By: David Zwanetz
If you were recently hurt in an auto accident, you may be facing significant expenses that you might not be able to afford. Car accident victims often need extensive medical treatment over a period of weeks, months, or even years.
Those treatments can involve surgeries, prolonged hospital stays, physical rehabilitation, prescription medications, and more—all of which can be extremely expensive. To make matters worse, many victims suffer injuries that cause them to become partially or completely disabled, putting them out of work for long periods of time.
At Shapiro Zwanetz & Lake, our Maryland car accident lawyers know that many victims are more likely to rely on their insurance to cover their accident-related expenses. After all, that’s what it’s for, right?
Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t always on your side. In fact, they’re far more interested in protecting their bottom lines and continuing to generate massive profits year after year than they are in paying out fair claims to their policyholders.
4 Ways Insurance Companies Deny Claims and How We Fight to Stop Them
At our practice, we see it almost every day: innocent victims get seriously hurt in crashes that weren’t their fault, but when they get in touch with the insurance company to get compensation, they get denied. Insurance companies employ teams of adjusters whose sole job is to find ways to reduce or deny valid claims, and without a law firm on your side, you may find yourself fighting an uphill or even impossible battle against them.
Here are four tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying valid claims and the methods we use to help our clients get the money they deserve:
1. Twisting victims’ words and using them against them – Insurance adjusters are trained to “trap” victims into making statements that can jeopardize their claims. When victims speak to adjusters on the phone or in person, they may unknowingly say things that can later be used against them, including admissions of fault—even when victims had nothing to do with causing their accidents.
How we can help – Our legal team knows the games that insurance adjusters play to get out of paying fair settlements. When we take over claims for our clients, we also take over communication with the insurance company, which means you won’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or having your honest, truthful words twisted and used against you when it’s time to collect compensation.
2. Offering lowball settlement offers – Another method that insurance companies use is to take advantage of the initial shock that victims feel after their accidents when they’re still in severe pain and worrying about how they’re going to pay for their crash-related expenses. Adjusters know that victims may not be able to think clearly during this time, and they also know that settlement offers may be quickly accepted by people who are desperate for cash. However, accepting any settlement offer often means forgoing the opportunity to pursue additional compensation later on—and the settlement money is often quickly spent on medical bills and living expenses.
How we can help – When we take over accident claims for victims like you, we determine how much money the accident will cost over the long term. We take into account everything, including current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, and even the full extent of pain and suffering and reduced quality of life the accident will be responsible for over the course of victims’ lives. After those calculations are complete, we’ll compare the insurance company’s offer and advise our clients to reject lowball initial settlement offers while we continue to negotiate on their behalf.
3. Dragging out claims processes to the point that victims give up – Fighting for maximum compensation takes time, as insurance companies are reluctant to pay out the money that victims deserve. But in some cases, insurance companies are extremely slow in their correspondence or communication with victims, forcing them to wait weeks or even months between updates on their claims. The prolonged waiting game causes some victims to become frustrated and give up, and eventually, the statutes of limitations on their cases will expire, making them ineligible to pursue any compensation in the future.
How we can help – We’re familiar with the inner workings of insurance companies and all of the tactics they use to deny victims the money they deserve—including intentional stall tactics. We don’t accept delays or lapses in communication, and we know how to get insurance companies and adjusters to respond promptly and with the information that we and our clients deserve. Having a law firm on your side shows the insurance company that you mean business and that you’re not someone that can be taken advantage of.
4. Playing “gotcha” games on technicalities and small details – In our years of experience helping victims like you, we’ve discovered one important fact: insurance companies don’t fight fair. Even victims who were hurt in crashes where there’s no doubt they weren’t at fault and their injuries originated during their accidents may still be denied the compensation they deserve due to minor oversights. Of course, fulfilling all of the insurance company’s demands when victims are in pain and recovering can be next to impossible, and adjusters count on minor mistakes to make it easier to reduce or deny claims.
How we can help – Our familiarity with accident claims means we also know every step involved in the process. From gathering all required paperwork and submitting it on time and making sure our clients comply with all medical-related requests and demands, we don’t let anything slip through the cracks when we’re fighting for auto accident victims. It’s our goal to make sure our clients’ claims are as air-tight as possible when they’re submitted to insurance companies, because that gives them even less wiggle room when it’s time to negotiate settlement offers.
Trust Our Experience—Call Today for a Free Consultation
Don’t leave your family’s future up to chance after an auto accident that wasn’t your fault. Insurance companies are in business to make big bucks—not to pay out settlements to innocent victims like you. Their entire business models depend on reducing or denying claims, and when you go it alone, the odds are stacked against you.
Our Maryland auto accident attorneys serve every county in Maryland. To get in touch with us, call (410) 884-6100, call our 24-hour emergency line at (410) 927-5137, or complete our free consultation form.