How Insurance Companies Avoid Paying Personal Injury Claims
September 7, 2023 | Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers | Personal Injury
Do insurance companies try to get out of paying personal injury claims? Yes. The problem of insurance companies not paying claims is widespread. And it is unsurprising. Insurance companies exist to maximize their profits, not to compensate personal injury victims.
The more compensation insurance companies pay out, the less they get to keep as profit. Accordingly, an insurance company not paying a claim is typical behavior unless you know how to enforce your claim. Following are descriptions of a few insurance company tactics.
Black Hat Tactics That Insurance Companies Use
Following are only a few of the hundreds of tricks up the sleeves of many insurance adjusters.
The insurance company might simply arbitrarily (or frivolously) deny liability for your claim, citing a lack of evidence, a technicality in the policy language, or an allegation of fraud. Such denials are arbitrary when they are not based on fact or belief.
Claiming That Your Injury Was “Pre-Existing”
If your injury pre-dated your accident, the accident could not have caused your injury. An insurance company might claim, for example, that you’re just trying to get it to pay for an old back injury by falsely asserting that it is a new injury.
However, keep in mind that you are still owed compensation if your pre-existing injury was made worse by the accident in question.
An insurance company’s first settlement offer will always be extremely low. This tactic becomes abusive, however, when it continues indefinitely.
Blaming the Victim
The insurance company might falsely claim that the accident was partly or wholly your fault. If the accident was partly your fault, comparative negligence principles kick in. The insurance company can reduce the value of your claim this way or, if the accident was mostly your fault, completely deny it.
The Lullaby Strategy
In 2023, the Florida legislature changed the statute of limitations deadline for most personal injury cases from four years to two years. Some people still don’t know about this change, and this lack of knowledge allows insurance companies an opportunity to lull you into accidentally missing the statute of limitations deadline to file a lawsuit. This will kill your claim.
Excessive Demands for Paperwork
The insurance company might demand to see your medical records, the police report from a car accident, and more. All of this is fine until the requests become so burdensome and difficult to comply with that they interfere with your pursuit of justice.
An insurance company will monitor your social media accounts to find something to use as evidence against you. A photo of you enjoying a party, if taken before your accident but uploaded after the accident, can undercut your claim of serious injury. Insurance companies can use social media posts as evidence in court.
Hiring a Private Detective
A private detective might even stake out your home with a camera, looking for the same kinds of evidence that the company is looking for when it browses your social media accounts.
Falsely Interpreting Policy Language (Especially ‘Legalese’)
Legalese is hard to read, and sometimes, the reason for this is to allow the insurance company to confuse people about their rights. A lawyer, however, will see right through this tactic.
Bad Faith Insurance Lawsuits
You can sue an insurance company for bad faith if they treat you in a dishonest or unfair manner. Bad faith lawsuits are not easy to win, but even the prospect of one can restrain an insurance company’s use of black hat tactics. You can “threaten” an insurance company with a bad faith lawsuit simply by hiring a lawyer. The threat is unspoken but very real.
Let a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Demand a Fair Deal From the Insurance Company
If you are faced with the problem of an insurance company not paying your claim, don’t try to handle it yourself. Insurance companies just love claimants who represent themselves, as they typically settle their claims for far less than the amounts they are worth. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim. Hire a Florida personal injury lawyer to represent you.
Contact a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer from Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Tampa today. We have five convenient locations in Florida, including Tampa, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, New Port Richey, and Lakeland.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
601 W Swann Ave, Tampa, FL 33606
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
600 Bypass Dr Suite 224-D, Clearwater, FL 33764
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – St. Petersburg Office
111 2nd Ave NE Suite 350, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
5006 Trouble Creek Rd Unit #200, Port Richey, FL 34652
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakeland Office
1543 Lakeland Hills Blvd Suite 18, Lakeland, FL 33805