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Another Reason Not to Talk to an Insurance Adjuster After a Wreck

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Just wanted to put a quick post up to say what an honor it was to tell a client’s story to the Texas House Insurance Committee on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Unfortunately, as if we need another reason not to talk to an insurance adjuster after a wreck, the 5th District Court of Appeals has provided yet another.

An insurance adjuster called my client on the phone just two days after a significant wreck to persuade her to release her claim. In only two and a half minutes on the phone with the adjuster, her claim was gone—long before she even knew the amount of the first bill from the hospital. She called to cancel immediately, but the adjuster told her no.

She is now hurt, cannot pay her medical bills, and cannot receive the additional treatment she needs. Her story highlights a new abusive insurance practice of receiving an “oral” release of claims over the telephone in the immediate aftermath of a significant collision.

In the industry, the practice of insurance adjusters quickly and cheaply settling what are likely to be significant claims is called a “swoop and settle.” The 5th District Court of Appeals, which serves Dallas and five other North Texas counties, has approved the use of these oral telephone releases in the past. For now, the law in these six North Texas counties allows for them as well.

The “oral release” is just the newest version of an unfair—but again, currently legal—way insurance adjusters can take advantage of unrepresented folks after an at-fault injury. Fortunately, State Representative Julie Johnson (D-Dallas) filed a bill which gives an injured person time to void such an agreement, oral or written, if it is entered into within 45 days of a covered incident. Hopefully, judging from the thoughtful questions and comments from both the Democrats and Republicans on the committee, the legislature can craft something that will put an end to this practice.

If you have been injured in a car accident, reach out to the lawyers at The McCraw Law Group. The insurance adjusters might not have your best interests in mind following a car accident. Therefore, you could benefit from obtaining a compassionate and experienced attorney.