After an accident, the only thing you should be focused on is healing. Unfortunately, insurance adjusters sometimes make this difficult, offering you too-low settlements, denying your claim, twisting your words, and generally giving you the runaround. If this sounds familiar, you may be getting tricked by the insurance company. In this article, we'll discuss the common tricks insurance companies use after an accident to pay as little as possible to injured claimants.
If you've been hurt in an accident due to someone else's negligence, don't let the insurance company swindle you out of your entitled recovery. Call or text our personal injury lawyers today to learn about your rights when it comes to insurance settlements. To set up a free case review with us, call or text 602-345-1818. You may, alternatively, complete the contact form on this page, and we will reach out to you to set up your convenient, free case review appointment.
Settling a Claim Entirely Too Fast
Many accident victims think that a fast settlement is good, but don't be fooled by this common insurance trick. Insurance adjusters sometimes try to settle claims as quickly as possible to get you to accept a low settlement before a personal injury lawyer gets involved. This can be bad news for your overall recovery, depending on your case and injuries. Here are a few reasons you want to think twice (and consult a lawyer) before you sign that first settlement offer:
- Insurance companies know that people usually just accept the low first offer - The average person doesn't know how the personal injury claim process works, so insurance companies capitalize on this knowledge, using it to get away with paying accident victims small settlements that barely, if at all, cover their losses.
- The settlement amount could very well be from a computer - A practice insurance companies use is auto-calculating settlement amounts with computer software. The algorithm examines similar injury claims to get the estimate, which provides cookie-cutter results. Everyone's injuries and costs are different, and the algorithm is created to favor the insurance company.
- Important losses may not be in that calculation - Unless you've compiled all expenses and presented them to the adjuster (which is highly unlikely so early in the process as some losses may not yet be known), the entirety of your losses are not included in the settlement offer. Even then, it's probably too early to know what expenses you may have – many injuries show up later. Complications may arise after an early settlement is issued, leaving the claimant to pay for the unaccounted for future losses.
- You may not yet have all of your bills - Sometimes insurance companies will try to settle so early that your medical bills haven't even arrived. If you accept a settlement without knowing how much you owe for your injuries, you could end up realizing that you don't have enough money once you receive all of the bills associated with your injury.
- You can't file another claim once you accept a settlement check - Sometimes claimants accept a check from the insurance company without knowing that they can't go back and request more money. Once you accept that check, that's it. You can't request additional compensation later once you realize the quick-turn settlement offer doesn't cover your expenses. You forfeit your right to file any subsequent lawsuits.
For more information about why you shouldn't accept the first settlement offer from the insurance company, read one of our recent blogs on the subject here.
The best advice is to contact a personal injury lawyer. This ensures that the insurance company will not take advantage of you. Impact Legal, like many personal injury firms, offers free, no-obligation initial consultations, so that you can make the best decisions about your legal recovery following an accident.
Denying a Valid Claim
Another trick that insurance companies play is denying a valid claim entirely. The hope is that you'll give up and accept the denial. If you've been denied, look at the denial letter carefully to determine the reason for the denial. While the reason could be perfectly reasonable and easily remedied, it could also be a sign of bad faith insurance in which case you need to call an insurance lawyer. Some reasons for a valid claim denial that you can likely easily repair include simple errors and mistakes on the claim form or not providing enough information.
An insurance lawyer can help you navigate this situation to ensure you're treated fairly and have the best chance to recover from your injuries.
Dragging Out the Claim
Unfortunately, personal injury claims tend to take a while to resolve. This may be because of a few reasons, such as the need for claimants to reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) before a settlement is reached to understand the full extent of their losses. However, if the insurance company is dragging its feet on your settlement for no clear reason, it could be a sign of bad faith insurance. Unfortunately, the delay may be an attempt to make you as desperate as possible so that you'll feel forced to accept a low settlement offer.
So how do you know if the insurance company is stalling? Here are some signs that you should contact a lawyer immediately:
- They keep requesting documentation one paper at a time. They should request all necessary documentation at one time. Repeated requests are a common delay tactic.
- They instantly deny a perfectly valid claim. This isn't right, and you can take legal action.
- They are repeatedly requesting unnecessary information and documentation, including intrusive and irrelevant medical records.
- They keep telling you that they don't yet have a decision.
- They keep requesting multiple statements from various people, including medical providers and property repair professionals.
- They are bringing up random laws and telling you what's legal and illegal
- They point to complex policy language as an attempt to confuse you.
- They switch insurance adjusters in the middle of your claim investigation.
- They delay the claim investigation entirely. If you hear no news for too long, it may be a sign that the insurance company is stalling.
Call a Personal Injury Lawyer
Don't let the insurance company bully you out of the settlement you deserve and need to get your life back in order. Your recovery is important, and you are not alone in this. We will fight to protect your rights. Give our injury lawyers a call or text today at 602-345-1818 to set up a free case review and consultation with us. You may also fill out our form here.
Please know that neither Google nor our online content should be used as substitutes for actual legal advice from an attorney. This blog is intended to be for general information purposes only. For specific information regarding your case, consult a lawyer.