Insurance companies are for-profit businesses. When they make a profit, it often comes at your expense. When they settle a claim for less than its true value, they have saved money that is added to their profits. Without a personal injury lawyer handling your case, you are vulnerable to the insurance company’s tricks and tactics. A lawyer knows how the insurance company operates and will help protect you from their games. If you try to handle your claim on your own, you may fall victim to these tricks, and it will cost you money.
Wearing You Down in Negotiations
Insurance companies know that time is on their side in settlement negotiations. Your bills are piling up, and your financial situation may be worsening while you wait for the settlement negotiations to conclude. Therefore, insurance companies will do everything that they can to add time to the process, knowing that you may become increasingly desperate and willing to take whatever they have to offer you.
The insurance company will begin the process by making a low settlement offer, and only gradually will they raise it. You may have to exchange multiple rounds of offers and counteroffers with them, growing increasingly frustrated over time. As difficult as it may seem, you need to hold fast in settlement negotiation until you are paid what you deserve. You must resist the temptation to take a below-value offer because you need the money.
Using the Objective to Take Out the Subjective
A personal injury settlement is meant to compensate you for how you have suffered from your injuries. There is no such thing as an “average” claimant. It is all about you and your own unique damages. Perhaps the most important element of your damages where “you matter” is in your pain and suffering. You know how your injuries have impacted you, both physically and psychologically.
The insurance company will try to use an “objective” multiplier to calculate your pain and suffering damages based on how they think that you have suffered. This number disregards your own individual experience, and it will almost certainly undercompensate you for your actual pain and suffering.
When negotiating a personal injury settlement, you must make sure that your story is told and considered. Your attorney will detail your own damages in detail when filing your claim and conducting settlement negotiations with the insurance company.
Trying to Pressure You
Insurance companies have two speeds when it comes to settlements; they may either try to delay your claim or try to rush you into a settlement. If they are using the latter tactic, they think that you are vulnerable to the pressure and would agree to a settlement that pays you far less than you deserve. They are trying to capitalize on the fact that you do not know the value of your claim and will sign away your legal rights for pennies on the dollar.
When you hire an experienced attorney, they will keep the insurance company from rushing you into a low settlement. The insurance company would need to go through your lawyer in order to speak with you. Your lawyer will know the value of your claim and advise you to reject any settlement that does not pay you what you deserve. Once you sign a settlement agreement, you release the insurance company from future liability, and you cannot go back to them for more money.
Questioning Your Injuries
Your insurance claim will include both information about liability for the accident and your own damages. You will document your injuries, including the medical information that supports your diagnosis. The insurance company may have its own doctor review your files to form their own position. A physician who has never seen you may make their own diagnosis that is at odds with your own personal reality. The insurance company’s doctor has their own incentive to provide their own opinion, especially because they want repeat business.
Your compensation should be based on your actual diagnosis and not the insurance company’s own conflicted opinion. Your attorney would need to stand up for you when the insurance company is trying to twist reality.
Trying to Blame the Accident on You
There is a principle in personal injury law that may partially or completely release the other party from liability in connection with an accident. When you have been blamed in whole or in part for the accident, the insurance company may lower or try to eliminate your personal injury settlement.
The insurance company may try to find a way to argue that you did something to cause the accident. For example, they may argue that you were crossing the street in the wrong place outside the crosswalk when you were involved in your accident.
Your personal injury may need to defend your own actions in connection with the accident, keeping the insurance company from wrongfully blaming you. The insurance company may take a biased point of view, knowing that they can use it to try to get out of paying you. Even if the insurance company tries to assign 10% of the blame to you, it can add up to tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost settlement proceeds. Thankfully, the insurance company does not get the final say, and a jury can apportion any blame or fault in your case.
Call a Los Angeles County Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The Arshakyan Law Firm is dedicated and tenacious lawyers who know how to fight the insurance companies at their own game and win. Your cause is our case, and we will work tirelessly until you get the money that you deserve. Your first step is to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. You can reach out to us online or call us today at (888) 851-5005. As always, you do not owe us anything for our services unless we are able to help you win your case.