In this two-part series, we are discussing some of the common tactics and dirty tricks used by insurances companies to delay your claim, deny your claim, and underpay your claim. In Part I, we discussed some of the dirty tricks used right after a car wreck. In this Part II, we will discuss some of the tactics used later in the claims settlement process.
If you have been in a car wreck in Huntsville or near Huntsville, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries and for damage to your car. You do not have to face the insurance company alone. Hire the skilled attorneys at Hornsby, Watson & Hornsby.
Dirty Tricks by Insurance Companies: Offering a Quick Settlement and Preying on Your Need for Money
As discussed in Part I, right after the car accident, insurance company adjuster calls or visits and uses a number of tactics to try and convince you not to hire an attorney and to get ammunition from you in a recorded oral statement or in a written statement. There are a lot of dirty tricks used and you should not fall for any of them.
After that, the next most common dirty trick is to prey on your need for money. Most of us need to work to pay bills and, if we are seriously injured in a big car wreck, we may not be able to work. How are we going to pay the bills and provide for our families? Insurance companies know this and know that many families cannot go a month or two without income. So, they end up preying on a car accident victim’s need for money.
They do this by offering a quick settlement and making it sound like it is a favor. “We can settle now; no need to wait,” they say. But this is a trick. The insurance company is trying to “wait you out” until you are desperate enough to take bottom dollar.
Moreover, despite what the adjuster may say, a properly worked-up claim settlement process takes time. You have to be medically evaluated to establish the full extent of your injuries or the injuries to your loved-ones. There may be long-term injuries and, as such, there might be the need for long-term medical treatments. The costs for those long-term medical treatments need to be paid now. Once you settle with the insurance company, that is ALL the money you will ever be able to recover. There is no going back and saying: “Hey, I need more money because there are new medical bills.” That is why you need excellent auto wreck attorneys to help and advise you on your legal rights.
Dirty Tricks by Insurance Companies: Saying Cooperation Will Help Settle the Claim
Another dirty trick is like a form of a threat: The adjuster says something like, “If you cooperate fully, we can get this case settled real quick.” That sounds very reasonable, but beneath the surface is a threat: “If you do NOT cooperate the case will not get settled quickly.” Do not fall for the dirty tricks.
Dirty Tricks by Insurance Companies: Asking for a Medical Authorization
As the settlement process continues, the next tactic is to ask you to sign a medical authorization form for medical records. Never sign an open-ended or blank medical authorization form. It may sound reasonable. “Oh, we just need to pull the medical records from the accident.” But, in reality, an open-ended and/or blank authorization allows the insurance company to get ALL of your medical records from years ago. Then, the insurance company can go through all of your personal medical history and find some ammunition. Do not give them ammunition. Seek legal assistance from attorneys that know how to protect your privacy and how to limit such open-ended fishing expeditions.
Dirty Tricks by Insurance Companies: Fibbing About the Insurance Coverage
Another dirty trick used later in the process is fibbing about the insurance coverage. The adjustors never outright lie, but they say: “Well, I am not sure your injuries are covered?” or “Well, there might not enough coverage to pay for all of your medical bills” or something similar.
Do not take their word for it. Get a lawyer to read the insurance policy and to help you get the facts.
Dirty Tricks by Insurance Companies: Delaying Payment Even After Settlement
Even if you settle, the insurance companies still try and delay. For them, time is money and they can make some bank interest by waiting “another week” before writing the settlement check. You need a good lawyer to prevent the insurance company from playing games.
Contact Our Huntsville, Alabama Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an auto wreck in Huntsville, in Madison County or anywhere else in Alabama, contact an experienced Huntsville and Madison County personal injury and accident attorney like the ones at Hornsby, Watson & Hornsby. Do not try and deal with the insurance companies yourself. You will end up short-changed. As noted, you cannot go back for more money after the settlement is completed. Consider Hornsby, Watson & Hornsby to be YOUR Huntsville auto accident law firm. You can email us or call (256) 414-9803, toll-free (866) 986-1371.