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Top 10 Tricks an Insurance Company Uses to Lower Settlement Amounts

zInsurance companies often employ a range of strategies to minimize payouts in car accident claims. As experienced car accident attorneys. Our lawyers represented these insurance companies once upon a time. We are well-versed in these tactics and can help you navigate them effectively. Here are some of the tricks insurance companies commonly use:

  1. Quick Settlement Offers: Insurers may rush you into accepting a lowball settlement offer before you fully understand the extent of your injuries and damages. It’s crucial to consult with us first to assess the true value of your claim.
  2. Denying Liability: Some insurers may initially deny their policyholder’s liability, forcing you to prove the other driver’s fault. Does everyone have to fall for this trick?  No.  If 10% of claimants do, that is a lot more money in the insurance company’s pocket.
  3. Downplaying Injuries: Insurance adjusters may downplay the severity of your injuries to reduce your claim’s value.
  4. Using Recorded Statements: Insurers may request recorded statements that can be used against you later. We advise against providing statements without legal representation.
  5. Lowball Settlement Offers: Insurance companies often offer settlements far below what your case is worth.
  6. Claim Delay Tactics: Delays in processing your claim can be frustrating.
  7. Disputing Medical Treatment: Insurers may question the necessity of your medical treatments. We work with healthcare professionals to validate your treatment plan.
  8. Digging into Your Past: Insurers may investigate your background to find reasons to deny your claim.
  9. Contributory Negligence: Insurers may try to shift blame onto you to reduce or eliminate their payout.
  10. Threatening Litigation: Some insurers use the threat of a lengthy legal battle to pressure claimants into accepting lower settlements.

The reality is too many people try to negotiate and settle their own accident claims under a simple premise: “I’m a smart enough man/woman and I’m a good negotiator so I should be able to do this on my own without a lawyer.” And it is not just victims that fall into this trap. This same logic trips up lawyers who try to handle accident cases without the knowledge and experience to maximize the value of the case.

You may be very smart and you may be an excellent negotiator. But the problem with this thesis is it assumes a perfect understanding of the system and laws that govern accident claims. Maryland accident law is a Byzantine system that is often counterintuitive.

Example of What Insurance Companies Do

Here’s a perfect example. Let’s say you have $50,000 in medical bills, $20,000 in future medical bills, and $35,000 in lost wages. Your medical insurance and personal injury protection paid some of your bills and you used your vacation time at work to continue to get paid. So the insurance company comes back to you and says, you have $3,000 in left over medical bills you still owe (or paid yourself) and I think you are entitled to $200,000 in pain and suffering so your total settlement should be $203,000.

Regardless of what he/she thinks about the $200,000, the logic at least makes sense to the victim. How can you get compensated for money that you did not actually spend? Why would the insurance company pay for bills already covered by PIP or medical insurance or lost wages that your employer paid? The reason is because the collateral source rule in Maryland says that the finder of fact (usually the jury) should not consider these things when determining the value of the case. In other words, you can still include these bills in your damages even though they have been paid.

This is an example of how counterintuitive our Maryland accident law is and why in the vast majority of cases – although not all – getting complete advice from a lawyer is the best path.

Handling Your Own Claim Not a Great Idea

If you are trying to settle your own personal injury auto accident case without a lawyer, 95% of the time, you are making a mistake although there are a minority of cases that can and do settle on their own effectively.

If nothing else, call a lawyer to consult with them on the lay of the land of your case. Our firm offers free consultations at 800-553-8082 or online. Most other personal injury law firms do too. But do call someone experienced in handling the labyrinth of personal injury cases.

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Ron helped me find a clear path that ended with my foot healing and a settlement that was much more than I hope for. Aaron Johnson
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The last case I referred to them settled for $1.2 million. John Selinger
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The entire team from the intake Samantha to the lawyer himself (Ron Miller) has been really approachable. Suzette Allen
The case settled and I got a lot more money than I expected. Ron even fought to reduce how much I owed in medical bills so I could get an even larger settlement. Nchedo Idahosa
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