If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you may not think of hiring an attorney at first, particularly if the other driver was insured. You may not even realize this is an option. However, you should know that insurance companies use tactics to devalue car accident claims all the time. These tactics range from offering a meager settlement to denying most or all of the liability.
After a car accident that has resulted in injuries or property damage, you are probably wondering how you can pay all your medical bills and handle other expenses while you recover, especially if you are unable to work. Retaining a car accident lawyer to help you get the settlement you deserve can ease your mind and let you focus on healing.
Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use
Here are some of the strategies insurance companies may use in attempts to reduce claims or avoid paying them altogether:
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Advise You Not to Hire a Lawyer
Insurance adjusters are all too aware that filing a claim can be complicated. You must have all the proper paperwork and use the correct language to describe your accident. You also need to make sure you don’t miss a single detail or piece of evidence when building your case. It may be much easier for insurance companies to reduce or deny your claim if you are filing independently, which is why they will tell you that you don’t need a lawyer.
However, a lawyer who is familiar with filing car accident personal injury and insurance law knows exactly how to file a claim and fight for the best results. An attorney can represent you in all claim proceedings, so you never have to deal with the insurer directly. This can mitigate some of the common mistakes claimants make when seeking an insurance settlement, such as speculating about what happened in the collision.
Offer You Less Than You Deserve
Insurance agents know that you need money as soon as possible to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. For this reason, they will often give claimants a low-ball offer right away in an effort to end the case quickly while paying as little as possible. However, many claimants don’t realize they can reject this initial offer and negotiate for a settlement that better addresses their damages.
An attorney can negotiate a settlement on your behalf and discuss any offers you receive. Doing so can empower you to only accept a settlement that addresses your damages fairly. If needed, they can also take the case to court.
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Another common response when an insurer receives a car accident claim is to deny some or all of their policyholder’s fault in the collision. They may even try to lay some of the blame for the accident at your feet, hoping that you will accept some liability so that they can pay you a smaller settlement.
Some states have comparative negligence laws, meaning you can still claim damages if you are partially at fault. However, sometimes insurance companies try to use this law against claimants. Hiring a lawyer can help you avoid these problems.
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Disputing Medical Claims
An insurance adjuster could claim that:
- Your injuries were not sustained during the accident.
- Your injuries are taking too long to heal.
- You are well enough to go back to work when you still need time to heal.
When dealing with recovery from serious injuries, the last thing you need is this type of stress. Insurance adjusters have no right to provide a medical diagnosis or advice. If you have a lawyer by your side, this is a problem you will not have to deal with.
Denying Certain Damages
If the other driver is at fault, you are entitled to claim damages for your medical expenses for any injuries incurred during the accident. You can also claim compensation for lost income and pain and suffering.
However, the insurance company may tell you that not all these damages are recoverable. If this happens, a personal injury attorney will review the policies and laws in question and fight for your financial recovery.
Delaying Your Claim
Although you may hear from the insurance company promptly when you initially make your claim, the adjuster may drag their feet when it comes to paying your settlement. An attorney can ensure that your claim keeps moving forward and use your ability to file a lawsuit as leverage.
Call Jenner Law for Your Car Accident Injury Claim
The auto accident attorneys at Jenner Law Firm have several decades of legal experience between them. Our team excels at personal injury cases. We are familiar with the insurance adjuster’s strategies and have our own to combat them.
Contact us today at (888) 585-2188 for a free consultation. If you decide to hire us, we can negotiate with the insurance companies on your behalf, fighting for a fair settlement while you concentrate on healing and getting your life back together.