After being in a car or motorcycle accident, the insurance companies may seem friendly, sympathetic, and even accommodating in the first few days. Once you have a better idea of the damage and injuries you have suffered, you will quickly discover their biggest concern is saving their own money.
These large corporations will try to minimize accident-related costs in numerous ways, including putting the blame on you or purposely manipulating your trust to use your statements against you. Read on to learn more about the methods insurers use to lower the value of your Florida accident claim.
Taking Advantage of Your Desperation
The top method that an insurance company uses to lower your claim is by using your desperation for recovery against you. After a car accident, you may lose the ability to work, which means your income is devastated. With the piling up of medical bills, rent obligations, and day-to-day living costs, the insurer may try to offer you an immediate settlement only worth a mere fraction of your total losses.
Many people take these initial offers, not realizing that they have forfeited their right to pursue a claim any further when they may not be fully aware of the damages they have suffered.
Demanding a Recorded Statement About the Accident
This initial request may seem harmless enough after an accident, but giving an immediate statement may hinder a future personal injury claim. When adjusters inquire about how you are feeling, they will use your words against you later if you realize your injuries are worse than initially thought. Doing this allows them to downplay how hurt you are so that they can minimize or deny a pain and suffering claim.
Speaking with you just days after your crash will also enable them to contact you without your attorney in the way. Never give a recorded statement to the at-fault party’s insurance company. While you have a duty to report and cooperate with your own insurance company, including giving them a recorded statement, it is advisable you only do so with an attorney present or at least on the line with you.
Pressuring You for a Signed Medical Authorization Immediately
Insurance adjusters fight hard to find any evidence of pre-existing conditions to not only minimize your pain but also insist claimed injuries stem from those and not the accident. Doing this can help them avoid or minimize liability for the aggravation of your condition from a crash’s physical impact.
Retaining an experienced St. Petersburg car accident attorney can help protect you from this unfair tactic. They will stop adjusters from trying to go on a scavenger hunt through your medical history and only allow them access to records pertinent to the collision.
Insisting Your Claim Demand Is Excessive
Another tactic is playing on your lack of knowledge regarding the valuation of a claim. They may point to other injury claims where they paid a significantly undervalued rate but tell you it was reasonable. They will also outright lie about this information. If you think about it, an insurance adjuster has no business sharing how much compensation another claim received.
Any offers or insistences by an insurer or their representative are suspect. Speak with an attorney with a proven track record in personal injury negotiation before considering any insurance company’s offer.
Deflecting Blame on to You
Car insurance companies take advantage of Florida being a comparative-fault state by chipping away at the value of your injury claim. Fortunately, because the state operates on a pure comparative-fault model, there is not a threshold where you can no longer make an injury claim. Even if you were 80% at fault for your accident, the other party’s insurance company could still be liable for the remaining 20% if they have any fault in your injuries. Still, insurers will try to nickel and dime your compensation demand by attempting to misconstrue evidence to deflect blame on to you and reduce your payout.
Threatening to Not Make Another Settlement Offer
This is another tactic that preys on your desperation and ignorance regarding the valuation of an injury claim. Negotiations are not over until you receive the compensation you deserve, whether through payment by the insurer or in an award by a jury. If you are trying to negotiate on your own and hit this roadblock, understand that it is not over. These companies are merely trying to deter you from pursuing a fair compensation settlement.
Discouraging You from Hiring a Car Accident Attorney
Anytime an insurance adjuster says that you will lose compensation by hiring a lawyer, they are deceiving you. Attorneys do receive compensation for their services, but your personal injury award typically will be significantly larger and more comprehensive than if you tried to do it alone.
Don’t Let the Car Insurance Company Diminish Your Florida Car Accident Claim
You deserve fair and just compensation after suffering a car or motorcycle accident in St. Petersburg. At Marsalisi Law, we can help you recover from the medical and financial burdens that make your future feel uncertain. Before accepting any injury compensation from insurers, speak with personal injury Attorney Frank P. Marsalisi. Our law firm can provide you with trustworthy advice based on years of experience practicing personal injury law.
Mr. Marsalisi is a proud member of the Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers Association. He has continually demonstrated his commitment to helping the injured get the personal injury payout they deserve. He ensures that any compensatory and punitive damage awards our clients receive meet the level of loss they have suffered. We are fluent in English and Spanish, allowing you to communicate your needs or questions and get the answers you need. Contact our office online today or call (727) 800-5052 for a free case evaluation to learn what your rights are and how to proceed with your case.
Marsalisi Law Is Where Law Gets Personal!