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How Insurance Companies Undervalue Personal Injury Claims

July 17, 2023 Legal Team

When you’re injured in an accident, you’d hope that the insurance company would be there to provide the financial support you need to recover. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Insurance companies, like any other business, are driven by profit. As a result, they often employ tactics to minimize the value of personal injury claims. In this blog post, we’ll shed light on how insurance companies may undervalue personal injury claims and provide tips on navigating these challenges to maximize your claim.

 1. Denying Liability

One of the most common tactics insurance companies use is to deny liability outright. They might argue that their policyholder wasn’t at fault, or that the injured party was partly (or entirely) responsible for the accident. This is often done in hopes that the claimant will be discouraged and abandon the claim.

2. Discrediting Medical Expenses

Insurance adjusters frequently attempt to undermine the cost of medical treatment related to the accident. They might argue that the medical treatment was unnecessary, too expensive, or not related to the accident. This can result in the devaluation of your claim, leading to insufficient compensation for your medical expenses.

3. Downplaying Pain and Suffering

Quantifying non-economic damages like pain and suffering is inherently subjective and can significantly impact a claim’s value. Insurance companies often undervalue these damages, suggesting that they’re exaggerated or not as debilitating as claimed. They might also use a lower multiplier when using the multiplier method (which involves multiplying the total economic damages by a number that reflects the severity of the injury) to calculate these damages.

4. Delay Tactics

Insurance companies are well aware that accident victims are often under financial strain. They may use delay tactics, hoping that the claimant will accept a lowball settlement to relieve immediate financial pressure. These tactics can include unnecessary paperwork, slow communication, and repeatedly asking for the same information.

5. Pre-existing Conditions

If a claimant has pre-existing conditions, insurance companies might argue that the injuries sustained in the accident are linked to these conditions rather than the accident itself. However, it’s crucial to note that the legal principle of “eggshell plaintiff” stipulates that defendants must take plaintiffs as they find them, pre-existing conditions and all.

Navigating Insurance Tactics

Understanding how insurance companies operate can help you navigate the claims process effectively. Here are a few tips:

Seek Legal Representation: A Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann personal injury lawyer in Sarasota and Bradenton can help level the playing field. They have the knowledge and experience to negotiate with insurance companies and can advocate for a fair settlement on your behalf.

Document Everything: Thorough documentation of your injuries, medical treatment, and how the injuries have affected your life can serve as compelling evidence and make it harder for the insurance company to undervalue your claim.

Be Patient: Resist the urge to accept the first offer from the insurance company. Initial offers are often lower than what you might be entitled to.

Don’t Discuss Your Case Unnecessarily: Be cautious when speaking with insurance adjusters. They may use what you say against you. It’s often best to allow your attorney to handle communications.

In conclusion, while it’s unfortunate that insurance companies often undervalue personal injury claims, claimants can navigate these challenges by understanding these tactics and seeking legal representation. Remember, a fair settlement is not just about the numbers—it’s about receiving the compensation you need to recover and move forward with your life.