If you have been injured in an auto accident and you are trying to negotiate a settlement with an insurance company, don’t expect them to be fair. Orange County car accident lawyers know all too well from experience that insurance companies have but one priority: minimize their exposure by limiting the payout to you, the injured party. The simple fact is that insurance companies will use the experience they have in settling claims to take advantage of you.
If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense; insurance is a for-profit business and the largest variable in terms of the costs of running the business is the amount paid out to settle claims. Orange County car accident lawyers know this to be especially true for low premium companies because their market share is dependent on rates remaining near the bottom.
Some adjusters may seem as if they care and maybe they do, but that doesn’t get in the way of how they do business. Adjusters are highly trained individuals, often learning tactics from insurance defense lawyers. They know how to negotiate, and they know the law and psychology of it. Insurance companies will deny it, but many Orange County car accident lawyers believe adjusters are incentivized for low settlements. At the very least, no adjuster gets very far up the company ladder if they regularly hand over big payouts.
The adjuster will try and pressure you into giving a statement with the goal of trying to confuse you and make you say something that is untrue. If you say anything that implies fault for the accident, that could be very detrimental to your case. If you seem confused and later say something different, you will be accused of providing contradictory statements.
Orange County car accident lawyers can cite many misleading statements an adjuster will make, but some of the more common ones are:
Insurance companies go out of their way to avoid telling you that you are entitled to compensation for a variety of things that are not obvious to most people. Items like the loss of use of your vehicle, damage to items inside your vehicle, prescription drug costs and mileage to and from all doctors’ and treatment appointments often do not get reimbursed.
If it’s inevitable the company will have to settle, especially if it’s a relatively large amount, they will delay. There are several reasons an Orange County car accident law firm can explain for this. First of all, the insurance company has ample funding for claims set aside and invested. The longer the money stays with them, the more they earn interest. Another factor is they know you are likely experiencing financial difficulties due to the medical bills and possibility of you not being able to work. The longer they can delay the more likely you may opt for a settlement, even if it doesn’t accurately reflect the full dollar amount of your damages. This is especially true when medical treatment is continuing for an extended period of time.
Adjusters often pressure injury victims into returning to work as soon as possible by foregoing seeing a specialist or completing recommended therapy. If you go back to work, the insurance company will turn around and take the position that if you can work, you must not be hurt that badly. If you miss an appointment or two, they may try and say you were not hurt in the interim between appointments.
More and more insurance companies, particularly the large providers, use computer programs to arrive at suggested settlements. These programs were designed with the very purpose of lowering settlements. They do not account for individualized circumstances and do not take into account pain and suffering in particular.
Insurance companies paint a picture of lawyers as unnecessary, greedy, lazy and detrimental to a quick settlement. Of course, the companies have lawyers on their side; they just don’t want you to be on an equal playing field. The facts are that when a person injured in a car accident is represented by legal counsel, they receive a higher settlement than an unrepresented individual, even when attorney’s fees are factored in. The simple reason the insurance company doesn’t want you to get a lawyer is because it will cost them money.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, call Russell & Lazarus APC, Orange County car accident lawyers, at (949) 851-0222.