An insurance company’s ultimate goal is to pay out nothing or as little as possible on every personal injury claim. Although an insurance adjuster may seem sympathetic and helpful, as a representative of the insurance company he or she is not looking out for your best interests. Insurers often use the following five reasons to reduce or deny personal injury claims.
- Denying or Limiting Liability
The most common strategy insurance companies use to reduce personal injury claims is to deny that their insured was liable for the accident. They may claim that the insured did not violate duty of care, which is an obligation to keep premises safe and warn visitors of known hazards.
The insurance company also may try to argue that the accident was completely or partially your fault because you were engaging in risky or irresponsible behavior. This is why you must never admit fault when talking to insurance company representatives, which could lead to you receiving significantly less compensation for your injuries or none at all.
- Offering A Settlement Right Away
When you are facing mounting medical bills and lost time from work, it may be tempting to accept any settlement an insurance company offers, but you may not realize the extent of your injuries right away. You may require further costly medical treatment or suffer mental anguish down the road, which may not be covered by the settlement if you accept the first offer that comes your way.
An insurance company will try to get you to sign a full release or give a verbal release in return for compensation, which can prevent you from pursuing additional damages in the future. If an insurance company employs this tactic, do not sign anything without first speaking to an attorney.
- Minimizing Damages
Another tactic that insurance companies frequently employ is arguing that your injuries are not as severe as you claim they are. They may do the following to try and minimize your damages:
- Scrutinize your previous medical records to establish a pre-existing condition and make your claim seem less credible. If the insurance company asks you to sign a medical records release, politely decline.
- Search social media accounts or monitor your everyday actives such as lifting your children in and out of the car as proof that your injuries are not as bad as you say they are.
- Have their own medical professionals evaluate you and deny all or a portion of your medical bills or treatment, claiming that the treatment you received was unnecessary or unreasonable.
- Lack of Evidence
An insurer may also try to limit liability by arguing that you do not have enough evidence to support your claim. This argument may be supported by lack of witnesses, insufficient medical evidence, or failure to file a police report after a car accident. It is vital to document everything related to your injury, including witness statements, medical records, lost wages and anything else that could be relevant to your case.
- Misrepresenting Coverage & Compensation Limits
Insurance adjusters may try to convince you that you’re not entitled to seek damages for pain and suffering or lost wages, or that you can only recover compensation up to a certain amount. An attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury claims will know how to determine insurance policy limits and advise you on the best course of action to take.
Help With Your Personal Injury Claim
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, please contact our experienced legal team at Thomas, Conrad & Conrad today.