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Posted in Insurance claims on January 24, 2023   |  by Gary Burger

Be Careful Who You Trust!

In theory, we pay insurance companies to take care of us in the event of an unfortunate disaster, like a car accident. Sounds like a decent arrangement, right?

Unfortunately, insurance companies – like most businesses – are in the business of making money. And the less they pay out, the more money they make.

So, the unfortunate scenario I see play out all the time is this: people often trust the insurance company too much, for too long. And boy, can that cause problems in your case!

Do not give a recorded statement. That is only going to be used against you later.

Do not sign a release or other document regarding your rights without consulting an attorney.

Do not trust the insurance company’s representation of the scope of insurance coverage if it constrains or limits coverage.

Do not sign or negotiate your claim while on medication or while still recovering from your injuries.

Do not assume the insurance company will be fair with you. Discretion is the better part of valor. Verify everything.

To be sure, there are good and reputable insurance companies and honest and fair adjusters. But I often say that insurance companies are the best source of business for injury lawyers because some of these companies can systematically rip people off and be unfair to them.

I have many stories of people who did not want to go to a lawyer and wanted to handle their claim themselves. But after talking with the insurance company, giving recorded statements, providing full documentation of medical records and authorization, giving photos, etc., and waiting for months and months, the insurance claim representative turns around and offers a nominal amount that doesn’t even cover medical bills.

The claimant (person injured because of the wrongful acts of another) is a year out from their auto accident and has nothing to show for it because they thought the insurance company was going to be fair.

Bad insurance companies are in the business of taking premiums and denying claims. They have no legal duty to be fair to you; they often protect their interest and not yours. There are many instances of insurance companies acting improperly.

I have had many occasions to represent good, hard working people, file suit, litigate cases, take depositions, take video depositions of doctors, and then either try the case to get a fair result or have the case settle on the eve of trial. The conduct of insurance companies is ridiculous.

They will callously deny liability on a clear rear end auto accident with extensive property damage and never pay.

They will deny liability until the opening statement at trial when all of the sudden, they admit they were negligent and they caused damages. This is their technique to try to surprise you and gain sympathy with the jury.

I can list 20 other ways the insurance companies try to rip off consumers – misrepresent amount of insurance; say uninsured coverage does not apply when it does; deny coverage of clearly related medical treatment; create arbitrary timetables of coverage and deny medical after that; say you were at fault and recovery is reduced when that is untrue; saying they ‘arbitrated’ the claim with another insurance company and are reducing recovery; saying your medical condition is degenerative when it isn’t or is irrelevant; only paying for a certain number of physical therapy visits; saying your medical insurance precludes covering medical bills; saying they only will pay medical bills and not pain and suffering; saying wage loss damages cannot be verified; saying there was too low an impact to justify medical damages, etc (is that 20? – if not, see our case results for many more crazy stories).

The fact is that people don’t know the claims handling process, and it is difficult to know what to do or what is fair. You want to trust your insurance company because you have been paying premiums to them for 20 years, but they may not have your best interest in mind.

Car accidents are awful, but it’s important to be prepared with knowledge. Fortunately, we’ve literally written the book on how to handle a car crash!

Tell ya what, let me give you a copy.

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10 Mistakes That Wreck Your Car Crash Case

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