Insurance companies are not evil, nor do they operate with a desire to cheat accident victims out of the compensation they deserve for an accident claim. However, profits do often motivate the decisions made by insurance companies. They do not profit by paying out large insurance settlements. Therefore, many companies use various insurance tactics to pay as little as possible for an accident claim.
Therefore, it can be helpful to understand some of the insurance tactics used by companies to avoid paying full compensation for claims. Below are the top three insurance tactics you might encounter if you are filing an insurance claim.
Convincing you to provide statements and sign forms you may not understand.
An insurance adjuster may contact you shortly after you file a notice of claim. The adjuster may claim that he needs a statement from you before he can process your claim. Often an adjuster requests that you provide a statement in writing or allow him to record your statement. You do not need to provide a statement for the adjuster to begin processing the claim. The adjuster is trying to get you to admit to something in your statement that the company can use against you. The adjuster may also give you a stack of forms claiming that they are “standard” forms to “get your claim moving.” You need to be very careful because some of the forms could bind you to arbitration to settle your claim or consent to the release of all your medical records.
Claiming you are over-stating your injuries.
Another common tactic used by some insurance companies is claiming you are not injured, or your injuries are not as severe as you claim. You may have medical records to substantiate your claim, but the insurance company uses a delay in medical treatment to allege you did not suffer the injuries in the car crash. The company may argue that you may have suffered a minor injury in the crash, but that you are exaggerating your pain and impairment. The insurance company may even hire medical professionals to refute the diagnosis by your doctor.
Blaming you for causing the crash.
Even though the accident report states that the other driver was at fault for the crash, the insurance company may try to blame you for causing the collision. If you caused the collision, the insurance company is not liable for your damages. Even if the insurance company can claim that you were partially at fault for the crash, it can reduce the value of your claim.
Illinois follows the modified comparative fault rule for compensation. If you are partially at fault, your compensation is reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to you for the crash. If you are assigned 51 percent or more of the fault for the crash, you cannot recover any compensation. Therefore, avoid giving the insurance company any information it can use against you.
Helping You Avoid Insurance Tactics That Can Reduce Your Compensation for an Accident Claim.
The Indianapolis accident attorneys of Poynter & Bucheri are very aware of the above insurance tactics and other tactics used by companies to undervalue and deny valid accident claims. We fight for the rights of our clients to receive full compensation for all injuries, losses, and damages.
Call 1-800-265-9881 or (317) 780-8000 to request your free consultation with an Indianapolis accident attorney to discuss your case and how the PBAR legal team can help you fight unfair insurance tactics.