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Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Deny Claims

Insurance companies are supposed to protect your finances in the event of an accident or injury, but they don’t always support your best interests the way they should. Insurance providers are keen to minimize payouts and protect their own bottom line. It’s often a struggle to get the settlement you deserve.

As an individual, you typically don’t have the knowledge, experience, or leverage you need to get the best possible settlement. The insurance company is well-equipped with an assortment of tactics that are meant to trip you up. Without the expertise of a lawyer on your side, you could fall victim to one or more of these strategies.

Settling Claims Quickly

Damaged car in accident
Image via Unsplash by snaps_by_clark

Insurance providers often push to settle injury claims as quickly as possible. While this might look like consideration on the part of the insurance provider, it’s actually a tactic to try to settle your claim for the smallest possible amount. Injuries from a car crash often take days to fully manifest.

A headache several days after a car accident could signal a concussion, a neck injury, or a blood clot in the brain. Symptoms of whiplash are often delayed for 24 hours or more. Within a few days of the accident, individuals may start to experience neck, shoulder, or back pain; dizziness; or pain or numbness in the arm or hand. Treatment may include physical therapy, massage, traction, pain medication, or injections. You deserve compensation for these medical expenses, but you may not be eligible if the claim is settled too quickly.

Difficulty focusing is another common symptom after a car accident. This may simply be the result of the mental and emotional trauma of the accident, or it could indicate a concussion or other brain injury. This mental fogginess can make it difficult to navigate your insurance claims. Though your insurance provider may push for a quick settlement, hoping to take advantage of any momentary lapse in judgement, it’s in your best interest to wait and seek assistance from a lawyer.

Minimizing Injury or Damage

Insurance companies want to pay as little as possible for your injury, so they’ll often attempt to minimize any injuries or property damage they should be liable for. You may find that your insurance company wants you to see a certain doctor. This “expert” physician is often biased toward the insurance company. They may claim that:

  • Your injuries are not as severe as your previous doctor claimed.
  • You sustained these injuries prior to the accident.
  • You underwent excessive treatment that was not necessary for your injury.

You have a wealth of rights in this area. Working with an experienced lawyer, you can fight back and successfully prove that you deserve full compensation.

Denying Liability

Liability is a tricky matter. Insurance companies are experts at placing liability on someone else so that they’re not responsible for a claim. The insurance company may cite an exclusion or argue that you were engaged in risky behavior that relieves them of any responsibility to provide compensation for the accident. If the insurance company can prove negligence or failure to obtain proper medical care, they may have adequate grounds to deny your claim.

Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible after your accident so you can get expert advice on how to proceed. An experienced attorney can guide you through all the appropriate steps and help you cover your bases so the insurance company will have no grounds to deny its responsibility.

Taking a Recorded Statement

A sympathetic insurance representative may ask to record your statement so they can make sure you get proper compensation. These professionals are skilled at gaining your trust, but it’s important to remember that they’re not usually on your side if you’re seeking compensation for your accident.

Never give a recorded statement without first consulting with a lawyer. Though you may feel you have nothing to hide, you may be surprised by the ways an insurance company can use your own words against you. You could unwittingly make a small slip that results in an insurance claims denial.

Pushing Paperwork on You

Signing any type of paperwork can be as damaging as giving a recorded statement. Your insurance company will rush to assure you that these documents are part of standard practice and that you don’t have anything to lose by signing them. However, it’s difficult to know what you’re signing away without the keen eyes of an attorney on your side.

Once you’ve signed the applicable paperwork for a claim, you may lose the chance to get additional compensation that you’re entitled to. Insurance companies know that you’re often in a rush to get your claim settled. Your medical bills are piling up, and you may have significant vehicle or home repairs that you need to take care of. It seems dangerous to put off claims processing, and your insurance company is sure to capitalize on this fear.

It doesn’t take long to consult with an attorney, and the benefits can far outweigh the minor delay. Consider that you may sign away thousands of dollars that you could otherwise receive as part of your claim simply by having the right set of eyes look over your paperwork.

Delaying Payment

Though your insurance company may rush to have you settle your claim, that doesn’t mean the company will act quickly to pay you. Insurance providers know that you will become more desperate for your payout as time passes. The longer you have to wait, the more likely it is that you’ll settle for a smaller amount just to get the money in hand.

Don’t let your insurance company wear you down. Speak with an attorney to find out what rights you have to a timely payment. A good lawyer will help you get the compensation you deserve when you need it.

If you’re seeking compensation from an insurance company, reach out to our attorneys at Goodman Acker for help. We offer a free consultation that will help you understand what you’re entitled to and how we can assist with your claim.

 

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