Insurance companies: we have all seen their commercials promising to take care of us after an accident. Keeping in mind that car insurance companies are for-profit businesses, you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that car insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible. What you probably don’t know is how the car insurance companies try to save money at your expense.
It’s a disheartening realization for many drivers after a car accident, but car insurance companies are focused on their own bottom line instead of the well-being of claimants. It’s important for you to know how the car insurance companies operate so you can take care of your own best interests.
The Insurance Company Looks to Limit Liability in Car Accident Claims
When you’re injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you’ll most likely file a claim with the at-fault driver’s car insurance company. The car insurance company’s job is to protect their policyholder by settling within policy limits and defending their insured in court. The car insurance company does not view you as their customer. As friendly as the insurance company adjuster may seem, they are not on your side.
Because car insurance companies want to keep as much of their profits as possible, they are looking for ways to protect their policyholders and limit the amount of liability they must accept in the claim.
As a result, the car insurance companies often try to minimize the value of the injured party’s damages, blame the injured party for the accident, and use deceptive tactics to settle claims before the injured party knows how badly they are really hurt. If all else fails, the insurance companies have massive legal teams to delay the claims process and avoid a big payout.
Settlements Are Final No Matter How Unfair They Are
After a claim is filed, the car insurance company may offer the injured party a settlement to release their policyholder of all liability. However, more often than not, these settlement offers are far less than the injured parties are entitled to receive. The insurance companies are hoping the injured parties accept the settlements before realizing how badly they are injured.
These low-ball settlements are not fair as they are often a fraction of the amount that would be allowed in court if the damages were decided by a jury. However, the moment an injured party signs a settlement release, the agreement is final and the injured party forfeits their ability to pursue any additional compensation.
When the Insurance Company Asks for Your Statement, It’s Not for Your Benefit
After filing a claim, you may be contacted by the insurance company requesting a recorded statement about the incident and your injuries. You should know that they’re not doing this for your benefit; rather, they’re trying to build their own case and look for discrepancies in your story versus what you initially reported.
When the insurance company adjusters ask you for a recorded statement, they are attempting to find a way to limit the amount they must pay out to you in a settlement. You don’t have to give the insurance company adjuster a statement without your lawyer present. Having legal representation can protect you from saying something that can be used against you to damage your case.
Be Careful of What You Say to the Claims Adjuster
Remember that the adjuster is an employee of the car insurance company. They may speak with you in a friendly manner, but they’re still working to help their employer protect their profits. In the long run, they’re doing whatever they can to provide the information the insurance company needs to offer a low settlement.
At Effres & Effres, we have more than three decades of experience representing those injured in negligence-related accidents. We recognize the motive of the insurance companies and how they try to take advantage of individuals who don’t know their rights.
As such, our Agoura Hills car accident attorneys work with you to help you protect your rights and guide you through the necessary legal avenues to help you seek the compensation you deserve. We fight on your behalf to hold negligent parties accountable and to seek justice.
Call our firm today at (818) 222-9720 and speak with a dedicated lawyer about your potential case. We offer free consultations to answer your questions and give you an idea of what options may be available to you.