Settling an insurance claim may be made more difficult by adjusters who may use common insurance company tricks to reduce your claim value, or deny it altogether. Be aware of some common methods adjusters may use, and go over any settlement offer with your personal injury attorney in Atlanta before accepting.
1. Placing Fault on You
One way the insurance company may try to diminish your insurance claim is by saying you were mostly at fault for the accident. In the state of Georgia, negligence is determined by the modified comparative fault – 50 percent rule.
So if you hope to recover any compensation, you must be 49 percent or less at fault for the accident. Anything above that will prevent you from recovering damages.
However, even if you are found to be less than 50 percent responsible, whatever percentage of fault is assigned to you will result in your damages being reduced by that percentage. So if you were found to be 10 percent at fault and your damages come to $10,000, you would only be eligible to recover $9,000. The more at fault you are, the less you can recover.
2. Claiming You Do Not Have Adequate Evidence
A second way the insurance company may try to reduce your insurance claim value is by stating you don’t have enough evidence to support your assertion that the other driver is at fault. The more documentation you have, the stronger your case will be, so work with your personal injury attorney in Atlanta to collect as much documentation and evidence as you can.
3. Arguing That You Aren’t as Hurt as You Claim
It’s so important to watch what you say after an accident and to make sure you have ample documentation that establishes the injuries you sustained because some insurance companies will use your words against you.
Immediately after the accident you might have stated that you weren’t seriously injured. Yet later on you find that what you thought was mild back pain is really a herniated disc. It’s best to say as little as you can until you have received a final diagnosis and prognosis from your doctor.
4. Submitting a Quick, Lowball Offer
Another insurance company trick is to offer a settlement fairly quickly after your accident. This may be an attempt to settle your claim before you realize your full claim value. Make sure you fully understand the full extent of your damages and their value before you decide to accept a settlement.
5. Taking Advantage of Uninformed Consumers
Not every consumer is familiar with insurance and the claims process, and insurance companies know this. Some may try to take advantage with certain insurance company tricks. They may not be forthcoming with the details of your policy, for example, or may attempt to delay payment by requesting unnecessary information.
A personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Shane Smith in Atlanta can help if you’re pursuing an insurance claim after an accident. Call us: 888-927-6955.