4 Ways Insurance Companies Try To Steal Your Accident Settlement
While most automobile insurance companies in the state of Texas are managed by professionals who are committed to high standards, you have to be careful. As car accident attorneys in McAllen, we know that some auto insurance companies will try to take your accident settlement.
Like every business, auto insurance companies exist for one reason – profits – which are fine when those insurance companies deliver on the services they promise to consumers.
Of course, no auto insurance company – or any other company – can be allowed to put profits ahead of the needs of injured accident victims.
When – for no legitimate reason – an auto insurance claim is delayed, undervalued, or denied, that denial can cause serious financial hardship, especially when an injury victim cannot work and that victim’s medical bills start piling up.
Listed here are four of the most common tactics that questionable auto insurance companies will use to take legitimate accident settlements away from legitimate accident victims:
TACTIC #1: TWISTING WHAT YOU SAY
The claims adjusters at auto insurance companies record what you say, and they may hint or imply that you are required to give the company a formal statement.
There is no such requirement, which is why adjusters can only hint or imply that a statement is needed.
If you have been injured in a traffic accident in south Texas, put your case in the hands of an experienced Edinburg auto accident attorney – immediately – and when an insurance adjuster contacts you, refer the adjuster back to your attorney.
TACTIC #2: SAYING YOU’LL GET MORE COMPENSATION WITHOUT A LAWYER
An auto insurance company will almost always try to keep an attorney out of the process. The company might try to intimidate you by saying that an attorney will take most of your settlement.
That simply is not true, and if the company says that “research proves it,” ask to see the research.
A personal injury lawyer with integrity, experience, and a good reputation will almost always be able to help you to obtain a better settlement than you would achieve on your own.
TACTIC #3: MAKING WRONGFUL CLAIMS ABOUT LIABILITY
Even if you were not the at-fault driver in the accident, an auto insurance company might still insist that you were fully or partly at-fault. They might even claim that some third party – not one of their policyholders – was at fault.
To put it short, some automobile insurance companies will do almost anything to get out of their obligation to handle your claim fairly and quickly.
Claims adjusters make more when they are able to pay you less – and to keep your lawyer from being involved.
TACTIC #4: DELAY, DELAY, DELAY
“We’ll get back to you. We are still processing your paperwork. Your claim is still pending.”
Some auto insurance companies will simply brush you off and hope that you get tired of waiting. They constantly “have more questions” or “need more information.”
And some auto insurance companies may offer you a “lowball” settlement amount – or even entirely ignore you – and hope that you will just go away.
Too many consumers are bullied that way by shady auto insurance companies. Do not be one of them. These companies play on the average person’s sense of vulnerability and powerlessness in these situations.
WHO CAN HELP YOU DEAL WITH AN AUTO INSURANCE COMPANY?
Any time that an auto insurance company is not treating you right after an auto accident in Texas, get an attorney’s help.
And if you are injured in an accident, it actually makes more sense – with your health and your future at risk – to take the case directly to an injury lawyer and let that lawyer field the questions and handle the negotiations.
The law in Texas tends to favor auto insurance companies, but you are acting fully within your rights when you seek a personal injury lawyer’s help to deal with an insurance company.
Auto insurance companies have legal obligations to policyholders, and even a “third party” auto insurance company owes good faith to every injured victim of negligence who files a third-party injury claim.
ARE YOU A VICTIM OF INSURANCE BAD FAITH?
In the most egregious cases where an auto insurance company refuses to meet its obligations, the victim may qualify to file an insurance bad faith legal action with an attorney’s help.
A simple difference of opinion between you and a claims adjuster regarding the value of your claim does not necessarily by itself constitute bad faith.
But if an at-fault driver’s auto insurance company will not meet its obligation, will not negotiate in good faith with you, or says that your check is in the mail when it isn’t, get an attorney’s help.
You have that right. Especially when you are recovering from serious injuries, the last thing you need is an auto insurance company that is not treating you right.
WHAT CONSTITUTES INSURANCE BAD FAITH?
Every victim of negligence has the right to be treated with good faith by the negligent driver’s auto insurance company. An auto insurance company’s bad faith actions can include:
1. a never-ending “investigation” that delays your payment
2. offering weak, false, or disingenuous reasons to deny your claim
3. no payment – with no reason or explanation
4. an offer or payment that is far below your claim’s real worth
HOW CAN A PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY HELP?
Sometimes, just hiring an attorney is sufficient to compel an auto insurance company to treat you right.
Why? If you take an automobile insurance company to court for bad faith – and if you prevail – the insurance company could be ordered to pay you additional damages, especially in cases where the company’s behavior was exceedingly egregious.
How can you know when an auto insurance company is operating in bad faith? Speak to a skilled auto accident attorney who routinely handles insurance bad faith cases.
Your attorney will review your circumstances and will be able to tell you if you have grounds for taking legal action.
Of course, if you have been injured in the state of Texas by a negligent driver, do not even speak to that driver’s insurance company – because far too much is at risk.
Instead, take the case directly to a trustworthy personal injury lawyer who will fight aggressively for the compensation – as well as for the justice – that every injured victim of negligence deserves.
By Chris Brasure
Brasure Law Firm, PLLC was founded by Chris Brasure in 2006. His legal accomplishments are diverse and numerous. He is a fellow with the Texas Bar Foundation, was a delegate in the American Bar Association House of Delegates and holds a BA in political science and speech communication from Baylor University. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University Law School. Chris believes that education is absolutely critical to one’s success, so his firm now offers The Brasure Law Firm Scholarship to give back to the community and to help students who are seeking to pursue a higher education.