After a car crash, dealing with insurance companies is usually part of the recovery process. Whether you’re dealing with your own auto insurance provider or an insurer for another motorist it’s essential to remember that:
- Insurance adjusters’ primary goal is to protect the interests and profits of the insurance company.
- Insurers may use a variety of excuses to try to reduce or deny victims’ claims.
If you know what these excuses are, you can avoid falling into insurers’ traps, and you can be prepared to protect the value of your claim.
10 Insurer Excuses Commonly Used to Undercut or Deny Car Accident Claims
Some of the most common arguments that insurance adjusters make when they are trying to avoid paying accident victims’ claims include the following:
- The victim was partially (or fully) at fault for causing the crash – This excuse may arise if a victim accidentally admitted fault at any point after the crash (or even if the victim apologized for the crash). Insurers may also blame the victim by skewing the facts, selectively interpreting the evidence or using questionable “experts” to back up this excuse.
- Police were not called after the accident – Without an official police investigation or report for an auto accident, insurers can have more room to allege that the victim was at least partially to blame for the crash. In some cases, insurers may even claim that the failure to call police after the crash has violated some term of the auto insurance policy (even if it has not).
- The victim’s injuries were pre-existing and were not caused by the accident – This excuse tends to arise when there’s any delay in medical treatment after a collision. Insurers may even dig into a victim’s medical records to try to point to some other event as being the cause of the injuries in question.
- The victim’s injuries and losses are minimal and not extensive – Sometimes, insurers may argue that victims have exaggerated or overstated the extent of their injuries, as well as the property damage, caused by a crash. When they do this, they are usually trying to minimize the payout as much as they can.
- The victim didn’t complain of injuries after the accident – It’s not uncommon for certain car crash injuries (like traumatic brain injuries) to take hours (or even days) to present symptoms. This is especially true in light of the fact that victims are commonly in shock and have high adrenaline levels after accidents, making it less likely that they’ll be aware of the full extent of the physical harm they’ve suffered. Nevertheless, insurers can use this ‘gap’ in victims’ awareness of their injuries to try to deny that the crash caused the injuries or that the injuries are as bad as a victim has stated.
- There was a gap in medical treatment – If a car accident victim waits too long to seek medical treatment or puts off some recommended medical treatment, insurers may use this excuse to try to minimize victims’ injuries (and the payouts for them).
- The victim didn’t follow doctor’s orders – If a victim deviates from doctors’ prescribed care after an accident, this excuse may come into play. The point, again, is to try to undercut the injuries sustained and, in doing so, minimize (if not deny) the payout for the injuries and related medical treatment(s).
- The victim provided different or conflicting statements about the crash – Any discrepancy in statements that a victim provides about a crash can be used against the victim later to allege that the victim was at fault, (s)he misrepresenting the circumstances, etc. This can include differences in statements given to police (immediately after the crash), to other motorists or witnesses at the accident scene, to another driver’s insurance company, to their own insurance company, etc.
- The victim failed to notify the insurance company of the crash in a timely manner – Auto insurance policies may come with strict deadlines for reporting a crash to the insurance company (regardless of fault). So, if a victim fails to meet this reporting deadline (for whatever reason), it may be used as an excuse to avoid paying the claim.
- The policy doesn’t cover the claim in question – This excuse can arise when victims may be filing claims with their own insurance company after a hit-and-run or after they’ve been hit by an uninsured (or underinsured) motorist. When using this excuse, it’s quite possible that adjusters may alter the terms of the policy after the claim was filed (i.e., post-claim underwriting). This illegal practice is a common form of insurance bad faith, and it occurs all too often.
Don’t be misled by these excuses.
If you’re getting the run around from an insurance company – or if insurers are calling you and pressuring you to give statements or take settlement offers, the best thing you can do is to contact an attorney at the Amaro Law Firm.
Protect Your Rights & Auto Accident Claim: Contact a Houston Car Accident Lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm
A Houston car accident lawyer at the Amaro Law Firm is ready to help you financially recover from an auto accident. Our attorneys understand the “insurance game,” and they are highly effective at:
- Standing up to insurance adjusters and preventing them from sabotaging our clients’ claims
- Helping victims secure the full amount of compensation they deserve for their crash-related injuries and losses.
Call (877) 892-2797 or email our firm to set up a free consultation with one of our lawyers and find out more about how we can help you. Our attorneys are ready to provide you with the information you need to protect your rights, interests and potential claim as you move forward.
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