After a serious car accident, insurance companies act quickly, trying to build their defenses and minimize their liability. To the average person, many of their actions can seem innocent — until they result in a denied claim. Below, the personal injury lawyers at Crosley Law outline some common insurance company tricks and explain how you can counteract them after a crash.
1. The Company Offers You a Non-Apology
After a car crash, you’re in the hospital receiving care for your injuries. The negligent driver’s insurance company calls you. Over the phone, they seem helpful and kind. They also say “I’m sorry you got hurt. If we can help, let me know.”
While this sentiment seems nice, it’s not an apology. The adjuster never admitted that their insured caused the accident. They didn’t promise to cover your claims or provide you with fair compensation. Instead, they gave you a throwaway non-apology that aims at soothing your anger and discouraging you from filing a lawsuit.
Research suggests that people who hear “I’m sorry,” are less likely to file a lawsuit and are more willing to settle for a modest sum. This includes non-apologies when the insurance company or negligent party empathizes with you but never admits fault. By seeming pleasant and remorseful, the insurance adjuster is hoping that you’ll view them as reasonable and fair — and that you’ll decide to accept a quicker, lower settlement than what your claim is actually worth.
“Research suggests that people who hear “I’m sorry,” are less likely to file a lawsuit and are more willing to settle for a modest sum.”
While an apology or kind words are always appreciated, they won’t help you recover physically or financially from a crash. Take the insurance adjuster’s words for what they’re worth. Then, consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer.
2. The Adjuster Encourages You to Save Money and Negotiate a Settlement Without a Lawyer
Many times, insurance companies and their representatives try to discourage crash victims from consulting with a lawyer. “Why pay an attorney fee?” they argue.
Unfortunately, the adjuster isn’t a neutral party. They are protecting the insurance company’s interests, not yours. While they should negotiate with you in good faith, this doesn’t always happen. Even if the adjuster doesn’t violate Texas laws and negotiates fairly, they will try to reduce your claim’s value and discourage litigation to save money for their company.
Unlike an insurance company, a personal injury lawyer is on your side and will fight for your fair compensation. At Crosley Law, we use cutting-edge research and technology to develop our clients’ personal injury claims. And our clients never pay an attorney fee unless they receive an award or settlement. To learn more about your case’s value, contact us for a free, no-risk evaluation today.
3. They Ask You to Make a Recorded Statement Right Away
Insurance adjusters almost always pressure victims into making a recorded or written statement about the circumstances surrounding their crash. This might seem like an innocent fact-gathering exercise, but when you’re not working with a lawyer, it’s easy to make mistakes that can be used against you.
RELATED ARTICLE: Should I Talk to an Insurance Adjuster After a Car Accident?
For example, the insurance company representative might ask you to speculate about the cause of the accident and the severity of your injuries and get you to make damaging statements. Then the adjuster spins your words and denies your claim or reduces its value.
Before you talk to the insurance company, you should always consult with a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney can help you navigate the claims process and should be present during any statements you provide.
4. The Insurance Company Blames Your Injuries on Pre-Existing Conditions
After a car crash, imagine that you begin to experience low back pain. Over time, the pain starts to get worse and run down your leg. An MRI shows a herniated disc, and your orthopedic doctor suggests a major spine surgery.
But the insurance adjuster digs through your medical records and discovers a minor low back injury you suffered five years ago. The adjuster would likely try to deny your claim by saying that your herniated disc was related to this pre-existing condition and not the car crash.
While you can’t deny your pre-existing injury, Texas law applies the “eggshell skull” rule to injury claims. Under this rule, the negligent driver and their insurance company must take you as you are, including your pre-existing conditions. If the crash caused further damage to your spine, the insurance company should cover your claim — even if the injury was more severe because you had a pre-existing condition that left you vulnerable.
“..Texas law applies the “eggshell skull” rule to injury claims. Under this rule, the negligent driver and their insurance company must take you as you are, including your pre-existing conditions.”
RELATED CLIENT STORY: Crosley Law Firm Achieves $498,960 Verdict in Texas Car Crash Case Against Allstate
If the insurance company tries to blame your injuries on a pre-existing condition, call the experienced Texas car accident lawyers at Crosley Law. Injury cases involve careful medical and financial analysis, and most crash victims can’t do it on their own.
Crosley Law: We Fight for Texas Car Crash Victims
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car crash or other serious incident, contact Crosley Law for a free consultation. Our experienced team of lawyers and investigators work tirelessly on behalf of our clients and demand fair compensation for their injuries. To learn more about our approach to personal injury law, simply complete our online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
Robbenbolt, J. K. (2010). Apologies and settlement. Court Review 45, pp. 90-97. Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2310180
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.