Negotiating with an insurance company after a serious car accident is often a stressful and lengthy process, whether it’s your own provider or one representing another person involved. Unfortunately, insurance companies will do just about anything to minimize their own liability for your losses and avoid giving you the money you need.
If you want to pursue a positive result from your claim, you need a car accident lawyer by your side who knows how to deal with insurers and overcome their underhanded tactics. Here are some common tricks insurance companies may use to deny your claim that you should be prepared for during the settlement process.
Trying to End the Claims Process Quickly
Often, people injured in car crashes caused by someone else’s negligence don’t have to worry about calling the other person’s insurance provider. Instead, that insurance provider may contact you almost immediately after the wreck, even before you have a chance to figure out what losses you’ve suffered or what medical treatment you need. The insurance provider will likely try to get you to agree to a lowball initial settlement offer designed to save money for the insurance company, not to repay you fairly for your damages.
Asking Leading Questions
While speaking to you, insurance adjusters and representatives may be polite and seemingly sympathetic to convince you they’re on your side. Don’t take their word for it—they work for the insurance company, not you, and they’ve been trained to ask questions to trick you into implying your injuries aren’t that bad. Even something as simple as answering a friendly, “How are you feeling?” with “I’m all right” could be used as evidence that your injuries weren’t that bad.
Misleading You About What Insurance Will Actually Cover
You’ll also likely have to contend with the insurance company refusing to cover certain losses—for example, bills for medical treatment that an insurer thinks were unnecessary. They may also try to convince you that you don’t have a legal right to demand certain types of losses or that you can’t expect to get anything more than what they’re already offering. Insurance companies know that most car crash victims don’t understand their legal rights, and they’ll use that lack of knowledge to their advantage as much as they can.
Dragging Out the Settlement Process
Even if you see past all the tactics used by insurance providers dealing with car crash claims, they may still try to get under your skin by not replying to your questions or messages. While state law usually requires insurers to keep in contact with claimants regularly, insurance providers often waste as much of that legally allotted time as possible, hoping you’ll get frustrated and just accept their lowball settlement offer to get the whole thing over with.
Telling You Not to Get a Lawyer Involved
Perhaps most importantly, insurance companies will try to trick you into thinking that hiring a lawyer is a waste of money and time and that your case isn’t strong enough to be worth fighting. In reality, legal counsel can help you get every cent of the compensation you deserve to cover your losses.
If you feel an insurance company is not taking your claim seriously, an experienced attorney can get involved and, if necessary, file a lawsuit against the at-fault defendant. Support from a well-known and winning car accident lawyer at Ostroff Injury Law can be absolutely vital to the outcome of your claim.