Top 5 Reasons You Need Help With Your Injury Claim
Written by Troy Marsh | Posted on August 5, 2014
When someone carelessly injures you, their insurance company will pay your bills, buy you a new car, and give you a wheelbarrow full of money for your pain and suffering, right? Well, probably not. In a perfect world, the insurance company would look out for your best interest and give you full and complete compensation for all economic damages, like medical bills and lost wages, and noneconomic damages, like pain and suffering. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. We live in a very imperfect world where the settlement value of a claim often depends on the tenacity of the insurance adjuster more than the type of injuries suffered by the claimant. To receive fair treatment, you need help for the following reasons.
Insurance companies are private businesses run by people who have to make a profit to stay in business. Insurance companies do two things. They eat money in the form of premiums (that is the money you pay every month or year for coverage), and they excrete money to pay claims. Insurance companies do not manufacture any products, like paper or furniture or digital cameras. They exist to make a profit. They do not exist to pay out more money than they take in.
Insurance adjusters are highly trained, aggressive negotiators. Unless you are an adjuster with the same level of skill, training, education, and experience as the adjuster assigned to handle your claim, you are immediately at a disadvantage. It would be like me going one-on-one with Lebron James in a basketball game. Not a fair matchup, and very one-sided. The adjuster knows what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and to whom to say it.
There is no formula for calculating general damages. General damages are sometimes called “pain and suffering.” If you are injured, you may endure pain and suffering. If another person caused your pain and suffering, you are entitled to be compensated for that pain and suffering. The issue is how much money are you entitled to be paid? Insurance adjusters know that the only way to measure the value of pain and suffering is “the enlightened conscience of an impartial jury.” Insurance adjusters use that knowledge to settle injury claims for the lowest possible amount.
Insurance companies will not tell you about punitive damages. The people who run the insurance company are interested in keeping their money, not paying it to you. If they tell you that you may be entitled to additional money in the form of punitive damages, they may have to pay you more money to settle your case. For example, say a drunk driver runs a red light and crashes into you, breaking your arm. The drunk driver pleads guilty to DUI. It is his seventh DUI conviction. Punitive damages are designed to punish and deter people like the drunk driver from ever doing it again. If you settle your case for an amount that does not include punitive damages, you may never go back and seek to recover that money.
Insurance companies play hardball. Insurance companies use unethical and illegal tactics to stonewall and frustrate claimants so they will abandon their claim or accept an amount of money much less than fair value just to avoid dealing with the rude, obstinate insurance adjuster any longer. Awhile back, CNN investigated the practices of one insurance company and published a story you can read by clicking on the following link:According to CNN, “[s]ince the mid-1990s, most of the major insurance companies — led by the two largest, Allstate and State Farm — have adopted a tough take-it-or-leave-it strategy when dealing with such cases. The result has been billions in profits for insurance companies and little, if anything, for the public, according to University of Nevada insurance law professor Jeff Stempel.” Lawyers are very familiar with these tactics but are equipped to litigate such cases, if necessary.
Don’t be an easy target for the insurance companies. Let a professional help you.