Common Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny Car Accident Claims
When you are seriously injured in a car accident, worrying about mounting medical bills, lost wages, and property damage, you may look to the insurance company expecting a fair settlement. After all, this is what they are there for. However, insurance companies are businesses like any other. The more money they pay out, the less profit they have to put on their bottom line. When you understand the tactics an insurance company may use against you in a car accident claim, you can be better armed to obtain a fair settlement.
The first thing an insurance company may attempt to do is put you in a precarious financial position by dragging out the settlement process. If they make you wait, you may be more likely to take any settlement they offer. Some common delay tactics include requesting the same documentation repeatedly, ignoring your calls or e-mails, or overlooking beneficial information. They will likely try to leverage a car accident victim’s lack of legal knowledge to their benefit. The best way to mitigate this is to hire an experienced car accident attorney.
If you are not at fault for the accident, you are not liable. The insurance company may try to challenge fault, by blaming you completely or partially for causing the crash. They do this by claiming you were speeding or claiming you were the one that had the red light by casting doubt on eyewitness accounts or assailing their credibility. They may also try to minimize the impact of the accident, claiming you could not have gotten hurt that badly. All of this is done to reduce the settlement you are otherwise eligible to receive. When you have an attorney armed with the documentation and evidence that proves you were not at fault for the accident, you will have a much stronger position to challenge these tactics.
Pre-Existing Condition Arguments
Having a pre-existing condition does not negate any additional damage or injury you receive in a car accident. However, insurance companies may attempt to use evidence of pre-existing conditions to deny claims and allege your injuries were not caused by the accident itself. Proving causation and aggravation of pre-existing conditions can be a challenge without help. An experienced car accident attorney can ensure that pre-existing conditions are dealt with fairly throughout the process.
Lowball Settlement Offers
The first settlement offer from an insurance company will often be a lowball offer. If they can entice you to accept, your case is closed and you will not be able to seek any additional damages. They may try manipulating your emotions, and using time pressure and the prospect of financial hardship to try and push a quick settlement, implying that if you don’t accept the initial offer, you will get nothing at all. This is simply not true. When you are feeling vulnerable physically, mentally, and financially, you can be tempted to take any offer, but your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to make sure you get a fair settlement.
Surveillance and Social Media Monitoring
If you are in the middle of an insurance claim after a car accident, you’ll want to be very careful about your online behavior. Insurance companies may attempt to use your social media posts after an accident to challenge the seriousness of your injuries. If you are claiming short or long term disability, they may use surveillance to monitor your daily activities, and nearly all insurance companies will monitor your social media accounts to see if you are posting anything related to your claim, or behaving in a way that they feel is inconsistent with your injuries. During the settlement process, it is wise to limit social media use as much as possible, and know that the insurance company may be watching you in the attempt to challenge your claim. Your attorney can advise you on what to do during the process to avoid giving the insurance company anything to use against you.
Denying Medical Necessity
After a serious car accident, you will likely need medical treatment. The insurance company may begin questioning your medical treatment and disputing the treatment plans. If your case goes into litigation, an insurance company is likely to resort to an insurance medical examination (IME) in an effort to dispute recommended treatment plans. Your attorney can work with your medical team to obtain the documentation necessary to prove the need for your current treatment plan.
After being seriously injured in a car accident, you need to focus on your recovery, not on fighting with an insurance company for the settlement you deserve. When you hire a car accident attorney to help you through this legal process, they know the tactics the insurance company will attempt to use and will have experience to be able to respond to obtain a fair settlement. The truth is, you shouldn’t be financially burdened by a car accident that wasn’t your fault, and we can help you get the compensation you need to recover and move on. Contact Arthur Law Firm (419) 782-9881 right away for a free consultation.