When a person is involved in an accident and suffers injury as a result of someone else’s negligence, they are eligible for compensation by way of a personal injury claim. However, as with all personal injury claims it is likely that the individual wants the claims process to go as smoothly as possible. However, there are a number of tactics that insurance companies use in order to minimize the injury claim payment. This article will discuss the classic tactics of delay and deny used by insurance companies so you can get less out of your personal injury claim.
Many accidents in Anchorage today are settled or paid out through the insurance company of one or both drivers involved in an accident. The basic idea of having the insurance company deal with personal injury claims is for ease of process as compared to filing a lawsuit and going to trial for the matter. However, insurance companies have their own ideas with regards to dealing with personal injury claims.
Often on television ads and radio, insurance agents are portrayed as being friendly to their ‘dear’ friend or client who needs payment for the injuries as a result of the accident. However, in reality when an individual is faced with an insurance claim the insurance companies use tactics to deny, delay or minimize the damages amount payable to the claimant.
Denying liability - to determine liability the plaintiff must prove that the defendant was negligent and as a result of this negligence the accident was caused as well as the injury. In order to show negligence a ‘duty of care’ must have been owed to the plaintiff by the defendant; and this is a common element used by insurance companies to deny liability. The insurance company may state that the defendant had no duty of care owed to the plaintiff. They may even go on to say that the plaintiff engaged in risky behavior knowingly and thus assumed risk for any injury. This defence can be used in ATV accidents.
In other instances, the insurance company tries to establish that the plaintiff contributed to their own injuries. This could be by the plaintiff acting negligently or aggravating the injury through failure to get proper medical attention and treatment. Once this is established the percentage of liability that rests on the plaintiff reduces the amount payable in damages.
It is important to note that insurance companies are not in the business of letting everyone have money and thus try to limit how much is paid to an injured claimant. So, a common tactic used is to minimize the claimant’s injury. This is achieved by finding evidence to show that the accident was not as bad as the claimant would like to make it seem or that the claimant’s injuries are not as severe as the claimant implies. Medical doctors are hired to undertake an ‘independent medical examination’ of the injured individual and are required to determine the nature and extent of their injuries. They may also try to prove that the injury is as a result of a previous accident.