After an accident, many injured people turn to either their own or the negligent party's insurance provider for help. These accident victims either trust insurance companies to do the right thing and look out for their best interests or believe they can negotiate on an equal basis with the agent. Unfortunately, this assumption is not correct. Insurance providers often have their profits in mind when dealing with their claims. They have trained and skilled agents with extensive experience in negotiations.
Insurance adjusters minimize, delay or deny valid injury claims in order to reach the lowest possible settlement amount. Insurance adjusters use many tricks to take advantage of people when they most need help. We will go over some common problems people can run into when dealing with insurance adjusters and the strategies injured people can use to protect themselves.
How can insurance companies take advantage of the system?
After an accident, a victim's injuries may prevent them from returning to work. The injured person may also have expensive medical bills. With 39 percent of Americans having no funds in a savings account, one accident can put a family in financial disarray.
Here are a few ways insurers take advantage of injured clients:
- Delaying responses: Insurance providers can take advantage of clients by not responding to messages or paperwork. The providers want to make the process as frustrating as possible so that clients either give up or miss deadlines. In the worst-case scenario, these insurance providers may try to wait until the injured person dies.
- Outright denying claims: Insurance companies can use misleading tactics to wrongfully deny claims. By using “act of god” clauses, a provider may deny a claim by blaming tangentially related circumstances, such as a sudden storm, for an accident. An insurance company can also deny claims based on an insurance adjuster's flawed interpretation of an accident.
- Offer small amounts: Insurance companies make huge profits by minimizing claim payouts. Some insurance providers may approach an injured person immediately after an accident and offer a small sum of compensation. Accepting this payment may prevent an injured person from claiming additional compensation as the seriousness of their injuries becomes clear. Many accident victims feel pressured to take this small payment to care for their families and pay bills.
How can injured people protect themselves?
If you have injuries from an accident, you can follow these steps to improve your chances of getting a fair deal from insurance providers:
- Document everything: Injured people should keep a clear record of accident details, medical care and calls with insurance companies. Having a written record will help if a provider tries to say that the injured person did not contact them in time.
- Remember adjusters work for insurance providers: Some insurance adjusters have incentives to close injury claims for as little money as possible. This arrangement can mean that an insurance adjuster may distort accident details in the insurance company's favor.
- Get a second opinion: Before accepting any form of compensation or signing anything, injured people should talk to a lawyer. By talking to an attorney, an injured person can make sure that they receive the compensation they need to pay for medical bills and make up for missed time at work.
Injured people need to look out for their own best interests because many insurance providers will not do it for them. Talking to a skilled personal injury attorney can take the stress out of your insurance claim. The lawyers at Phillips Carson & Phillips can help. The consultation is free and there is no fee unless and until there is a recovery. Call us today at 232-0081. We are on your side.