21 Sep

5 Car Insurance Company Tactics Used Against Victims After A Car Accident

Car Accidents, Personal Injury, Tips

insurance accident claim

Following a car accident, one of the first things that many people do is call their insurance company to report the incident. Insurance companies are ideally supposed to help their clients with the costs associated with an accident, which is why many people trust their insurer to cover them for property damage, injury costs, and more. However, what many people don’t realize is that insurance companies lose money when they pay out full damages to injured accident victims. Especially if the injuries sustained in the crash were severe, insurers will typically attempt to devalue or discredit the claim.

If you were injured in a car accident, it’s important for you to know what tactics an insurance company may try to use against you in order to avoid paying you the full amount you deserve. Don’t fall for them! An aggressive, experienced local personal injury lawyer can help you fight for justice. The Florida Law Group is unintimidated by major insurance carriers. We can help you understand the true value of your case and advocate for your best interests!

Here are five common strategies that insurance companies use when dealing with car accident injury victims:


  • Offering A Low or Quick Settlement


Insurance companies will often intentionally offer a fast settlement that sounds high and tempts the victim to accept in order to avoid paying out the real value of the claim. These are sometimes referred to as “lowball” settlements, and they are problematic for many reasons. For one, once you accept a settlement from the insurance company, it is nearly impossible to revisit your case and get more for your injuries. For another, if a settlement was offered shortly after the accident, you can be fairly confident that not enough evaluation and research went into the claim, and there was not time for your injuries to present themselves. Due to adrenaline and other factors, you may not feel your injuries for a few days or weeks after a crash. The insurance companies know that some people would rather have cash now than fight for the money they are owed in the long term. An adjuster may tell you the offer will only last for a short time in order to make you feel like you need to make a decision right away, but this is a bluff; an offer will stand until you claim it, or a lawyer will be able to recover more than that offer was worth.

For example, say that you were T-boned by a driver who ran a red light. Your insurance company calls you after a few days and offers you a $25,000 settlement. It sounds like a good deal, but if you met with a lawyer in a few weeks, they would be able to look at your medical records and discover that the total costs of your hospital visits, specialized care, medications and medical devices, time off work, and pain and suffering is actually worth more like $75,000. Suddenly $25,000 doesn’t sound so good, does it?


  • Requiring A Recorded Statement


Another common tactic adjusters use is to tell you that you have to give them a recorded statement following an accident. They won’t be overly pushy, but they will expect it and make it seem like it is something you must do in order to recover damages. It isn’t!!! And you shouldn’t comply. You may unknowingly or accidentally admit fault or say something on the record that would enable them to deny liability or increase your liability, which would decrease the amount you are owed. After a crash, sometimes adrenaline keeps you from feeling the full extent of your injuries. The shock of the accident may lead you to say things you don’t mean, and just because you are the driver doesn’t mean that you have all the facts about how the accident unfolded. You can and should respectfully ask to avoid giving any statements until you have spoken with your attorney.


  • Delaying Payment Of Your Claim


Insurance companies must follow deadlines and statutes of limitations when it comes to paying out your claim, but even if they have the money available right now to manage your case, they will often delay payment for as long as they possibly can. This accomplishes two things. First, it makes plaintiffs desperate. When insurance companeis delay payment, you have to struggle with out-of-pocket medical expenses or lost wages without compensation. This tactic assumes that some people may fold under the financial pressure and accept a lower, faster offer. Second, it makes plaintiffs lose confidence. If the insurance company is delaying payment, perhaps the claim isn’t that valid, an injured accident victim may think – so they just accept the initial offer rather than fighting it and risk getting nothing. In both cases, the insurance company wins and the injured victim loses. If you are in a situation where your insurer is denying payment, you have options! Speak with your attorney who may be able to connect you to pre-settlement funding options so that you do not have to accept a lowball offer before your case concludes.


  • Asking You To Authorize Them To Access Your Medical Records


When you sign away authorization for your medical records, insurance adjusters can learn many personal details about you that can be held against you and otherwise would not be admissable. They may find something that could cast doubt on the fact that your injuries were a direct result of the accident and instead were a result of prior issues, therefore clearing them of full liability. Never sign over your medical records without your lawyer’s directive.


  • Telling You A Lawyer Isn’t Necessary


Most insurance adjusters will lead you to believe that they are on your side, that your case is simple, and that it is not necessary to consult an attorney. This is almost always either an outright lie or an oversimplification. Do not fall for it! Most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. You have nothing to lose by contacting a lawyer, and it does not make you a bad person. You and your family deserve the best, but you cannot be sure that your insurance company is giving it to you until you have spoken with an experienced attorney.

The Florida Law Group offers all legal services to injured car accident victims on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you do not have to pay us anything unless we win your case! If you’ve been injured and are having trouble recovering the damages you deserve from your insurance company, call our office right away. We will fight for justice!