It can be easy to fall prey to an insurance company’s marketing. Studies show that the insurance industry has been steadily ramping up spending on advertising throughout the years, with a projected $9.07 million to be spent on advertising in 2020. You would be hard-pressed to find someone unfamiliar with the Geico gecko or Progressive’s Flo. These marketing campaigns all have one overarching message: We are on your side. But just how true is that statement?
As any personal injury victim can tell you, settling a claim is no easy feat. While insurance companies may claim to have your best interests at heart, they are still a business like any other. Every dollar they pay you comes out of their own pockets, meaning they have every reason to minimize your settlement. An insurance provider will always put their own bottom line first—whether or not you are one of their clients.
Navigating a personal injury claim can be difficult, especially if you do not have a full and comprehensive understanding of the law. As trained professionals, insurance claims adjusters know just what to do to get you to minimize your own settlement. They may draw out the claims process to make it as difficult as possible or intimidate you into thinking you have no other options. You may even be led to make “incriminating” statements. Do you know the secret techniques insurance companies will use against you?
Formal statements are crucial in the building of any personal injury case. Your insurance company knows this, too—which is why you can expect a representative to call you immediately after your accident. When making your formal statement, try to stick as much to the facts as possible. Avoid editorializing or speaking in the heat of the moment. Do not express any sentiments of regret (such as, “I feel so bad that someone got hurt”); they may be purposefully misconstrued as admissions of guilt. It is only natural to say those things in conversation—but your formal statement is not just any conversation. You are speaking to a trained professional looking for any reason to deny your claim. Everything you say will be on the record and could be used against you later. You may even want to consider consulting an attorney before making a formal statement. Do not be pressured into speaking before you are ready.
Did you know that you do not have to accept an insurance company’s first settlement offer? Doing so is one of the most common ways of sabotaging your personal injury claim. Insurance companies will make your initial settlement offer seem non-negotiable—usually because it is the lowest possible amount they can offer. In reality, you should never trust an insurance provider to give you the true valuation of your claim. You can maximize your compensation by working with a skilled personal injury lawyer.
It is not uncommon for insurance companies to tell victims that they can only receive compensation once they have signed a release form. Because recovery from personal injury often requires urgent action, many victims sign these forms without a second thought. Unfortunately, such release forms often involve signing away your rights to pursue any additional claims. In other words, you will not be able to receive any further compensation for your injuries after receiving your settlement. If you find that your injuries are more serious than you initially believed, then this can be hugely problematic. You may be left to fend for yourself in the face of mounting medical expenses later on. You can keep this from happening to you by speaking with an attorney before signing any documents.
Many people are unaware that insurance companies are legally obligated to act in “good faith.” Failure to adhere to any contracts or to pay policyholders promptly can be considered “bad faith” practices—and they can be held liable for this. There is no reason to feel powerless. Let your attorney know if you feel that an insurance company is acting in bad faith practices towards you. You may even be entitled to file a lawsuit against the provider for doing so.
Insurance claims adjusters frequently discourage victims from seeking legal counsel. They claim that doing so will only further complicate and lengthen the process. However, a recent study from the Insurance Research Council found that accident victims who worked with a lawyer received nearly 3.5 times more compensation than those who did not. The data makes it staggeringly clear—insurance companies dissuade accident victims from augmenting their chances of success. Dealing with personal injury claims is confusing and overwhelming for anyone without the proper training, much less someone who is trying to recover from an accident. The right lawyer can lay out all your best options for you.
If you or a loved one have recently been a victim of personal injury, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Do not be fooled by insurance companies claiming to have your best interests at heart. As businesses, they have every reason to minimize your settlement—if you are even lucky enough to get one at all. Each payment to you is a loss to them. Get your full damages by working with a skilled legal team.
When it comes to personal injury, time is of the essence. If you want to collect damages, then you should act as soon as possible. Each type of accident has a different statute of limitations. If you fail to file before your statute expires, the courts may bar you indefinitely from seeking compensation for your injuries. A good lawyer will also need adequate time to prepare a successful claim. Do not let something as simple as tardiness sabotage your chances of recovery. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide personal injury attorneys.