Calls

The best thing to do when Bob from XYZ Insurance calls is to say you don’t have time to talk right now and hang up. Under the terms of your policy, you have a certain amount of time to report the accident to your insurance company, and you are allowed to take all of it. Typically, it is 30 days. Then you should seek legal advice. Our lawyers from the Abel Law Firm can help you talk to Bob and any other insurers who may be trying to get your attention.

You Should Never:

You should neverThere are some things you should never do or say when Bob and his eager colleagues call, trying to catch you off guard after an accident.

  • Never say you feel fine. Never discuss your injuries in any way. Insurance agents are looking for ways to minimize your injuries so they can deny your claim. If they call you three days after an accident and you say you’re “doing fine,” it can be taken to mean your injuries are not severe. However, you are not a doctor. Don’t try to give a diagnosis to the agent that could conflict with the actual doctor’s report. Tell them they’ll have to wait for the medical report.
  • Never say you were at fault. This includes apologizing or asking if the other party is all right. Something as minor as “I’m sorry this happened” can be used as a statement of accepting responsibility. State the bare facts in response to direct questions.
  • Never speculate about the accident. If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. People hate to look like they don’t know everything, so we make things up. In an accident investigation, made-up statements can be used against you. If a flowerpot fell on your head, don’t say you think it might have fallen out of a window, just say, “I don’t know where it came from.”
  • Never agree to say anything on the record. The adjuster might ask if it’s okay to record your statement, or you might hear a ten-second beep on the phone line. Unless your attorney is present, never say anything that is being recorded.
  • Never accept the first settlement or indicate you will agree to something that sounds like one. For instance, do not say you agree to send the company all your emergency room bills “so they can cut you a check.” Don’t agree to anything until an attorney can review the agreement.

Finally, be very wary if you hear an adjuster say something like, “you won’t need an attorney for this.” Having legal counsel for any negotiation is always your right. If the insurance company suggests that the process would go faster if you just let their attorney handle the review, you should contact your own attorney immediately.

How We Can Help

At the Abel Law Firm, we’ve been defending our clients against unfair claim denials and bad faith practices since 1976. We know that most insurance companies aren’t out to cheat you, but some are, and you need help to tell the difference.

If you’ve been injured in any kind of accident that wasn’t your fault and need legal advice, call our team. We will manage the phone calls, do the paperwork, and make sure you don’t have anything to do but recover from your injuries. When it’s time to negotiate a settlement, our attorneys will make sure your rights are protected, and we’ll demand the compensation you’re entitled to receive.

Call the Oklahoma City personal injury lawyers of the Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046 today. Let us review your claim and give you the assistance you need for the best resolution to your case.


Adult and child dead, 1 child hurt after mobile home fire in Broken Arrow

Posted on Saturday, March 12th, 2022 at 9:33 pm    

BROKEN ARROW, OK – A child and an adult were killed and another child was hospitalized after a mobile home caught fire in Broken Arrow this morning, according to information from KTUL.

The fire broke out at a home in the 2800 block of East Lansing Place, near N 28th Street. When officials arrived at the scene, flames and heavy smoke were pouring from the mobile home.

An adult and a child were pronounced dead after the incident. Their ages and identities were not immediately released.

Another child was taken to the hospital for the treatment of undisclosed injuries.

No further details are available at this time.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.

 


Collision reported on US- 169 NB at 61st Street

Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2022 at 5:26 am    

TULSA, OKC- A collision happened on US- 169 NB at 61st Street on the evening of March 4, according to TTN Tulsa.

It is unclear whether the collision led to injuries at this time.

We will continue to monitor this story as it develops and provide further details as possible.


This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.


Man airlifted to hospital after crashing ATV off cliff in Kay County

Posted on Sunday, March 6th, 2022 at 10:34 pm    

KAW CITY, OK (KAY COUNTY) – One person sustained multiple injuries after his ATV went over the side of a cliff on a ride on ATV trails in Kay County yesterday afternoon, according to local news sources.

The crash happened at the ATV trails at Sarge Creek near Kaw Lake at around 4:15 p.m., when the 29-year-old driver of an ATV reportedly traveled off the side of a small cliff.

The victim, identified as 29-year-old Ponca City resident Zachariah Means, was extricated from the scene, then taken to the nearby campgrounds with the help of emergency responders.

From there, he was airlifted to the hospital in Tulsa to receive treatment for multiple injuries, including a severe leg injury.

The crash remains under investigation.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma City ATV accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.

 


3 people injured after house fire at Pennsylvania Ave and SW 77th Pl

Posted on Saturday, February 19th, 2022 at 9:50 pm    

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Three people were treated for injuries following a house fire in South Oklahoma City this afternoon, according to KOCO News.

The incident happened at a home near SW 77th Place and S Pennsylvanian Avenue and appears to have started on the outside of the structure.

Three residents were treated for minor injuries after escaping the blaze.

Fire officials believe that the incident may have been started by smoking.

The home was deemed to be about 60 percent destroyed in the fire.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma City accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.


16-year-old boy killed in ATV crash in Latimer County

Posted on Sunday, February 6th, 2022 at 8:38 pm    

WILBURTON, OK (LATIMER COUNTY) – A teenage boy from Latimer County was killed in an ATV accident in the Wilburton area on Friday, according to information from KFOR.

The crash happened on a snow-covered road on private property located 5.5 miles west of Wilburton. A 16-year-old boy from Wilburton was riding on a 2017 Polaris Ranger ATV when he crashed the vehicle.

The teenager was partially ejected from the ATV and was later pronounced dead.

The cause of the crash was not immediately released, and the incident remains under investigation at this time.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.


Man killed in house fire at 74th St and Hiwassee Rd in SE OKC

Posted on Sunday, January 30th, 2022 at 9:59 pm    

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – A man was killed in a house fire in southeastern Oklahoma City this morning, according to information from KFOR News.

The fire happened at a home near the intersection of 74th Street and Hiwassee Road at about 7:10 a.m.

One of the occupants of the home, a 50-year-old man, was removed from the blaze by fire crews. He was then taken to the hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.

Authorities continue to investigate the blaze at this time.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma City personal injury attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.

 


When Can I Expect My Compensation?

Posted on Saturday, January 1st, 2022 at 6:43 pm    

A claim or a lawsuit for an injury that was not your fault must go through several steps before you can expect to receive financial compensation, or damages. You must submit an insurance claim to the at-fault party’s insurance company, after which they investigate the claim.

In many cases, they will send an insurance adjuster to ask questions and possibly offer you an initial settlement. It’s important that you do not speak with an insurance adjuster without your Oklahoma personal injury attorney present.

Insurance adjusters are skilled negotiators. Their goal is to protect the financial interests of their company. This means the first settlement offer is often not the best. Insurance companies are protected by skilled and experienced attorneys. You should be too.

If your attorney is unable to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company, you and your attorney may decide to take the case to court. In Oklahoma, there is a two-year statute of limitations. This means you must submit a lawsuit within two years of the date of the injury or accident. If you don’t, the court will likely dismiss your case.

What Is a Settlement?

A settlement is reached when you and the at-fault party insurance company reach a compromise on the amount of compensation you will be paid for the injuries you incurred. Any settlement agreement the parties sign is a binding contract. If a settlement is not possible, you may decide to take your case to court.

What Is an Award?

When you take your case to court, if the court determines you should be paid compensation, they will enter a verdict in your favor and make an award of the amount of compensation, or “damages,” you should be paid by the at-fault party.

How Personal Injury Compensation Works in Oklahoma

Once an agreement has been made between the victim and the at-fault party’s insurance company, or an award has been made by the court, it’s important to know when and how the money gets paid.

To date, there is no consistent answer to this question. In some cases, payment of the settlement becomes part of the agreement. In other words, the parties may agree that the payment is made over a certain number of days or weeks.

Some time may be necessary for the insurance company to order the check, have it printed, and then sent. These checks often passed through several hands before reaching you.

When the attorney’s fees are taken from the settlement, the check is first deposited into the client’s trust account that the law firm holds. It must have been clear before the fees and expenses are deducted, and a new check is issued.

Is My Compensation Taxable?

The amount recovered in compensation will depend on your individual circumstances and other factors. As you’re waiting for your compensation, you may have questions about whether the money will be taxed by the IRS.

It is important to know that, provided the compensation you receive is for a physical injury, the U.S. tax code excludes settlements and awards from taxation. The definition of a physical injury includes injuries and even illnesses that are caused by another person’s negligence. Other losses that your compensation may cover that should be tax-exempt include lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

The IRS will pursue taxes from the compensation you receive from an award of punitive damages. This is compensation the court awards to the plaintiff as punishment for the negligence that caused the accident. Punitive damages are rare and are only awarded by the court. Punitive damages are always taxable.

If your trust account accumulates interest on the judgment, the interest is taxable. Additionally, if compensation is awarded only for emotional damage, it is taxable. In other words, if your personal injury suit was for emotional distress or employment discrimination, without physical injury, the compensation may be taxed.

Abel Law Firm Is Ready to Help You

When you work with the legal team at Abel Law Firm, we walk you through every step of a personal injury claim or case. We make sure you are kept up to date with what is happening with your case and we involve you in all the decision-making.

With over 130 years of legal experience, our team recognizes that you have a unique story, and we understand the financial and emotional burden that often accompanies an accident or injury. We are here to listen to your story and fight aggressively to protect your rights.

Our attorneys are accomplished negotiators and tenacious litigators. This is evidenced by our results. Before hiring a personal injury attorney, it is important to meet with them, learn the process they use, and understand the care that your case will be given.

Our legal team encourages you to call and schedule a free case evaluation. You’ll be able to meet our staff, learn about our skills, and receive advice on your next best steps to recover damages for your injuries. If you were injured in an accident by someone else’s negligence, you deserve the experienced and compassionate representation you’ll receive from Abel Law Firm. Contact our office today at (405) 239-7046 or online to schedule your free case evaluation.


Traffic incident reported on Robinson Avenue at NW 63rd Street

Posted on Friday, December 17th, 2021 at 8:34 am    

OKLAHOMA, OKC- Authorities responded to an accident on Robinson Avenue at NW 63rd Street on the evening of December 16, according to TTN Oklahoma City.

The circumstances of the accident are unclear at this time.

Traffic was affected for some time following the accident.

This information is presented as a way to help keep our community safer and is not meant to be taken as legal advice. However, the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at the Abel Law Firm have helped clients secure financial compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident involving another vehicle, contact us today for a free consultation.


How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?

Posted on Wednesday, December 15th, 2021 at 3:44 pm    

Personal injury law is a large and involved part of the legal system. Locating everything you need to make a claim when you have an accident that may be someone else’s fault can be overwhelming. One of the most frequently asked questions by people with personal injury claims is, “How long will this take if I file a lawsuit?”

The statute of limitations on a claim for personal injury is two years in Oklahoma. However, the actual time a personal injury lawsuit can take varies greatly. The statute of limitations limits the time period within which someone can file a lawsuit, not how long it will take for the case to be complete. So, your lawsuit could potentially take substantially longer than that. It could also potentially wrap up quite quickly. The circumstances of your case and other factors will determine the duration of your lawsuit.

While civil and criminal personal injuries are very different, one of the most fundamental differences is that, in civil cases, the plaintiff files a lawsuit against another individual or business. In contrast, the state brings charges against the defendant through the district attorney’s office in a criminal case.

What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

When you’ve been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you may pursue a claim for compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. Sometimes, no settlement agreement can be reached, either because the insurance company won’t offer a full and fair amount of compensation for your injuries, or because they’re denying the claim outright. In either case, you and your lawyer can file a personal injury lawsuit.

Personal injuries lawsuits are filed against the at-fault party after their negligent, careless, or intentional actions caused the accident in which you were injured. Negligence is usually the key factor in injury cases.

You can also have what is known as “strict liability.” In a case where strict liability applies, an injury may occur when offenders do not intend it, such as when a product was defective in design, manufacture, or marketing, and you used the product as intended, but were harmed. In cases like these, whoever manufactured the product could be held liable for the injury, regardless of the likelihood that they did not intend to harm anyone.

“Intentional wrongs” are acts performed by the individual who caused your injury that occurred due to an intentional act. Examples include assault, false imprisonment, or intentional infliction of emotional distress.

What Kind of Personal Injury Cases Does Abel Law Firm Take?

Abel Law Firm handles car accidents, motorcycle accidents, construction accidents, scooter injuries, burn injuries, spinal cord injuries, trucking accidents, nursing home abuse, insurance disputes, bike-share (rent-a-bike) accidents, dog bites, and traumatic brain injuries, all of which could have the potential to be personal injury lawsuits.

What Compensation Could I Get Through a Lawsuit?

The reason you file a lawsuit after you were injured through someone else’s actions is to pursue compensation for your injuries and losses. This compensation is called “damages.” In Oklahoma, you may be eligible for economic, non-economic, and punitive or exemplary damages.

Economic damages cover monetary losses. You may be able to pursue compensation for:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage

Non-economic damages are compensation for the intangible losses you may have suffered as a result of the accident. You may be eligible for compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Mental anguish and anxiety

Punitive, or exemplary, damages can only be awarded at trial. These awards are rare, and rather than being intended to compensate you for your losses, they are meant to punish the at-fault party. In Oklahoma, punitive damages may be awarded when there is clear and convincing evidence that the at-fault party acted intentionally and with malice, or was guilty of reckless disregard for the well-being of others.

Contact Us

If you’ve been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation. And you’re much more likely to get appropriate compensation with a lawyer on your side. We know how to get money for our clients: Abel Law Firm has recovered nearly a quarter-billion dollars in compensation for our clients. Our owner, Ed Abel, was named Oklahoma City litigator of the year.

You can have our Oklahoma City injury lawyers review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call Abel Law Firm at (405) 239-7046 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation. A consultation will help you decide how to move forward with your case and help put your mind at ease.

If you have been hurt due to the negligence or recklessness of another party, Abel Law Firm can assist you in determining whether a civil lawsuit is appropriate. Contact us at (405) 239-7046 today.

Ed Abel Named Oklahoma City Personal Injury Litigator of the Year

Ed Abel was awarded the Litigator of the Year award as recognition of his tremendous success in the courtroom defending the lives of Oklahomans, and his unique service as a true son of the State of Oklahoma. He has won some of the largest verdicts in Oklahoma's history, and he and his team have successfully argued against harmful tort reform laws in the state Supreme Court. His impact is so widespread across the state that Governor Mary Fallin declared May 1st as "Ed Abel Day."

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