Insurance companies frequently attempt to minimize or deny claims by using common tactics. Most individuals have little to no experience negotiating with insurance companies. The insurance companies know this and will use it to their advantage. People who have been injured and have a valid insurance claim can become frustrated and eventually abandon their claim efforts. The following are some of the most common tactics insurance companies use to avoid paying injured parties the compensation they rightfully deserve.
Deflecting liability or denying fault
Insurance companies often respond immediately to any claims by denying that the person or business they insure is at fault. If they are unsuccessful at denying the claim, they will attempt to minimize liability by claiming the injured party was partly to blame for the accident or injury. Insurance companies will also attempt to tell accident victims that the insurance company for another person, business, or organization involved in the accident is responsible for compensating victims. States have laws on assigning fault and comparative negligence. A Chicago personal injury attorney can advise individuals on their rights and legal options under Illinois law.
Insurance companies should work to process claims in a reasonable manner. Some companies that do not want to pay valid claims will stall or say the investigation is still ongoing. They may tell victims that it is their fault because they did not notify the insurance company of their intention to file a claim or that they failed to comply with other requirements.
Claiming injuries were a pre-existing condition
Insurance companies often attempt to avoid responsibility if the victim has any type of pre-existing condition like arthritis. Individuals can still have a valid claim against the insurance company if an accident or work-related stressor aggravates the existing condition. Also, if symptoms appeared only after an accident, they were most likely caused by the accident.
Minimizing injuries or need for compensation
If insurance companies must pay, they will try to get by with paying as little as possible. Insurance company doctors minimize the extent of injuries. The insurance companies may tell victims they are not entitled to lost wages because the time away from work was covered by vacation days or company provided sick leave. A Chicago personal injury attorney can advise victims on what is a reasonable settlement amount and what the injured party is required or not required to reveal to the insurance company.