If you are injured due to the negligence of another party, you can file a claim and seek payment from the third party’s insurance carrier. Unfortunately for accident victims, insurance companies are primarily concerned about their bottom line and will almost always give the lowest possible offer they think they can get away with.
Here are some common strategies used by insurance companies to minimize payouts:
- Dismiss incomplete claims. The paperwork for submitting a claim can be lengthy and confusing, and insurance companies can seize upon minor mistakes or omissions as a reason to reject a claim. If you enter incorrect information or fail to meet submission requirements in some small way, an insurance company could dismiss your case outright. An experienced accident injury attorney can simplify the paperwork process and help you submit a claim that insurance companies cannot turn away.
- Show delay or neglect in seeking medical treatment. Insurance companies are famous for trying to attach people’s injuries to some event other than the accident that caused them. If you don’t seek treatment right away or fail to follow through with treatment, you make their job easier. Also, if you don’t get immediate treatment or don’t stay on top of your medical care, an insurance company could assert that you did not make an earnest effort to mitigate your injuries and deny your claim.
- Demonstrate plaintiff negligence. Insurance companies may try to show that you contributed in some way to your own injuries. Different states have different rules governing shared negligence. In some states, if an insurance company can show that you bear even a small amount of responsibility for your own injuries, they may be able to scuttle your claim.
- Dispute duty of care. An insurance company can deflate a personal injury case if they can show that their client (the defendant) had no “duty of care” for the plaintiff. For example, if you slipped and fell in a store, the store’s insurance company may go to great lengths to show that the store owners were not responsible for preventing your accident.
- Downplay plaintiff injuries. An insurance company may require a plaintiff to be examined by one of its medical specialists who has the insurance company’s interests in mind. If a carrier can succeed in showing that a plaintiff’s injuries are not as serious as they claim, they can protect their own bottom line.
- Claim pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies have been known to scour people’s medical records to show that they are suffering from old injuries. For example, if you argue that a car accident left you with whiplash and the insurance provider can show that you suffered from whiplash in the past, they might try to show that this is the cause of your current suffering.
If you have been injured in an accident, it’s critical to enlist a qualified accident injury attorney from the beginning. They can help you stand up to big insurance companies and keep them from using tactics that would undermine your case. While getting the help of a qualified attorney from the beginning is optimal, if you filed your case on your own and aren’t getting anywhere, it’s not too late to get help. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney to salvage your case, cut through insurance antics, and get you the compensation that you deserve.