Insurance companies play a significant role in the aftermath of an accident, yet their interests often do not align with yours. We’ve seen firsthand the challenges individuals face when dealing with insurance companies, and we know how important it is to have a car accident attorney in San Antonio on your side when the insurance companies come calling.
Challenges in Dealing with Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are businesses. Their primary goal is to protect their bottom line, and this often involves minimizing payouts on claims. To do this, they employ various strategies and tactics that can complicate the claims process and leave claimants feeling overwhelmed and undervalued.
Swift Settlement Offers
After an accident, an insurance adjuster may quickly offer you a settlement. While it may be tempting to accept this offer and put the incident behind you, these initial offers are often significantly less than the full value of your claim. The company is banking on your lack of knowledge about the true worth of your claim and your possible desperation for immediate funds.
Our attorneys understand the nuances of calculating the comprehensive value of a claim. We ensure that all aspects of your damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and non-economic damages like pain and suffering, are accounted for in the settlement negotiations.
Questioning the Severity of Your Injuries
One common strategy insurance companies employ to limit their payouts is questioning the severity of your injuries. This tactic is designed to either deny your claim outright or significantly reduce the amount of a settlement. They may attempt this in several ways:
“Your Injuries Are Old”
The insurance company may suggest that your injuries were pre-existing and not caused by the accident. They might request access to your complete medical history in an attempt to find past injuries or conditions that they can blame for your current state. While this is sometimes a valid concern, insurance companies often use it as a diversionary tactic to avoid paying out.
We can ensure that only relevant medical records are shared and used for assessing your claim. This includes consulting medical experts who can differentiate between the effects of past medical conditions and your current injuries resulting from the accident.
“It’s Not That Bad”
The insurance company may argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim. They might employ their own medical experts to review your records or request independent medical examinations. Their objective is to create doubt about the extent of your injuries and cost of treatment.
Our attorneys are ready to counter this strategy. We liaise with your treating physicians to obtain comprehensive medical reports that outline the extent of your injuries, the treatment you’ve received, and your prognosis for the future. These reports can be instrumental in countering claims made by the insurance company’s medical experts.
“You Didn’t Do As You Were Told”
Lastly, insurance companies may contend that you didn’t follow the doctor’s treatment plan or that you failed to seek prompt medical attention after the accident. They often use this to argue that you contributed to your own injuries or that your injuries aren’t as serious as you’re claiming. Always follow your doctor’s instructions to the letter, and trust your attorneys to go to bat for you in countering this tactic.
Claims of Comparative Fault
In Texas, personal injury claims operate under a “modified comparative fault” rule. This rule means that the amount of compensation you’re entitled to can be reduced by a percentage that reflects your share of blame for the accident. If it’s determined that you are more than 50% at fault, you may be barred from recovering any compensation at all. Insurance companies often seize upon this rule, attempting to shift as much blame onto you as possible. They dissect every detail of the accident, seeking evidence or admissions that could suggest you were partially or even primarily responsible for the incident.
They might claim that you were distracted, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt, or in some way should have been able to avoid the accident or the worst of your injuries. Our legal team is adept at countering these claims. We meticulously examine all the evidence, including police reports, witness statements, and physical evidence from the scene of the accident, to build a case that minimizes your degree of fault. If necessary, we are prepared to bring in accident reconstruction experts who can create a detailed analysis of the accident, clearly demonstrating the sequence of events that led to the incident.
Shady Legal Tactics
In an attempt to limit their liability, insurance companies may also employ a slew of legal tactics. They might try to exploit loopholes, challenge the admissibility of certain evidence, or raise procedural issues simply to delay the resolution of your claim. They may hope that by delaying long enough, they can make you so desperate for money that you’ll take their minimized payout offer.
We ensure all legal procedures are correctly adhered to, file necessary motions to counter these strategies, and use the law proactively to protect your interests.
Conducting an Independent Investigation
Insurance companies conduct their own investigation into the accident, which often serves their goal of reducing the payout. This might involve interpreting the evidence in a way that favors their position or overlooking certain pieces of evidence altogether.
A skilled car accident attorney undertakes an independent investigation into your accident to gather all relevant evidence, such as medical records, accident reports, witness statements, and any available surveillance footage. This can be used to challenge the insurance company’s interpretation of the events and advocate for your rightful compensation.
Interpreting Policy Language
Insurance policies can be complex documents filled with legal jargon and ambiguous terms. These policies often contain various exceptions and conditions that insurance companies may use to limit their liability.
Our attorneys have substantial experience in interpreting policy language. We can review your insurance policy, explain its provisions in simple terms, and identify potential issues that might impact your claim. If the insurance company tries to interpret the policy language in a way that’s detrimental to your claim, we’re prepared to challenge their interpretation and fight for your rights.
Negotiating with Insurance Companies
Negotiating a settlement with an insurance company can be a challenging process. They have experienced negotiators who know how to minimize their payouts. You might find yourself under pressure to accept a low offer, especially if you’re dealing with financial strain due to the accident.
A good car accident attorney is also a skilled negotiator, prepared to aggressively advocate for your interests. We understand the tactics that insurance companies use and are ready to counter them. Our objective is to secure a settlement that fully compensates you for your losses.
Fighting You to Trial
If the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, it may be necessary to take your case to court. This is a step that many people are hesitant to take, and should be if they don’t have legal representation. However, with a skilled attorney at your side, you can confidently proceed to trial if necessary. Our attorneys have extensive trial experience. We’re prepared to present your case before a judge or jury, cross-examine witnesses, and make compelling arguments in favor of your claim.
A Car Accident Attorney in San Antonio Can Protect You
Dealing with insurance companies can be difficult, but an experienced attorney makes all the difference. A good lawyer can protect your interests, advocate for your rights, and fight for the compensation you rightfully deserve against insurance companies who are only motivated by their own bottom lines. Let us carry the legal load while you focus on recovery: contact Joe A. Gamez Law Firm, PLC right away for a free consultation on your case.