Insurance Company Manipulative Tactics
Approximately 3 million people suffer from car accident injuries each year in the United States, which equates to 8,522 injury victims each day. The first step many injured individuals take following a car accident is to file a claim with their insurance company. Filing a claim is a logical decision to make but reaching out to an insurance company before speaking with a lawyer can possibly make it difficult for an injured victim to receive adequate compensation.
Suffering injuries and experiencing the financial loss associated with a car accident is challenging and overwhelming. Fighting with insurance companies to recover what a victim deserves only adds to an already stressful situation. Before attempting to resolve an insurance claim on your own, consider speaking with a Georgia personal injury lawyer. Contact The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. at 706-940-4030 today to receive a free case evaluation.
Insurance Companies Are Interested in Profits
According to the Office of Commissioner of Insurance and Safety Fire, all drivers must have liability insurance in the state of Georgia, which is the law in most states. The minimum liability coverage limits in Georgia are $25,000 per person for bodily injury, and $50,000 per incident for bodily injury. The minimum liability limit for property damage is $25,000 per incident.
Although liability coverage is required for drivers in Georgia, the lower limits mean that some drivers may not obtain the amount of compensation that adequately compensates for a victim's injuries. Additionally, even with higher limits, insurance companies want to minimize the amount of money they must pay in accordance with an insurance policy.
Ultimately, insurance companies are for-profit institutions that have a financial bottom line. Because saving money is a key goal of insurance companies, far too many injury victims are left with little to nothing after being involved in an accident. Georgians who sustain injuries in an accident should be aware of certain manipulative tactics insurance companies employ to limit settlement payouts or to avoid settlement payouts entirely.
Insurance Company Manipulative Tactic No. 1 – Delaying Your Claim
The state of Georgia suggests contacting your insurance company immediately after an accident. Filing an insurance claim triggers a series of steps that need to be satisfied before an injury victim can receive compensation. Physical injuries require prompt medical treatment, and may require long-term medical treatment, which leads to the accumulation of substantial medical expenses.
As the clock ticks, an injured person continues to incur financial harm in the form of additional medical bills, and potentially lost wages. By delaying claims, insurance companies create a situation where an injury victim decides it is better to accept a “low ball” settlement than to fight for what is a fair and reasonable offer.
Insurance Company Manipulative Tactic No. 2 – Recording Your Call
Insurance companies are notorious for recording calls with injury victims who have filed claims. Insurance agents and adjusters are excellent at appearing sympathetic to a person's situation. In a vulnerable moment, an injured person may unknowingly agree to have a call recorded. Doing so means that statements made by the injured person can later be used against that person in an effort to justify a low settlement offer (or to justify the outright denial of a claim).
Insurance Company Manipulative Tactic No. 3 – Offering a Quick Settlement
An injury victim who receives a quick settlement offer may be excited and eager to take the money and move on. However, an insurance company that offers a quick settlement may know that the claim is worth much more, and that involvement of an attorney on behalf of the injured victim may lead to the eventual payment of a much larger settlement amount.
Insurance Company Manipulative Tactic No. 4 – Obtaining Medical Records Authorizations
Like the unwitting agreement to have a call recorded, injury victims may sign medical records authorizations upon request of an insurance company without realizing the ramifications of doing so. By signing medical records authorizations, an injured person is giving the insurance company the green light to request any and all records, some of which may have nothing to do with the injuries sustained in a car accident.
Insurance companies tend to fish for information that can be used against an injured claimant, such as preexisting conditions that may limit the value of the claim. A request to sign a medical records authorization should be taken very seriously and victims should consider answering this request with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Insurance Company Manipulative Tactic No. 5 – Blaming You for Your Injuries
A car accident case may seem very cut and dry, where it is obvious that one driver was 100 percent at fault for causing the accident. Regardless of what the facts show, insurance companies often attempt to blame the “other driver” in an attempt to limit the liability of the driver for whom they provide coverage.
For example, an injury victim who files a claim with the at-fault driver's insurance company should expect to be blamed, at least in part, for causing the accident. Such a move can be extremely frustrating, and can even raise doubt to the point that the injured victim believes he or she may be partly to blame. One way to avoid insurance company manipulative tactics is to speak with a Georgia personal injury attorney at The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. after seeking medically necessary treatment for injuries.
Contact The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C. Today
Insurance companies do not always have the victim's best interests at heart. Rather than fight with an insurance company to receive the compensation you deserve, consider working with a Georgia personal injury lawyer who has the experience and resources to fight on your behalf. At The Mark Casto Law Firm, P.C., we make every effort to ensure all clients have the chance to recover compensation that is fair and reasonable for the injuries suffered. To receive your free case evaluation, contact our office today by calling (706) 940-4030.