Many clients who have been injured in car accidents turn to Joye Law Firm for help because they are disappointed at the insurance company’s response to their needs. Some are more blunt, complaining that “My insurance company is ripping me off!”
When we review these cases, we usually find that the insurer has acted to protect its own profits.
Insurance companies are in business to make money, and this is accomplished by paying as little as possible to resolve claims. Insurance adjusters work every day to make payouts that are within defined company guidelines, no matter the validity of the claim.
Through training and experience, insurance adjusters and even customer reps learn how to stop claims or get by with offering low-ball settlements. There are many tactics that insurers use to limit their liability and protect their profits. It’s particularly difficult to receive fair compensation when making a claim against someone else’s insurance. Our experienced personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm know the tactics that insurance adjusters use and South Carolina law pertaining to personal injury accidents. We fight for our clients to receive the full compensation available by law.
If you are dealing with an injury someone else caused, call Joye Law Firm. Reach us at 888-324-3100 or through our online form for a free consultation about how to stop an insurance company from ripping you off.
5 Ways Insurance Companies Rip You Off and What to Do About Them
1. Making a Low-Ball Cash Offer After an Auto Accident
After a serious car or truck accident, you and your vehicle will be sidelined with injuries and damage. This is a major disruption to anyone’s life. A single person who cannot go to work or a family with a parent or child in the hospital and one less vehicle available is in difficult circumstances. This makes it easier for the insurer to take advantage of the situation.
The insurance company may make a settlement offer based on previous settlements for your type of injury, and data about your age, sex, education, job and where you live. The offer has nothing to do with the actual costs and losses that you are facing.
As your attorneys, we carefully consider all of your present and future losses and expenses related to the accident. We seek to recover compensation for all of your losses. If an insurance company offers you a settlement, don’t accept it or sign anything until you have an experienced personal injury lawyer at Joye Law Firm review the offer and discuss whether it is a reasonable amount. If you accept an offer that doesn’t cover all your losses, you will be on the hook for the rest of the expenses.
2. Denying Responsibility for Medical Bills
If you’ve ever read an insurance policy, you may find that it promises to pay medical bills that are “necessary and appropriate.” Makes perfect sense. Of course, they shouldn’t pay for procedures that are unnecessary. But who decide what is medically necessary? When reviewing claims, the insurance company does!
They may rule out paying for certain treatments or at some point say you have been under care long enough to have recovered. Their doctor will review your medical records and agree.
It’s not as easy for an insurer to tell an experienced personal injury lawyer what they will and won’t pay for. They know we can have court-authorized medical experts review your records and take the witness stand if necessary.
Denying valid medical expenses is a common insurance company tactic. But you’ll be at a disadvantage if you try to challenge the insurance company’s decision on your own. An experienced personal injury lawyer can hold an insurance company accountable for valid medical expenses.
3. Using Your Words Against You
“We’re calling about your claim; but first, how are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m OK.”
You’re just answering the phone, but the insurance company is building a case against your claim. They may be recording the conversation.
Be careful when talking to any insurance company representative. They may try to get you to admit fault, say you were not badly hurt, agree to their version of events or agree to figures or costs they suggest. Look out for statements that end with expressions like “… right?” or “… you know?”
Do not agree to give a recorded statement to an insurance company without first consulting a personal injury lawyer. Without legal counsel, it is easy to say something that undermines your claim.
Once you engage Joye Law Firm, we will handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance companies on your behalf.
4. Attempting to Scare You
A serious injury means life-altering medical bills as well as other losses. Insurers know they have you over a barrel. They may tell you things to frighten you so you’ll accept their low-ball offer. They might say they can prove you caused the accident. We’ve heard of adjustors threatening people by picking out specific medical charges and calling them fraudulent.
You may be told the insurer has made their “final offer” and will close your claim as “unresponsive” if you don’t accept. Sometimes they’ll challenge you to sue and say they’ll just drag it out forever to make sure you get nothing.
An insurer may face penalties for acting in bad faith if they disregard a policy’s legal agreements. An insurance policy is a contract between the policy holder and the insurance company. The insurer has to honor the terms of the contract when presented with a valid claim.
5. Pressuring You to Sign a Medical Authorization Form or Other Paperwork
Be wary of anything you are asked to sign.
You may be told you must sign a medical authorization form, allowing the insurer to obtain your medical records. Never agree to this. They are looking for reasons to deny your claim. A medical authorization allows an insurance company to rifle through your medical file, looking for pre-existing conditions. The insurer may then argue that the pre-existing condition is the true cause of your medical problems and you don’t deserve an insurance payout.
If our attorneys at Joye Law Firm are representing you, we can respond to any requests from an insurance company and protect your rights to seek full compensation for your injuries.
Call Our Injury Lawyers at Joye Law
Joye Law Firm has been helping accident victims in South Carolina deal with insurance companies and seek full and fair compensation since 1968. Our attorneys have represented injured people all over the state, including Florence, Richland County, Orangeburg, Horry County (Conway and North Myrtle Beach), North Charleston, Mount Pleasant and Summerville. If you are dealing with an insurance company after an accident, chances are we’ve dealt with them many times before.
Save yourself the hassle and the chance you’ll be ripped off. Call Joye Law Firm at 888-324-3100 or fill out our online form for a free consultation and experienced representation that will protect you and your rights.