When You File an Injury Claim, Some Insurance Companies Behave Unethically
By Neil Kalra
Just like you can’t control when you’re injured in an accident, you also can’t control the insurance company that covers the negligent party which injured you. Many insurance companies act responsibly; but not all. The following are examples of unethical behavior by an insurance company that might handle your claim.
Misrepresent an insurance policy’s available coverage to pay your claim: Insurance companies can be deceptive by downplaying the amount of money you may be able to collect when they know more coverage is available to pay your claim.
Denying that you have other coverage features on your policy: Your insurer may deny that you have uninsured motorist coverage, or higher coverage amounts, lower deductibles, or personal injury protection (PIP) when you know you have all of those additional features which cost more than a standard policy. But they must have documented proof of their charges, or provide the coverage’s for you.
Deny liability for paying a claim: There are a variety of ways an insurance company will deny or limit their liability for paying a claim. It may try to say the accident was your fault or you contributed to the accident, or another party under another policy was at fault. And some insurance companies automatically deny every claim at the start just to see who’s going to stand up to them and who is going to be intimidated and meekly disappear.
Dispute your damages and medical treatment: This is why you should save every medical bill; and keep detailed notes of your treatment. Some insurance companies think they’re doctors too. They uniformly try to claim that treatments were unnecessary. Or they’ll dispute legitimate bills. Another favorite of theirs is try and claim your injury is a pre-existing condition. Like automatic denials of claims, this is another favorite tactic of insurance companies to wiggle out of paying full, legitimate claims.
Delay paying your claim: By delaying payment and making life for you and your family an even tougher struggle, they’re hoping you’ll “take what’s offered quickly” because you need the money – any money – badly. But what they offer will never cover all your medical bills or other financial needs. And if you’re not working, that puts even greater pressure on you to take their “lowball offer,” just to get the quickest payment possible.
Offer you a “lowball settlement:” This is the perfect illustration of why insurance companies are in the habit of taking in premiums and paying out as little as possible in claims. It’s their business model. They’ll do it quickly to get you off the books. If you don’t have an attorney, you might take it. But it’s really the start of the negotiating process that, if you’re patient – and have a smart lawyer to negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company, you stand a great chance of getting what you need.
Conduct surveillance: When you file an injury claim, some insurance companies can (and do) hire investigators to watch, videotape or photograph you as you go about your day. They want to try and prove you are NOT injured. This is one reason you should never claim you are injured more than you are. But even with honest claims, injured victims can be harmed by “Photoshopped” pictures and sophisticated video editing to create false impressions: especially if your injury claim is a large one or the insurance company’s customer has deep pockets with primo coverage.
The best way to not get caught in this insurance runaround is to retain a seasoned injury attorney. Because once you do, insurance companies must deal with your lawyer, not you. And that can be a big load off your mind.
Whether you or a family member was injured due to a car accident, commercial vehicle accident, or semi-truck accident, you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve. The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting car accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced car accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. Call our New York City and Queens car accident lawyers today if you have any questions about a car accident you were involved in. Call us at (718) 897-2211 www.unionlawyer.com