If you’ve found yourself in an accident, finding your footing afterwards can be a bit complex. With many people suffering from PTSD following an injury, it’s no wonder that any accident—from simple fender benders to workplace injuries to totaled collisions—impact us in different ways. But no matter what type of accident you’ve had, one thing is clear: you rely on your insurance company to be there for you when you need them the most.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Perhaps you’ve gone through the gruntwork to pick the most ideal insurance company. Or perhaps you trust your job to provide you with the best healthcare insurance possible. Sometimes, however, things fall out of your control and you may have to fight the insurance company that you expected to aid. Policyholders across a myriad of industries have found themselves in compromising situations as a result.
Fine print is one of the most troublesome areas for people around the world. Fine print is a part of our everyday lives, and it’s become a ubiquitous part of our world. And yet so few of us actually take the time to read it. One study found that 91% of Americans agree to Terms of Service without going through the content.
Ideally, you’ll sort through the fine print before an accident occurs, and therefore will be aware of any potential verbiage that might hurt you in the future. In some cases, you’ll be able to negotiate terms of the fine print when you read it in advance. However, if you have already been in an accident and are being rejected a claim or coverage because of it. In this case, you may need to hire a lawyer to aid you.
According to the Barnes Firm, a team of Los Angeles Personal injury attorneys, with legal assistance you may even be able to circumvent fine print, depending on the situation. For example, in a medical malpractice lawsuit, you may have signed paperwork relieving the hospital of any accidents that may occur, however, if a lawyer can identify neglect or negligence, you can win a case. And the fact is, medical malpractice remains a major issue in the United States.
In 2016, 10% of deaths occurred as a result of a medical malpractice. And according to statistics, half of all doctors will be involved in at least one medical malpractice lawsuit throughout the duration of their career. Whether it’s outright negligence, a missed diagnosis, or a misdiagnosis, you expect dedicated care for your medical provider and quite literally trust them with your life to provide it.
If you’ve been hurt as a result of medical malpractice and don’t think there’s anything you can do because you signed some paperwork, take a step back, reevaluate, and reach out to a lawyer. In this situation, just because you have signed a piece of paper understanding the risks associated with, say, a surgery, that doesn’t mean the doctor or practice is absolved in their responsibility to treat you with the utmost care.
Fine print also tends to hide the ability to change your agreement with a company at any point in time based on new factors. For instance, there’s a term called “yo yo financing” in car dealership fine print that allows an insurance company to alter the terms of your agreement based on factors like a credit score or change in income. In a standard yo-yo financing scheme, a car dealership will reel you back in to renegotiate your terms—almost always unfavorably with worse loan terms and higher interest rates. Being aware of how term items can change the deal you thought you were making allows you to make better decisions about what types of insurance you’re choosing.
It’s also important for you to reach out to a lawyer if you feel your auto insurance company has leveraged fine print loopholes to prevent you from receiving financial assistance after a car accident. Ethel Adams is an infamous example of a car insurance company leveraging verbiage in their benefit. In her case, Adams’ vehicle was overturned by another vehicle that was purposely hit by a roadraged lover. In this case, the auto insurance company claimed that they couldn’t assist Adams—who was in a coma for several days—because the cause of the accident wasn’t technically an “accident” as it was caused on purpose by the initial vehicle.