After a car accident, your first thought may be to claim compensation from the insurance company for your injuries and other losses. However, it has been known that insurance providers have methods to either minimize your claim or deny it altogether. To avoid these from happening to you, be aware of these common tactics that insurance companies use to deny accident claims.
Insurance providers have a duty to process claims in a timely manner, but disreputable companies use stalling or delaying tactics to eventually force you to give up. Your insurance adjuster may use excuses such as ongoing investigation, more requirements to comply with, and coverage confirmation. Don’t hesitate to call the adjuster everyday if necessary and ask for a clear update on your claim.
Fault or liability is a key element in insurance claims. If another driver is liable for your vehicle accident, that driver’s insurance provider may try to deny that it was his/her fault. Or, if it is obvious that the other driver was indeed at-fault, the insurer may try to minimize the liability by arguing that you were also partly at-fault.
Check your state’s laws on fault and comparative negligence – these set the rules on how you should be compensated with regard to who was at fault in the accident.
Claiming Lack Of Evidence
The insurance company may simply tell you that you have failed to provide enough evidence to support your claim. This is why it is crucial for you to document everything relevant to your accident. File a police report, take photographs, keep medical bills and reports, and document the wages you lost from missing days at work.
To limit the amount they have to pay you, an insurance company may argue that the extent of your injuries isn’t as much as you claim it to be. Typically, the company hires a doctor or medical professional to conduct an “independent medical examination”. While this is part of the investigation process, some hired experts may unfairly conclude that your injuries aren’t as severe as claimed or that you underwent excessive treatment.
“Pre-existing Condition” Excuse
Another excuse that an insurance adjuster may take advantage of is claiming that your injuries are part of a pre-existing condition and weren’t caused by the accident. This tactic makes many people hesitate to pursue their compensation claim.
For example, if you have had arthritis before the accident, but started to experience back pain only after the accident, the adjuster may assert that your back pain is part of your pre-existing arthritis that didn’t have anything to do with the crash. Don’t abandon your claim because of assertions like this. A rule of thumb is that if the symptoms occurred only after the accident, they may very well have been caused by the accident.
Insurance company tactics are tricky and may not be easily recognizable. It is best that you get the guidance and protection of an accident attorney to ensure that you get paid the full amount you deserve.