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KNOW THESE INSURANCE COMPANY TACTICS IN PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
Florida lawyers explain tricks used to try to deny claims
When personal injury accidents happen, injury victims deserve to be financially compensated for their injury-related expenses if someone else caused their injury. Unfortunately, many injury claims turn out to be complicated legal cases. Usually, that’s due to the insurance company for the at-fault party.
We understand the tricks and games insurance companies often play when it comes to injury claims. That’s because our Florida personal injury lawyers at Farrow & Pulice, P.A. in Sarasota have years of experience dealing with insurance companies and securing sizable settlements and verdicts for injury victims and their families.
Below, you can learn more about some of the tactics insurance companies often use to reduce or deny injury claims. If you have a specific question about your case, contact our law firm right away. We can meet with you and get right to work on your case.
10 tricks and tactics insurance companies use to reduce or deny injury claims
Insurance companies – especially the ones representing the at-fault party – want injury victims to think they have their best interests at heart. Don’t fall for their games. These are some of the tactics insurance companies often try to use to pay injury victims less money:
Insurance company claims there was no financial loss – In most personal injury cases, injury victims are entitled to financial compensation if they sustained a financial loss due to an injury caused by someone else’s reckless or negligent actions. The money paid to injury victims is referred to as damages. In many cases, injury victims are entitled to compensatory damages, which is money for medical bills related to their injury, property damage, replacement income if they cannot work due to their injury, and other reimbursement for losses sustained. Insurance companies sometimes claim there was no financial loss due to an accident and therefore don’t owe injury victims any money.
Insurance company contacts you and wants to ask “just a few questions” – Don’t be surprised if the at-fault party’s insurance company contacts you soon after your accident. They’ll likely claim they just have a few simple questions about your injury. But they’re likely fishing for information they can use to reduce or deny your claim. Remember, you don’t have to talk to the other party’s insurance company.
They ask you to make a recorded statement about your injury – Again, don’t let insurance companies bully you into saying something about your injury, especially if they ask you to make a recorded statement. Remember, you can’t take back what you said if they record you. Insurance companies know this and will likely ask leading questions specifically designed to make you say something that could be used to deny your injury claim. Instead of a recorded statement, you should sit down with your attorney to craft a written statement that accurately tells your side of the story.
They ask you to sign documents related to your injury – The at-fault party’s insurance company might ask you to sign official documents related to your case, including a medical authorization form. This document gives them the right to review your medical records and dig through them in search of anything they can use against you. Protect your privacy and your rights. Don’t sign anything until you’ve first talked with a lawyer.
They make a lowball settlement offer – This is a classic insurance company tactic used to resolve your case – and pay you far less than the true value of your claim. Remember, once you accept a settlement offer, that’s it. Your case is settled. You cannot ask for any additional money, even if your injury-related expenses increase dramatically in the future. This is why it’s always best to carefully review any settlement offer with a lawyer before agreeing to accept it.
They insist their first offer is their highest offer – Another game insurance companies play is the one where they insist that their initial settlement offer is their best and final offer. They’ll likely tell you they can’t pay you a penny more. The reality is, insurance companies are often willing to settle cases for far more money than their first offer. They know it. We know it. And it’s our job to negotiate the best possible settlement on your behalf.
They claim your injury is a pre-existing medical condition – You know your injury is the result of a recent accident. But many times, insurance companies will try to claim that such injuries happened long ago and are pre-existing medical conditions. This is why it’s important to have a doctor examine you and diagnose what’s wrong soon after your injury. That way, you’ll get the medical care you need and have the documentation to support your injury claim.
They claim their insurance policy does not cover your injury – Insurance companies offer many different types of insurance, including personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Each type of insurance covers a different type of economic loss. If you file a claim seeking compensation, don’t be surprised if the insurance company tries to claim that their policy doesn’t cover your injury. That way, they don’t have to pay you the money you rightfully deserve. Don’t take their word for it. Talk to a lawyer who can review the applicable policy or policies and show that your losses are covered.
They claim they’re not liable for compensating you – Liability is a legal term that refers to who’s legally responsible for compensating injury victims for an accident. Sometimes, the insurance company for the at-fault party will claim they’re not liable for an injury caused by their policyholder. You do not have to take their word for it. You can challenge their decision if you believe someone else is at fault and their insurance company is responsible for compensating you.
They deny your injury claim – There are many reasons why insurance companies deny injury claims. But just because they deny your claim doesn’t mean you have to accept their decision. You have options. And an experienced attorney can help you explore them, whether it’s filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf or exploring other legal options available to you.
How can a personal injury lawyer help?
There are many ways an attorney can help you deal with insurance companies if you have been hurt in a personal injury accident. This includes:
- Dealing directly with the insurance company on your behalf.
- Negotiating a settlement offer with the insurance company.
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and fighting the insurance company in court.
Don’t underestimate the complexity or the urgency of your legal matter. In Florida, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action in response to your injury. In general, you have four years from the date of the injury to file a lawsuit. However, different deadlines can apply in different circumstances.
But if you wait until just before the deadline to take legal action, it might be too late. That’s because the evidence you need to support your case might no longer exist. Accident evidence can be easily lost or destroyed. Eyewitnesses who saw what happened might move away or forget what happened.
The sooner we can get to work on your claim, the better. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers at Farrow & Pulice, Attorneys At Law in Sarasota can help you every step of the way. We have years of experience investigating injury accidents and fighting for justice for victims throughout Southwestern Florida.
Discover what we can do for you after your personal injury accident. Contact us and schedule a free case evaluation today.
Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, Top 10 Insurance Company Tactics in Personal Injury Claims.