When you are involved in a car accident, you expect that you will be treated fairly. After all, you pay your auto insurance premiums on time and drive responsibly. Insurance companies are there to help, right?
Not necessarily. Insurance companies are in the business to make money, just like any other company out there. When they pay out claims, they lose money. So if you are involved in an auto accident and expecting a huge check from your insurance company, don’t be disappointed. Chances are, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case, is going to make you a lowball amount.
Insurance companies are required to act in good faith. They must be fair in their dealings with customers. If they deny a claim for no good reason or offer an unrealistically low amount, they can be sued and in some instances even face criminal penalties.
Insurers, however, work to ensure that they pay out as little as possible through the personal injury claim process. They frequently attempt to pressure injured parties to accept lowball offers. This strategy has worked out well for insurers. For example, Allstate doubled its earnings from the 1990s to 2000s by streamlining its claims process to minimize injury claim payouts.
If you have been involved in an accident, you will want to ensure that you receive the compensation you rightfully deserve for your injuries. While the settlement your insurance company is offering you may seem like a large amount of money, it likely is insufficient to compensate you for your pain and suffering, injuries, missed work, medical treatment and any permanent debilitating injury.
Don’t settle for less, contact an auto accident lawyer at Champion Law Group now for a free and confidential consultation. Call us at 1-800-715-4105 now, use the live chat feature, or complete the contact form on this page. A member of our injury team will be in touch with you in 24 hours or less.
What follows is a partial list of tactics that insurance companies use to get personal injury and accident victims to settle early and lose out on their right to demand full compensation.
Insurance Company Tactics To Minimize Payouts to Personal Injury Victims
- Denying your claim. The first thing an insurance company will do is look for ways to deny your claim. In some cases, they will attempt to find you wholly or partially at fault in order to minimize payout. In other instances, they will review all of your medical records to see if they can find a pre-existing injury which may allow them to deny or diminish payout for an accident-related injury. They will look for the smallest details to pay you as little as possible.
- Recording your statements. If an insurance company asks for a recorded statement, don’t do it until you have had a chance to first speak with a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies use recorded statements to their advantage. They manipulate you into thinking that your injuries are not really as bad as they seem. They will ask you how you are doing and your first instinct may be to say “I’m fine.” Once you say these two words, the insurance company will use it against you. After all, if you’re “fine,” then why should they compensate you for your injuries?
- Convincing you to settle quickly. Insurance companies tend to offer quick settlements at low amounts in an effort to get you to settle quickly. They want you to hurry up and take the money before you contact a personal injury lawyer to assess your case and advise you of the true value of your case and injuries. While settling quickly may be tempting, don’t do it without first speaking with a personal injury lawyer and certainly not before you have been evaluated by a doctor. Once you accept a settlement offer, you lose your right to sue and often you will also lose the right to later demand additional compensation for your injuries.
- Following you. Insurance companies will sometimes hire investigators to follow you around in hopes that you’ll do something that will bar you from recovering compensation. They anticipate that you’ll slip up and engage in activity that shows that you are being untruthful about the extent of your injuries. For example, if you claim that you broke your leg and are seen running around during a basketball game, such observations could be used against you. Investigators also utilize social media to review your level of activity. For example, they may review your Facebook or other social media account for references to the accident, your injuries, or your overall level of activity post-accident. It is very important that you refrain from posting about the accident, your injuries, or any activities until your claim has been settled. Remember, everything you say and do while your perosnal injury claim is pending can be used against you.
What Can You Do to Get the Most Money for Your Personal Injury Claim?
Whatever you do, don’t fall for the insurance company’s tricks. Remember, they are not on your side. Often it’s best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer to gather the best possible evidence to ensure that your case settles for an amount to fully compensate you for your injuries, damages, pain and suffering, wage loss and more.
The personal Injury attorneys at Champion Law Group fully understand the ins and outs of the insurance industry and are aware of the common tactics claim adjusters use to take advantage of injury victims without representation.