When you’re injured in an accident it doesn’t matter whether
it’s a car wreck, slipping and falling on a slick sidewalk outside
a store, tripping on loose carpet in someone’s home, or any other
kind of incident, all you want is your life back. While it would be nice
if the responsible parties just paid for the damages and took responsibility,
this unfortunately doesn’t always happen.
Insurance companies will do just about anything to avoid paying for the
damages you’ve suffered. Learn the various tricks and tactics insurance
companies do to reduce, or even avoid, payment for an injury claim and
why you need an attorney.
Why They Do This
Insurance companies claim that they have to be vigilant about false claims
to protect themselves and their clients from rising insurance costs, and
to prevent legal fraud. This is certainly true, but what’s also
true is that insurance companies are for-profit agencies and they don’t
make money by handing out settlements. They’d rather find a way
to pay less money, or none at all, and they’ll do what they can
to make that happen.
Undermining Your Injury Claim
One common tactic of insurance companies is to minimize the extent of your
injury claim. This basically means they’ll do everything possible
to claim that you’re not hurt as badly as you claim. They do this
by bringing in “third party” medical experts to offer opinions
that disagree with your doctor’s.
They might look for evidence that you have past injuries and claim you’re
trying to sue for those instead of just what you suffered now. There are
a variety of methods they use to make it look like you’re just not
that badly hurt. They might even accuse you of outright lying about being
injured at all.
Shifting the Blame to You
Another common tactic is to shift the blame onto you. They’ll look
for ways to prove that you were actually the negligent one, that you were
clumsy, acting irresponsibly, or otherwise responsible for your own accident.
If they can make a jury believe this, then their client is off the hook,
and you end up saddled with lots of bills that you don’t deserve.
Citing Lack of Evidence
Insurance companies love to cite lack of evidence. There are no police
reports. The medical bills and records are incomplete. Where are the witnesses?
All of these and more are common ways that insurers try to minimize your
ability to sue their client—no record, after all, means no accident.
Confusion, Double-Talk, and Strong-Arm
One of the first things they’ll try is to trick you into signing
off on a low-ball offer. They’ll use confusing double-talk to make
you think you have to sign papers to get compensated, when really the
papers you’re signing limit your rights to pursue further damages.
When you refuse to sign, they’ll threaten that if you go to court
you’ll get nothing to scare you into signing.
In the end, never sign anything without talking to an attorney. This is
the best way to protect your rights.
Contact an Injury Attorney
When you’re hurt in an accident, you absolutely should seek representation
from a qualified
personal injury attorney. An injury lawyer knows exactly how to stop insurance company non-payment
tactics and make sure your rights as the victim are protected. If you
live in the San Jose area and need help with an injury claim, we’re
here. Call Dunnion Law for a free case evaluation and more information today!