Insights from Alek Zeven – Dealing with Insurance Companies During a Personal Injury Case

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Alek Zeven is a distinguished figure in personal injury law with over 25- years of experience. As the founder of the Zeven Law Firm, he has dedicated his legal practice to assisting individuals and families impacted by serious personal injuries. With a focus on personal injury cases, Zeven has successfully navigated thousands of cases, securing judgments and settlements in the millions for his clients.  His aggressive and resourceful approach in taking on powerful adversaries like insurance companies and large corporations has earned him an outstanding reputation within the legal community.

In this interview, Alek Zeven provides valuable insights into how to effectively deal with insurance companies during a personal injury case.

Alek, can you start by telling us what the most common challenges are when dealing with insurance companies in personal injury cases?

Absolutely.  One of the primary challenges is that insurance companies are inherently motivated to minimize their payouts. They employ various tactics to discourage claims and reduce the compensation they have to pay by denying that their insured is legally responsible for the harm.  And if that does not work, then they will assert that the injuries and damages claimed are unrelated, excessive or unreasonable.  It’s crucial for victims to be prepared with strategies and tactics and understand that insurance companies are generally not on their side.

How should individuals prepare for negotiations with insurance companies?

Preparation is key.  It begins with gathering comprehensive documentation related to the injury, such as medical records, witness statements, and evidence of lost wages. It’s also important to understand the full extent of the damages, including future medical needs and non-economic damages like pain and suffering. Being well-prepared with a strong case can significantly strengthen one’s position in negotiations.

What strategies do you recommend for effectively communicating with insurance adjusters?

Clear and firm communication is essential.  Before providing information to or communicating with insurance adjusters, it is important to contact a lawyer and obtain a consultation concerning your incident and your rights.  Always review any written communication from the insurance company with your lawyer before responding.

At what point should someone consider getting an attorney involved?

I recommend consulting with a lawyer as soon as possible after an injury before answering any questions from an insurance company,  their investigators, or representatives.  This includes your own insurance company.  What you say or not say to anyone contacting you, is key.  An experienced personal injury lawyer can take over the communications with the insurance company, ensuring that your statutory rights and your rights under your insurance policy are protected.  A lawyer can provide a preliminary evaluation of your claim, which is crucial early on in the handling of your claim.

What is the impact of state laws on personal injury claims and negotiations with insurance companies?

Each State is a separate jurisdiction with its own laws.  These State laws apply to your claim and can impact a claim for injuries and damages arising in that State.  State laws significantly impact the rights of personal injury claimants, especially since each State has its own statutes of limitations, civil procedure, and rights and limitations on damages, depending on the type of claim you present.   For example, in States with a comparative fault rule, the amount of compensation you receive can be reduced by the percentage of fault attributed to you in the incident.  Understanding the specific laws of your State is crucial and is something that a local personal injury lawyer will be adept at navigating.

How important is medical documentation in strengthening a personal injury claim?

Medical documentation is absolutely critical.  Medical records provide an insight to the nature and extent of your injuries, which an insurer can evaluate for resolution of your claim.  Hence, it is vital to obtain your doctor’s entire chart, including treatment orders, medical evaluations,  and medical billing.  Absence of comprehensive medical records, can create real challenges to a personal injury claim.

What are some common mistakes people make when filing a claim with an insurance company?

Many folks experience stress and anxiety after an accident.  And it is quite natural to experience helplessness from shock caused by a life altering situation.  Hence, folks are desperate to seek out help.  On the one hand, it is important to give your insurance company timely notice so that they can investigate the claim and tender benefits or assistance without delay.  On the other hand, it is important to consult an attorney before contacting anyone, including one’s own insurance company in order to provide key information which can impact a claim.

How can claimants ensure their rights are protected throughout the claims process?

It’s vital to understand your insurance policy and the scope of coverage. Claimants should also be wary of signing any documents or making recorded statements without legal advice. Insurance companies can use these against the claimant to reduce the payout. Engaging a personal injury attorney early can help safeguard your statutory and rights granted to you by your insurance coverage.

Can you explain the role of a personal injury attorney during negotiations with an insurance company?

A personal injury lawyer plays a critical role in leveling the playing field. They have the experience and expertise to evaluate your claim and the positions taken by an insurance company towards you and your claim for damages.  Lawyers are also skilled in advocating for you during settlement negotiations.  .

What should victims do if their claim is denied by the insurance company?

If a claim is denied by an insurance company, the first step is to request a detailed explanation and basis for the denial.   Review this with your lawyer to understand the reasons.  If the denial is unjust or baseless altogether, your lawyer can take appropriate action and seek remedies, including filing for litigation in a court of appropriate jurisdiction.  The input of a skilled lawyer can often make an insurance company reconsider position and denial of benefits.

How can personal injury victims best manage their expectations throughout the duration of their case?

Managing expectations is crucial. It’s important to understand that personal injury cases can be lengthy, especially when substantial compensation is involved.  Patience is key.   Your lawyer will help you manage your expectations and limit anxiety resulting therefrom.  Access to and communication with your lawyer can provide clarity and reassurance throughout the process.

These additional insights provide a deeper understanding of how to navigate the complex interactions with insurance companies after sustaining personal injuries. With the right knowledge and legal support, victims can enhance their chances of securing the compensation they need to aid in their recovery.

Any final thoughts on what people should keep in mind during this process?

Always remember that the insurance company’s interests are typically not aligned with yours. Their goal is to pay out as little as possible.  Having a skilled lawyer by your side can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.  Your focus should be on recovery from your injuries and healing, while your lawyer handles the complexities of the legal process.

Looking Ahead

Navigating the complexities of insurance claims during a personal injury case requires a nuanced understanding of both legal and procedural aspects.  Alek Zeven, with his extensive experience and success in the field, underscores the importance of being proactive, well-informed, and cautious when dealing with insurance companies.  His insights highlight the common pitfalls that victims of accidents encounter and emphasize the crucial role of a skilled personal injury lawyer in advocating for rightful compensation.

Zeven advises that immediate action, thorough documentation, and professional guidance are paramount to ensuring a fair outcome.  Engaging with a lawyer early in the process not only helps in effectively managing negotiations but also in safeguarding one’s rights against the tactics commonly employed by insurance companies to undermine and limit claims.

Ultimately, while the journey to a just settlement can be daunting, having the right legal representative on your side can make a significant difference in achieving a positive resolution.  This guidance serves as a vital resource for anyone facing the ordeal of a personal injury case, providing the strategies needed to confront challenges with confidence and resilience.

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