Car Accident Insurance Company Tactics to Avoid Paying

Making Informed Decisions After a Car Accident: The Value of Engaging a Lawyer from the Outset

The days and weeks after a car accident can be a very confusing and emotional time. Car accident victims looking to hold an at-fault party financially responsible for a collision must remember there are time limits for filing a claim. This is why one of the most important things you should do after a crash is to reach out to a personal injury attorney. Doing so not only ensures that your claim is handled appropriately from beginning to end but also protects you from overreaching insurance companies who won’t think twice before misleading you into giving up your rights. 

Why Don’t Insurance Companies Want Lawyers Involved in Your Case?

Insurance companies employ all kinds of techniques to prevent accident victims from reaching out to a lawyer. There are a few reasons for this; however, they all have one thing in common: insurance companies don’t want lawyers involved because it increases their expected cost of resolving the case. 

Insurance companies often view the involvement of personal injury lawyers with a degree of trepidation, as they perceive it could lead to a series of complications that will not be favorable to their financial interests. The main goal of insurance companies is to minimize their payout in order to preserve their profit margins. Personal injury lawyers are trained to advocate for their clients, seeking to ensure that they are compensated fairly for their injuries, which often involves negotiating higher settlements and taking cases to court.

When personal injury lawyers are involved, insurance companies may find themselves facing enhanced scrutiny of their policies and practices, which can reveal discrepancies or areas where they may be compelled to provide higher compensation amounts. Moreover, personal injury lawyers have experience in identifying and calculating the full extent of the damages, including non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, which are often not adequately considered by insurance companies.

Finally, personal injury lawyers are skilled at gathering and presenting evidence that substantiates their clients’ claims. This makes it harder for insurance companies to dispute the claims, potentially leading to larger settlements. This dynamic often disrupts the streamlined—and cost-saving—processes that insurance companies prefer.

What Tactics Do Insurance Companies Use to Discourage Victims from Working with an Attorney?

Insurance companies rely on a multitude of tactics to discourage accident victims from seeking legal representation, often aiming to minimize the compensation they have to pay out. The following are a few methods insurance companies might use:

Offering Quick Settlement Offers

Insurance companies might offer a quick settlement to victims before they have the chance to consult with an attorney, hoping that they will accept a lower dollar amount than what they may get with legal representation. The quick offers also ends your case – there is no opportunity to go back or seek more compensation should you find the scope of your injuries and losses are far more than what you accepted. 

Downplaying Injuries or Damages

An insurance company may attempt to minimize the extent of your injuries or damages sustained, suggesting that the assistance of an attorney is unnecessary. This technique is often coupled with a quick settlement offer, which the insurance company representative frames as a “win” for you. 

Discouraging Legal Advice

Insurance adjusters might discourage car accident victims from seeking legal advice by asserting how obtaining a lawyer will only consume a significant portion of their settlement. For example, an insurance company may tell you, “A lawyer will take a third of your recovery. Why should that money go to a lawyer when we can work things out?” In a Nolo Survey, those who hired an attorney received on average $77,600, which is $60,000 more than people who chose not to hire an attorney. According to Forbes Advisor’s 2022 Personal Injury Settlements Amount Report, the median settlement amount was $31,000 for all cases and $16,000 for car accident cases.

Intimidation and Complexity

Adjusters might present the claim process as straightforward and imply that hiring a lawyer would complicate matters unnecessarily, trying to intimidate car crash victims into navigating the claims process alone. Similarly, an insurance company might claim that bringing a lawyer into the fray will only delay an accident victim’s settlement. 

Victim Blaming

Insurance companies are notorious for claiming the victim is to blame or is primarily responsible for their injuries, deflecting away from their client. In addition, defendants often lie. An experienced personal injury attorney can gather the real facts of your case and stand up for you including using subpoenas, Freedom of Information Act Requests, experts, and depositions to get to the truth. , 

Misrepresentation of Policy Benefits

Insurance representatives might not fully disclose the benefits that are available under the policy, attempting to settle the claim for less than it is worth, which an experienced injury lawyer will identify and correct.

Even knowing these tactics does not mean you should represent yourself. One of our top-rated injury attorneys can safeguard your rights and potentially secure a fairer and more robust car accident settlement. 

Why It’s Important to Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer as Soon as Possible

Speaking with a personal injury lawyer as soon after an accident as possible is crucial to safeguarding your rights and securing maximum compensation. In the immediate aftermath of an injury, important evidence may be lost or altered, hurting the strength of your case. Additionally, most jurisdictions have a statute of limitations, which is a timeframe within which you must file a claim to be eligible for compensation. A prompt consultation allows an attorney to assess the merits of your case accurately, guide you through intricate legal processes, and start building a robust case strategy. Lawyers can also help you avoid common pitfalls, like making recorded statements to insurance companies that might be used against you later or agreeing to a low-ball settlement offer that doesn’t fairly compensate you for your damages. Early legal counsel also ensures that you receive appropriate medical care and that all necessary documentation is meticulously prepared, increasing your chances of a favorable outcome. 

Are You Looking for a Second Opinion About What Your Car Accident Case Is Worth?

If you were recently involved in a car accident, and the insurance company is discouraging you from talking to a lawyer, it’s probably a sign that talking to an attorney is the best way to protect your interests. At the Steinberg Law Firm, our Charleston car accident attorneys have been helping accident victims recover fair compensation for what they’ve been through for more than 95 years. We understand all the tricks used by insurance companies and can give you an honest and well-informed opinion of the value of your case. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our South Carolina personal injury attorneys, give the Steinberg Law Firm a call today at 843-720-2800. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.

Updated on March 1, 2024

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