Car accidents can be traumatic and stressful, and dealing with insurance companies can often add to that stress. Unfortunately, some insurance companies may use unscrupulous tactics to scam car accident victims. You need to look for the best car crash law firm near you to represent you since they will know how to deal with insurance companies.
Here are five strategies that insurance companies may use to scam car accident victims, along with statistics to support the prevalence of each tactic:
Low settlement offers
One of the most common ways insurance companies scam car accident victims is by offering a low settlement amount. According to a Consumer Federation of America study, as many as 20% of claimants receive settlement offers that are less than the cost of their medical expenses. The insurance company may try to convince the victim that the offer is fair or that the victim is not entitled to more money. In some cases, the insurance company may even pressure the victim into accepting the low offer by threatening to deny the claim or making the claim process more difficult.
It’s important to understand that insurance companies are for-profit businesses whose goal is to make money. One way they do this is by minimizing the money they must pay in claims. Offering low settlement amounts is one way they can do this. However, a lowball settlement offer is only sometimes indicative of a scam. Accident victims need to clearly understand their rights and the value of their claims before accepting any settlement offer. Consulting with a personal injury attorney will help them understand their claim’s real value and help them negotiate a fair settlement.
Delaying the claim process
Another way that insurance companies scam car accident victims is by delaying the claim process. A study by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) found that the average time for an insurance company to process a claim is 18.5 days. However, some insurance companies may take significantly longer to process claims, make the victim so frustrated that they give up on their claim, or make the victim miss important deadlines.
Delaying the claim process can also wear down the victim and make them more likely to accept a low settlement offer. Insurance companies may also use delaying tactics to give them more time to gather evidence to deny or reduce the claim. Accident victims need to be aware of the time frame for their claims to be resolved and follow up with the insurance company if the process is too long.
Denying the claim outright
Some insurance companies may deny a claim outright, even if the victim has a valid claim. According to the NAIC, insurance companies deny 2-10% of all claims submitted. It can do it by claiming that the victim was at fault for the accident or that the victim’s injuries were not the result of an accident.
If a claim is denied, it is important for the accident victim to understand their rights and to seek legal advice if they believe the denial is unjustified.
Misrepresenting policy coverage
Insurance companies may also scam car accident victims by misrepresenting policy coverage. A study by the Insurance Research Council found that as many as 10% of policyholders may be unaware of what their insurance policy covers. It can do it by telling the victim that their policy does not cover certain damages or by failing to disclose important information about the policy.
Using recorded statements against the victim
Another tactic that insurance companies may use is to record the victim’s statement without their knowledge or consent. A study by the American Association for Justice found that insurance companies often use recorded statements to twist the victim’s words and use them against them in court or settlement negotiations. It can ask leading questions or take the victim’s statement out of context.
In conclusion, it’s important for car accident victims to be aware of these tactics used by insurance companies and to seek legal advice if they suspect that they are scammers. A qualified attorney can help navigate the claims process and ensure that victims receive fair and just compensation. It’s also important for policyholders to thoroughly review their insurance policy and to ask questions if they have any doubts or need clarification about their coverage.