Inside Insurance Company Strategy
Despite efforts to curb the statistics, Texas leads the nation in traffic deaths and is known to have some of the worst accident statistics in the country. While the state legislature and some Texas cities have been making inroads toward reducing the incidence of traffic fatalities through better road design, stronger enforcement of existing laws and educational programs, our state still has a long way to go to reduce traffic crashes and related injuries and deaths.
While lawmakers deal with the work of improving and enforcing our existing traffic laws, drivers still need to be aware of the risks they face for a crash and what to do about it if you’re in one.
When you’ve been injured in a car accident, it’s imperative that you know your rights. Most people don’t have the time or the legal know-how to deal with insurance companies and their strategies for reducing the amount they pay out in the event of a crash.
Here are a few tactics insurance companies use to keep from giving you the compensation you deserve and why you should work with a qualified personal injury attorney to handle your case.
Delay – Insurance companies know that the average person doesn’t have the time or legal expertise to make endless phone calls or to hold the insurance company accountable for the actions of their insured. When you have been injured or perhaps even lost a loved one, the headache of trying to navigate those waters on your own can be intimidating. Insurance companies may use a variety of delay tactics to avoid dealing with your claim. Insurance adjusters may avoid you all together, hoping that by the time you are offered a settlement for your injuries you will be so ready to complete the process you will take whatever you are offered. They may reassign your claim to a new adjuster multiple times and then claim that the new adjuster needs time to review the evidence and documentation in order to make a decision on behalf of the insurance company.
Pre-Existing Injuries – Insurance companies may refuse to settle a claim if they believe they have evidence of a pre-existing injury. For example, a claimant who claims to have been injured in a car crash but who has had a back injury in the past may have difficulty convincing the insurance company to cover their medical costs. We’ve seen insurance companies request five to 10 years of medical history to prove our client’s injuries were related to the crash under consideration sending our client on a wild goose chase to try to track down all the paperwork. All the more reason to work with a qualified personal injury attorney if your injuries are at all serious.
Deadlines You Didn’t Know You Had to Meet – Insurance companies typically have very specific rules in place regarding how and when claims are filed. For example, many require that a claim for an auto crash be made within 30 days of the incident. If you file on day 31, you could be out of the window of opportunity to file your claim against the other party.
Unrealistic Expectations – A claimant should be compensated fairly for their injuries and property damage in the event of a crash, but claimants should also have reasonable expectations of what fair compensation should look like. If you were seriously injured, you should work with a qualified Dallas personal injury attorney to make sure you receive the compensation you deserve. If your injuries were minor, however, it’s important to have a realistic expectation of what you might receive in settlement or if it’s even worthwhile to hire an attorney. Speak with your attorney for an understanding of what would be fair to expect from an insurance company given your specific circumstances.
Insurance companies have a breadth of experience in dealing with and investigating claims following car crashes. It’s the job of the insurance company to investigate and then settle any resulting claim for as little cash out as possible. That’s why it’s imperative that you retain an attorney who regularly handles personal injury claims so that a lawsuit can be filed if the insurance company will not settle your claim for a fair value. If you need help following a crash injury, our team would love to serve you. If you have questions about your injuries and the potential for a settlement, please call us for a consultation.