We often expect that our insurance company will be there for us in the event of an auto accident. That’s what the popular catchphrases, “Like a good neighbor,” and “You’re in good hands,” would like us to believe, anyway.
However, many people fail to look at things through the insurers’ point of view. Like all companies, insurance businesses are in the business of making money. When they pay claims, they lose money. Therefore, to avoid this, they will resort to various tactics to reduce the amount they pay or refuse to pay claims altogether. These tactics may seem acceptable at first glance until you realize they put you at a disadvantage.
You can avoid dealing with these tactics and protect your claim by hiring a lawyer. Here are some common tactics insurers use to devalue and deny claims.
Offer a Quick Settlement
Every insurance company’s dream is to settle cases for pennies on the dollar. While it may be tempting to get a hold of quick cash after a car accident, doing so would not be wise. You may not have been fully treated yet, so it’s possible your injuries could get worse. Then what? With a quick settlement, you sign a release stating that you will not seek further compensation for damages. You’re out of luck financially at that point.
An insurance company will do whatever it takes to avoid paying you. They may claim that you really weren’t injured in the crash or that you are partially or fully liable, even though it was clearly the other driver’s fault. They are trying to call your bluff, so you really have to stand your ground and fight.
Fight Your Medical Bills
The insurance company may try to get you to stop treatment, especially if your medical expenses have already reached a high amount. Don’t give in. This is a ruse on their part to create a treatment gap in your medical record. They want to be able to deny your claim based on this gap.
Delay Your Claim
The insurer may come up with fake delays to prevent paying out your claim. They know you are stressed and vulnerable, and they hope that you will eventually give up and stop pursuing your claim. Don’t give in. Be persistent and ask for the money you deserve. If they refuse to pay up, hire a lawyer.
Some insurance companies will go as far as to engage in bad faith. This occurs when an insurer breaches a contract. For example, if you are treated unfairly during the accident claim process or the insurer refuses to compensate you for losses that have insurance coverage for, this is considered bad faith, which is against the law.
While you can sue your insurance company for bad faith, it can be difficult to prove. Therefore, don’t expect your insurer to settle without a fight. You will need to be prepared to battle it out in court, so make sure you have a knowledgeable and aggressive lawyer on your side.
Get Hurt? Get Gary!
Insurance companies are highly skilled at coming up with lowball offers or denying claims altogether. They tend to start the process soon after the accident, so the sooner you get a lawyer, the better.
The Falkowitz Law Firm will deal with the insurance company for you so you can focus on recovery. Let us negotiate with the insurers and help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call 844-GET-GARY to schedule a free consultation.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.