If you or a loved one are injured or sustained property damage in a vehicle accident that was caused by another driver, then you should be entitled to various types of compensation for your injuries and other losses. With an Orange County car accident attorney on your side, we can help you with insurance companies.
However, the insurance carrier of the at-fault party is not likely to simply write a check for the full value of your losses. Insurance companies regularly use tactics to devalue car accident claims.
These companies are looking out for their bottom line, and the less they pay in settlements, the more they make in profit. Here, we want to discuss some of the common tactics that insurance carriers use to devalue claims in California car accidents.
Tactics California car insurance carriers use to lower settlements
Here, we want to discuss some of the most common tactics used by insurance carriers to devalue your claim.
- Calling very soon after the injury. Insurance carriers call soon after an injury occurs for a variety of reasons. First, they want to catch you off guard. They understand that you are in a vulnerable state after a traumatic event. Second, you will not have had a chance to determine the full extent of your injuries, and they think you may be willing to settle for a much lower amount than you deserve. Lastly, by calling you early, they are hoping that you have not had a chance to speak to a car accident attorney.
- Asking you for a recorded statement. While it may seem reasonable for an insurance carrier to ask you to give your side of the story in a recorded statement, your answer to this should always be “No.” You are under no obligation to give a recorded statement to the insurance carrier, nor should you. Insurance claims adjusters are trained to ask questions that could get you to make statements that will jeopardize your claim.
- Asking you to sign a medical authorization release. Insurance carriers will try to get you to sign a blanket medical authorization release form that has an unlimited scope. You need to be very careful in these situations because you may be giving them access to all of your past medical history. Insurance carriers could use any past injuries or pre-existing conditions that you may have and say that they are the cause of your current pain and suffering, not the vehicle accident.
- Offering a quick settlement. Insurance carriers are known for offering quick settlements that seem enticing but are actually much lower than the amount you should be receiving. Insurance carriers offer a quick settlement before you have had a chance to fully evaluate your injuries and total losses. However, once you accept a settlement, it is nearly impossible to go back and ask for more money later.
- Denying liability. It is entirely likely that an insurance carrier will try to deny liability altogether. The insurance carrier for the other party could also try to say that you were partially at fault for the collision in order to limit the amount of money they pay in a settlement.
Work with an attorney for your car accident case
By working with a skilled California car accident lawyer, you will have an advocate on your side who understands the tactics used by insurance carriers to devalue claims.
An attorney will conduct their own investigation into the incident, gather evidence to prove liability, and handle all negotiations with the insurance carrier for you. You have a much better chance of securing maximum compensation for your injuries and other losses if you have an attorney by your side.