Insurance companies are supposed to be our support system, our back-up when things go wrong. Too often do we see instances where insurance companies find ways to avoid paying out a fair amount for an injury claim. Here, we discuss some of the tactics insurance companies use to pay as little as possible for an injury claim. If you’ve been injured in an accident, reach out to a personal injury attorney at Harris & Graves, P.A. for assistance.
Limit or Deny Liability
Insurance companies will only compensate the injured party (the plaintiff) if they can prove that the defendant’s actions were the direct cause of the plaintiff’s injuries. Because of this, the defendant’s insurance company will attempt to limit or even deny the defendant’s liability. In order to do this, the defendant may claim that the plaintiff participated in the activity fully aware of the risks. If the plaintiff “assumed the risk” of any injuries, they may not be entitled to compensation.
Insurance companies may also claim that the plaintiff’s injuries are the result of their own negligence, as opposed to the defendant’s. If there is evidence that the plaintiff was negligent in treating the injury or actively aggravated the injury, the defendant’s liability may be limited. Depending on the state, limited liability can either result in a minimized compensation amount or total denial of compensation.
You might expect these methods to come from the other party’s insurance company, but unfortunately, you might experience them with your own insurance company as well. Always make your claim with your insurance company as if you are making it with someone else’s company, and consult an attorney if you suspect your insurance company is attempting to avoid compensation.
Minimize the Injury
The defendant’s insurance company may also attempt to minimize your injury, claiming that you are filing for compensation for an injury more severe than the one you experienced. Many times, they will require an independent medical examination by hired experts in order to determine whether the accident could have caused such injuries. This can result in the hired experts concluding that the accident would not have caused as severe of an injury as the plaintiff is claiming, or that the plaintiff received excessive treatment.
Insurance companies may also search through your medical records in an attempt to claim that some or all of your injuries were preexisting. If they find treatment for a similar injury in your medical record, they may claim that the injuries are only an exacerbated form of a prior injury or that the injury did not even occur at the accident.
Claim There is a Lack of Evidence
If you’ve been in an accident and are trying to file for compensation, one of the most important things you can do is to keep meticulous records. Photographs of the accident and your injuries, notes, and bills from medical treatment, records of lost wages and notes from the police report are vital to your case. Insurance companies will try to limit compensation based on a lack of evidence, so the more evidence you have supporting your claim, the more likely you are to receive proper compensation for your injury claim.
If any of these tactics sound familiar to your situation, contact an injury claim attorney at Harris & Graves, P.A., today for representation. We’ve been serving residents of South Carolina for almost three decades. Let us help you get the compensation you deserve for your injury claim.