Many mass tort and personal injury cases are resolved without going to trial. Insurance companies weigh the risk of a jury awarding potentially significant damages to a victim and decide to settle. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to negotiate a hair straightener lawsuit settlement on your own.
Insurance companies use a number of tricks against victims to deny or underpay their claims. And this is no less true with hair straightener lawsuits. If you were injured because of a dangerous hair relaxer product, having legal representation is critical.
Rueb Stoller Daniel explains how insurance companies often take advantage of unrepresented victims.
There’s a good chance that the insurer representing the hair relaxer company will attempt to settle with you. To do so, an adjuster may call and ask you to give a recorded statement. It is strongly advised that you refer the adjuster to your attorney.
Being asked to give a recorded statement is a major red flag.
The insurance company is doing this mainly so it can have something to use against you later. Insurers know that people harmed by hair relaxers are likely stressed. They may be undergoing treatments on top of the anxiety from dealing with a hair straightener lawsuit. There’s even a chance the victim will be under the influence of medication when the adjuster calls.
But insurance companies are indifferent to any of these concerns and may actually take advantage of them. For instance, the adjuster may ask leading questions that are carefully designed to have you “admit” wrongdoing. The goal is to attempt to blame you either for the harm itself or for not seeking treatment sooner (thereby aggravating the harm).
Regardless of the questions asked, insurance companies are not on your side. Let them talk to your lawyer.
If you are seeking substantial damages from the hair straightener manufacturer, the insurance company may hire a private investigator. This, in and of itself, is not wrong. The insurer has a right to know the extent of the injuries you are claiming. The issue is how the insurer uses the information that the investigator gathers.
Let’s say, for instance, that you are claiming work-related limitations stemming from your injuries. Your doctor may require that your activities be restricted because of your health condition. And let’s assume that you follow the doctor’s orders for the most part. But suppose, out of habit, you disobey those orders just once. Maybe you do some work that you shouldn’t have done because of your medical situation.
There’s a strong possibility the private investigator will capture this. Meanwhile, all the times you followed your doctor’s orders will be conveniently lost and forgotten. We take steps to prevent insurance companies from manipulating evidence in this way.
As part of your legal claim, the insurer may ask you to sign a medical release. Again, this is not an unreasonable request. Insurance companies need to know how bad your injuries are so they can decide whether and how much to settle. However, if you are asked to sign a general medical release, watch out.
A general release might expose all of your medical history. The information revealed by the release could undermine your legal claim. For instance, the insurance company might discover that you had a preexisting medical condition. If so, the insurer might try to deny or downplay the hair straightener manufacturer’s responsibility for your injuries.
Always let an attorney review any forms that an insurance company asks you to sign.
Let Us Negotiate Your Hair Straightener Lawsuit Settlement!
If you were harmed by a hair straightener product, it is imperative that you seek medical treatment. You already have enough problems without having to handle the insurance company on top of them. Rueb Stoller Daniel is here to represent you while you focus on the healing you need.
Give us a call to learn how we can take care of your hair relaxer legal claims today.