Insurance companies have a natural conflict of interest when they are trying to settle your case. Even though you have a legal right to be fully paid for your damages, this is the last thing that an insurance company wants to do. The reason why is that it costs them money that comes out of their bottom line. As a result, the insurance company will use every trick at their disposal to try to pay you less money. Here are some things to be on the lookout for when you are negotiating a settlement.
Insurance Companies Deny Claims Whenever They Can
The first tactic that insurance companies use to save money on settlements is to try not to pay them at all. An insurance company makes an initial decision whether to deny your claim or proceed to negotiate a settlement. Before you reach that point, an insurance company may do whatever it can to undercut the merits of your claim, including pressuring you to make a statement or unreasonably denying the realities of your accident. An insurance company does not get the final say about responsibility. If your claim is denied, you have the legal ability to file a lawsuit in court against the responsible individual or/and business.
Insurance Companies Will Attach a Lower Valuation to Your Claim
The insurance company will not only undermine the amount of your injuries but also your medical costs. In cases where liability is clear, the insurance company’s primary focus becomes keeping the dollar value of your claim low. Here, the insurance company has even more tricks at its disposal.
The insurance company begins with the valuation of your claim. They know exactly how much your claim is worth very shortly after you file it. Insurance companies have programs, models, and adjusters who deal with claims every single day. Then, the insurance company comes up
with another number, which is the one that they want to pay you. The latter number will be far lower than the true value of your claim.
Insurance Companies Try to Strike When You Do Not Have Knowledge
An insurance company tries to catch you unaware, not knowing how much your claim is worth. They may make you an early settlement offer to see if you will take it. This offer is an opening gambit that often traps people who do not know the true value of their claim. Many times the insurance company may send you a check, which upon cashing can conclude your ability to obtain further benefits. If the insurance company makes you a quick offer, you should rarely accept it because they have far more room to raise their number.
Insurance Companies Try to Wear You Down and Make You Desperate
If the insurance company is not trying to dispose of your claim quickly, they will go in the other direction and try to grind you down over time. They know that claimants need the money because they have bills to pay and may miss time from work. At a certain point, claimants’ financial situation could become even more pressing, and they may be willing to accept less. Insurance companies have all sorts of stall tactics, including:
- Being slow to process claims and make a decision on liability
- Making low settlement offers and raising them a little bit at a time
- Dragging out and adding time to negotiations
Insurance companies only move when they have the motivation to do so. One powerful motivator is the fear of litigation. Not only does an insurance company have to give up control of the case to a jury, but they also incur litigation costs to get to that point. Insurance companies take the threat of litigation far more seriously when you hire an aggressive and experienced attorney with whom they have a history.
They Will Paint a Far Rosier Picture of Your Life than the One You Are Living
By far, the insurance company’s favorite tactic to keep settlements low is drawing every single possible inference against you in valuing your claim. For example, the insurance company is obligated to pay you both past and future damages. However, the insurance company’s view of the future is far rosier than your reality. They minimize the difficulties that you will face, so they will not have to pay you for them.
The same thing goes for pain and suffering. An insurance company does not know what you are going through, nor do they care. What they do care about is keeping this part of their tab to a minimum. In this case, they will try to use an “objective” measure of your injuries to try to take anything subjective out of the equation. However, you are entitled to be paid for your own specific injuries. Anytime an insurance company tries to use a formula as a shorthand for something, you can expect to get the short end of the stick.
You do not have to sit back and let insurance companies take advantage of you or make your life more difficult. You are not in a position of just having to take what they give you. Instead, you can hire a determined and aggressive lawyer to work on your behalf. The insurance company will have to sit up and take notice because they will know that you are serious. Things begin to change when they realize that they cannot push you around.
Call a Southern California Personal Injury Attorney Today
When you need a tenacious lawyer, you should reach out to The Arshakyan Law Firm. We fight for clients like you when insurance companies think that they can push you around. When you have an experienced lawyer on your side, you can push back, and the insurance company does not like it. Send us a message online or call us today at (888) 851-5005 to schedule your free initial consultation and begin the legal process.