When you submit a personal injury claim, insurance companies become your unavoidable adversary. Their primary motivation is to protect their financial interests, leading them to devise ways of minimizing payouts or avoiding liability altogether.
To secure the compensation that rightfully belongs to you, it’s imperative that you understand these corporate strategies and how they’re likely to be employed against your claim. Being armed with this knowledge increases your chances for a fair settlement.
Here are some of the most common ways an insurance company will try to fight your claim:
Offering Quick, Low Settlements
In some situations, insurance companies may try to catch claimants off guard with quick, low-value settlement offers. These are frequently proposed soon after the incident while you’re still reeling from the event and perhaps under considerable financial strain.
Such offers may seem enticing at first glance, given your immediate financial needs. However, these initial proposals tend to heavily undervalue the long-term costs associated with severe injuries, such as ongoing medical treatment or loss of future earnings.
Delaying the Claim Process
Another common strategy employed by insurance companies is delaying the claims process. This prolonged waiting game can be frustrating and emotionally draining, manipulating claimants into considering lower settlement offers than what their case might truly be worth.
Delays could mean mounting medical bills while unable to earn income. This can create potential financial distress, which could force you to accept a less-than-ideal settlement because you’re frustrated with waiting.
Understanding this tactic helps maintain patience and resilience in the pursuit of rightful compensation.
Disputing Medical Treatment
Another frequently used tactic by insurance companies is disputing the medical treatment that you’ve received. They may argue that the care was excessive, unnecessary, or unrelated to your accident injuries.
Insurance companies often have their own pool of medical experts who might even provide an opinion contradicting your doctor’s recommendations or diagnosis for purposes of underplaying the severity of your injuries.
Misrepresenting Policy Limits
Misrepresenting policy limits is another strategy insurance companies may use. They might claim that the policy limit is lower than what it actually is to cap their potential payout at a reduced amount (even though this is not permitted).
Understanding and verifying the details of the opposing party’s insurance independently or preferably with your lawyer could help protect you from falling prey to such misinformation. This ensures that you are basing your decisions on accurate information and that all possible avenues for compensation are explored thoroughly during negotiations.
Shifting blame to you is another strategy where attempts are made to portray you, the claimant, as being at fault or partially responsible for the accident. This results in decreased compensation eligibility under Nevada comparative negligence laws.
In Nevada, if a claimant bears 51% or more responsibility for causing an accident, they’re no longer eligible for any financial recovery. If you’re less than 51% at fault, your award amount will be reduced by the percentage of blame assigned to you.
Intrusive surveillance is another method insurance companies might use to combat claims. They could potentially employ private investigators with the objective of finding any behavior or activity that contradicts your claim – for instance, footage of you engaging in physical activities that should be hindered by your reported injuries.
Be Careful of Your Social Media Posts
Public posts on social media platforms are also a readily accessible source they can tap into. Casual comments, photos, or videos showing you behaving contradictory to the status depicted in your personal injury case may serve as ammunition. This is why it’s advised to limit social media activity and ensure that privacy settings are strictly managed during ongoing claims.
Your best bet is to avoid using social media altogether until your claim is resolved.
Using Statements Against You
Statements given to insurance adjusters, particularly recorded ones, pose a significant risk against personal injury claims. Insurance companies might encourage you to provide such statements early in the process while you’re still under stress from the accident.
They can potentially use these comments out of context or twist your words around to serve their narrative and lessen the extent of damages they must pay you.
Overwhelming You With Paperwork
Dealing with an influx of documentation is another tactic you may have to face from the insurance companies. They tend to inundate claimants with excessive paperwork and requests, hoping this can lead to frustration, confusion, or even mistakes.
This underscores the importance of maintaining thorough records and staying highly organized during your personal injury proceedings.
Using Expert Witnesses
Insurance companies often resort to hiring expert witnesses – industry professionals (physicians, accident reconstruction experts for car accidents, etc.) who are brought in with the intention of disputing your personal injury claim.
They could potentially contest the severity of sustained injuries or challenge whether the incident truly unfolded as you have claimed. Given their professional standing and experience with the process, these testimonies can be particularly influential.
Therefore, it’s crucial to prepare for these situations – generally with assistance from legal counsel, who will likely suggest procuring your own expert witnesses to counter the insurance company’s arguments.
The Importance of Working With a Personal Injury Lawyer
Given the tactics insurance companies may use to minimize or avoid payouts, it becomes clear why having a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your corner is invaluable. A skilled attorney can effectively counter these strategies, gather all essential evidence, ensure your rights are protected, and navigate the complexities of the negotiation process.
Your lawyer will work to ensure that all types of damages are fully considered. This includes non-economic damages, which may not have a direct financial cost but significantly impact life quality, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium.
They Can Help You Fight Bad Faith Claims
Additionally, an experienced attorney can make a significant difference in identifying when an insurance company is engaging in bad faith tactics. In the event of such an occurrence, your lawyer can guide you through appropriate measures, which may include filing a lawsuit against them for acting in bad faith.
Contact an Experienced Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney For Assistance With Your Insurance Claim
Knowing your rights and having legal oversight helps ensure that insurance companies honor their contractual obligations. If you need help with a claim, don’t hesitate to call Battle Born Injury Lawyers at (702)-570-9000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer.