If you have been harmed in an auto accident due to another driver’s mistake, it is understandable to think you have a “slam dunk” case. However, insurance companies often will see your claim much differently. Even if the other driver was clearly at fault and caused you substantial injury, dealing with insurance companies can be daunting and discouraging.
Always keep in mind that the insurance company is primarily motivated by one goal: to maximize profit. It has no concern over injured people’s personal wellbeing. The insurance company’s loyalty is to its shareholders, not accident victims. This means that if the company can chisel to pay you less than you demand, or perhaps nothing at all, it probably will.
Also remember that the insurance company processes thousands of claims and will look at the bigger picture. To them, you are a number. In some cases, insurance companies delay or complicate negotiations to outlast the injured party in an attempt to make the victim settle for less or drop the claim altogether.
Insurance companies incentivize claims adjusters to pay as little as possible while still negotiating in “good faith.” For example, the insurer will try to avoid paying some or all medical bills by claiming that the treatment was not accident related or not reasonable. Adjustors have different tactics to pay out the least amount of money; some are friendly and cooperative, some are confrontational, and some are frankly impossible to get ahold of. Whichever type of adjuster you receive in an auto accident claim, know that his or her motivations are completely different than yours.
Unfortunately these truths often also apply to the victim’s own insurance company. Whichever side the insurance company is on – the defendant’s or the plaintiff’s – the company will protect its bottom line first and foremost. Essentially, once you ask the company to help pay for your accident, it becomes more aggressive.
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Once you know your rights and the company’s motivations, you will have a much easier time dealing with your insurer or the defendant’s insurer. Hiring a lawyer to help negotiate with insurance companies generally yields a much higher settlement amount than an accident victim acting alone. With the help of an attorney, you will be well on your way to getting the compensation you deserve.
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