Anyone who has ever tried to settle with an insurance company knows that it can be a frustrating process. Insurance companies commonly are evasive, confusing, and sometimes misleading when dealing with people who have presented a claim for personal injuries.
They act this way with a purpose. Their goal is to minimize the amount of compensation paid out to the injured person.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, our attorneys know the law as it applies to personal injuries and understand the motivations of the insurance companies. Below is a compilation of the more common tricks the insurance companies employ to minimize compensation.
Repeatedly we’ve seen insurance companies make quick, low settlement offers before the injured party even knows the extent of needed medical treatment. Offers of $500 to $1,000 within a week of the accident can be tempting for people. It’s quick money, and often after an accident, the victim wants to take a guaranteed offer as soon as possible.
The reality is that once a settlement amount is accepted, regardless of the amount, there is no going back to fight or negotiate for more money. This is why a personal injury attorney is so important.
At Craig Swapp & Associates, our attorneys specialize in finding all compensation available for our clients. We never settle cases until we’re sure all possible compensation has been accounted for, including lost wages, decrease in quality of life, all past, current, and future medical bills associated with the accident, and more, depending on the details of the case.
Another common trick we see liability adjusters from the insurance companies use is a request for a recorded statement from the injured person.
Within one or two days of the accident, the injured person receives the request for a recorded statement. The liability adjuster will ask questions about the details of the accident and the victim’s injuries. Unsuspecting injured parties often assume this is just “part of the process” and willingly make the recorded statement.
The problem is insurance companies know some pain and injuries don’t manifest until several days after an accident. They want to get a recorded statement with the victim saying they were not in pain, so when the pain manifests within a couple of days of the accident, the adjuster will use that recorded statement to deny treatment or reduce the overall payment to the victim.
There’s no need for the injured party to make such a recorded statement following the accident, and making one could put limits on the amount of compensation available. Victims should always talk to a personal injury attorney if they receive such a request from the insurance company.
Insurance coverage is a complicated thing for everyday people to understand, and this is something the insurance companies use to their advantage. Insurance policies have limits, and the maximum amount of compensation available is in part dictated by the policy limits of the at-fault party.
Sometimes, the insurance companies aren’t straightforward about how much settlement money is actually available. They do this to trick the injured party into settling for less than their case is worth.
The best way to not be tricked by a misrepresentation of coverage is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. At Craig Swapp & Associates, our attorneys know how to determine exactly how much compensation is available per the insurance policy of the at-fault party and how to successfully fight for a fair settlement.
Being aware of these insurance tricks and pitfalls is the first step, but the reality is that being injured in an accident and fighting the tricks of the insurance companies is extremely hard for people to do on their own.
Fortunately, the moment the victim of an accident decides to reach out and hire a personal injury attorney, they have an experienced person on their side who understands the insurance companies, knows how to avoid their tricks, and, most importantly, knows how to get a fair and full settlement for the victim.