Tactics Used By Insurance Companies To Trick You
Being involved in a car accident is undoubtedly a stressful experience, especially if you were not at fault. It can become even more overwhelming when the authorities have already determined the other driver’s responsibility for the incident. Consequently, you anticipate a prompt response from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
After the accident, you receive a call from an insurance agent. Initially, they come across as pleasant and helpful during the first few contacts. They may even give the impression that they are on your side and genuinely concerned about the claims you have filed. However, it is not uncommon for the conversation to shift towards reducing the settlement claim according to a truck accident lawyer with our friends at Strong Law Accident & Injury Attorneys.
A Change Of Tone
After your initial interaction with the other driver’s insurance, you may notice a shift in their approach. Instead of assisting you in obtaining the necessary funds, they might propose a lower settlement offer. It can be quite surprising to discover that certain insurance companies engage in such practices, particularly if the claimant is not represented by legal counsel during negotiations.
When discussing your claims with insurance representatives, it’s important to keep this in mind: having legal counsel by your side can provide valuable guidance throughout the process, especially when they attempt to reduce the offer. Just like any other business, insurance companies aim to make a profit. That’s why having an experienced car accident attorney is crucial to ensure you receive the rightful claims you deserve.
Common Tactics Used By Insurance Companies To Reduce Settlement Claims
Insurance companies employ a range of negotiation tactics to diminish settlements. Frequently, the figures they propose fail to align with the necessary amount to repair your vehicle or adequately cover medical expenses resulting from sustained injuries. Often, they conveniently omit mentioning the inadequate settlement, and unfortunately, some individuals unknowingly consent to these unfavorable terms.
Here are several tactics employed by unscrupulous insurance companies to deceive you into accepting a reduced settlement offer.
Early Settlement Offers
At times, insurance company representatives may propose expedited access to funds, albeit at a reduced amount. For instance, they might clarify that your claim processing may entail a wait, but by accepting a lower settlement, they can promptly release the funds to you.
Agreeing to this settlement over the phone may seem convenient, as it can be confirmed verbally. However, be cautious when they try to persuade you to accept reduced terms through email. Once you give your agreement, it is akin to signing a contract. Consequently, your claim will be closed, and you will miss out on the higher compensation you rightfully deserve. Never consent to these terms without seeking guidance from a skilled car accident lawyer.
Insurance companies conduct thorough investigations into liabilities before making any decisions regarding insurance claims. An adjuster carefully assesses whether their policyholder bears any responsibility, a determination that is usually found to be true. Subsequently, they may reach out to you with an early settlement offer, aiming to minimize the risk of a larger claim payout. By doing so, they also seek to avoid the potential outcome of a jury verdict, which would result in a higher compensation amount.
If you are awaiting a long-term prognosis regarding your injuries, it is advisable not to agree to an early settlement. It is crucial to first assess how your injuries will impact your lifestyle and work, as well as determine the total cost of the necessary medical treatments. Keep in mind that accepting an early settlement forfeits your right to further compensation for prolonged injuries. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to consult with a car accident attorney before considering such an agreement.
Shifting The Blame To The Victim
In certain states, a comparative fault system is in place, which means that the victim of an accident may share some of the blame. If it can be proven that you bear partial responsibility for your injuries resulting from the accident, the amount you receive as compensation from the insurance company may be reduced. However, it is important to note that the insurance company must provide evidence to substantiate their claim.
Insurance companies may request a recorded statement as a means to gather evidence. However, it’s important to note that you are not obligated to comply with this request.
Frequently, this tactic is employed through phone conversations, subtly coaxing you into providing a statement that aligns with the insurance company’s interests. By capturing this dialogue, the ultimate outcome is a diminished compensation that fails to adequately address your needs.
Delaying The Process And Downplaying Injuries
Insurance companies often employ the tactic of delaying their processes. It is crucial for everyone involved to be aware of the deadlines and statutes of limitations. Additionally, the insurance company itself has specific deadlines to adhere to. For instance, they must acknowledge claims within a designated time frame, evaluate them, and either deny or confirm them accordingly. Furthermore, there are deadlines for submitting any proof of liability and for making settlement payments. By understanding these time constraints, all parties can navigate the insurance process more effectively.
However, when they employ delaying tactics, their objective is to dissuade you from taking action and instill doubt in your mind regarding the likelihood of receiving adequate compensation. By utilizing this strategy, they will attempt to persuade you to accept a lesser settlement offer in order to expedite the process.
Another strategy related to this approach involves minimizing the injuries you allege to have suffered as a result of the accident. They may contend that these injuries were pre-existing, potentially from a separate accident or mishap. Additionally, they could assert that the severity of the injuries is not as extensive as you maintain.
Insurance companies often employ this tactic as a means to prolong the process and coerce you into accepting a reduced claim. It would be prudent on your part to seek the counsel of a skilled car accident lawyer to safeguard against falling victim to any of these schemes.
How A Skilled Car Accident Attorney Can Help
Having an auto accident attorney by your side can be immensely beneficial when it comes to settling a claim. While it’s true that not all insurance companies will make the process challenging, having legal representation increases the likelihood of your case being taken seriously. With their expertise and guidance, you can navigate through the complexities of accident insurance claims more effectively.
A skilled car accident attorney can help you in several ways:
- Engage in effective communication with representatives from the insurance company to ensure that your claim is not undervalued.
- If necessary, pursue your case in the courtroom through litigation.
- Collect supporting evidence and pertinent documents for processing.
- Engage in negotiations with the insurance company to ensure you receive just and equitable compensation.
Your attorney will skillfully guide you through the complex process of insurance settlement. They serve as the intermediary between you and the insurance company, ensuring that you receive the maximum compensation you rightfully deserve from any insurance claims.
Call a lawyer located near you to ask about a free consultation.