How Insurance Companies Try To Hurt Personal Injury Claims
Insurance is a form of risk management. When a person purchases insurance, the insurance company agrees to cover the cost of damages that result from fires, automobile crashes, and other types of accidents. If you suffer an unfortunate event that’s covered by an insurance policy, you have the right to file a claim to collect the money that the insurance company has agreed to pay in these situations.
An insurance policy spells out the circumstances under which the company is required to pay a claim and the amount of money that is available for policyholders. Unfortunately, insurance companies are often reluctant to pay the full value of a claim and honor their legal obligation.
Insurance companies frequently engage in underhanded and illegal tactics to avoid paying accident victims the money they deserve, such as denying claims, delaying the claims process, or contesting legitimate expenses. The best way to protect yourself is by finding a personal injury lawyer who will fight on your behalf and make sure that the insurance company doesn’t take advantage of you.
Tactics Insurance Companies Use To Reduce Claims
An insurance adjuster, also referred to as a claim adjuster, works for the insurance company. Their job is to investigate a claim and determine whether it is valid. Then, the adjuster decides how much the insurance company is required to pay you.
Like any other type of business, insurance companies will try to increase their profits. Insurance companies keep their expenses down by paying as little as they can get away with in claims.
Insurance adjusters are instructed by their supervisors to look for reasons to deny claims. In their effort to save money, insurance adjusters might even resort to bad faith practices that include dishonesty or fraud to deny a legitimate claim.
Examples of tactics that insurance companies use to avoid paying clients the money they deserve include:
- Denying liability. If you were injured in a Columbus automobile accident caused by a negligent driver, the driver’s insurance company may try to deny liability by arguing that their client was not responsible for the accident. They may claim that you caused the accident yourself, or they may blame other parties, such as another driver who was involved in the accident.
- Questioning your injuries. The insurance adjuster may argue that your injuries are exaggerated or they are the result of a preexisting condition. The insurance company may try to get you to sign a document that allows them access to your medical records, but they could use this information to harm your claim. You don’t have to grant them this access.
- Biased experts hired by the insurance company have an incentive to deny or minimize the seriousness of your injury or claim the evidence demonstrates that the insurance company’s client was not responsible for the accident.
- Misrepresenting coverage by claiming that a policy does not cover legitimate expenses is another way insurance companies attempt to evade responsibility. They will often try to deny coverage for legitimate expenses such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and counseling for psychological damages such as PTSD.
- Arguing that the driver is not listed on the policy even though the owner of the vehicle is clearly liable for your injuries is another illegitimate strategy used by insurance companies.
- Encouraging you to make a recorded statement or sign a document admitting responsibility for an accident is another potential tactic. It’s not a good idea to speak with a claims adjuster unless your attorney is present.
Your Personal Injury Attorney Will Fight To Get You a Fair Settlement
After suffering an accident, you are in a vulnerable position. You need money fast to cover your bills, but you probably don’t have a clear idea about how much the accident is actually going to cost. You may be facing numerous costs like lost wages, occupational therapy, and long-term medical expenses. If you are suffering from catastrophic injuries, you may require several rounds of medical treatment, medical devices, in-home nursing care, and other forms of assistance.
A lowball settlement offer is an initial offer the insurance company makes that is insufficient and does not cover the actual cost of your expenses after an accident. Many accident victims don’t realize that they aren’t obligated to accept the first offer they get from the insurance company. Insurance companies will often pressure an accident victim to take a lowball offer by needlessly delaying the claims process.
Instead of dealing with the insurance company on your own, you can seek the services of a Columbus personal injury lawyer to represent you. Your attorney will investigate the accident and file a claim that reflects the true cost of your injuries. If the insurance company refuses to make a reasonable offer, your personal injury attorney can file a lawsuit and challenge them in court.
Are You Suffering Catastrophic Injuries After an Accident?
The experienced litigators at Butler Prather LLP know how to take on the big insurance companies and win. If you were severely injured in an accident, we’ll file a claim or a lawsuit to help you get the resources you need to start putting your life back together.
Butler Prather LLP has won landmark cases for clients in over 30 states. Our Georgia personal injury law firm has won over a billion dollars in settlements and verdicts, including nine verdicts that exceed $100 million and over 60 verdicts and settlements of over $10 million.
Call (706) 322-1990 to learn more today.