Typically, insurance companies will put up numerous defenses and contest any claim at every possible junction, even in rear-end collision cases. You will often see a defense asserted that you stopped too quickly and that it is your fault they ran into the back of your car. We see that all the time, even in traffic light cases where someone plows through a red light. They will try to argue that no; it was you that blew through the red light. Usually, there is no witness there, but if there is you have to rely on their interpretation of the facts or the events caught on traffic light cameras.
But past that, they will start to argue that your damages and injuries are not real or that you somehow malinger and you missed your doctor’s appointments. That is why your injuries have not progressed or healed the way they should have or that somehow this was a pre-existing injury and not something new from the accident. So yes, we see defenses asserted by the insurance companies in almost every single case.
Why is it Helpful to Understand the Defense Mechanisms Employed by Insurance Companies in Auto Accident Claims?
It is helpful to know and understand what defenses may be raised by insurance companies. We can anticipate what might happen ahead of time and try to head it off if we have the right information. For instance, we always make certain that our clients follow up with their doctor’s appointment and receive the recommended treatment so we can avoid the defense arguing that somehow you have not followed up or that you show gaps in your treatment process. For instance, if you have a bad back and it hasn’t bothered you for years, and then all of a sudden you have a flare-up. The event that caused the injury prior gives us a chance to go back and check prior medical records for this injury. We can demonstrate that this is not a pre-existing injury but may be an aggravation of an existing condition.
Likewise, if we even sense that there may be some type of a defense concerning liability, we can gather those facts early on in the process. Having been in this business for 30 years and representing folks who have been injured by the negligence of others, I know and understand from each individual case what I can probably expect from the defense, and it gives us an edge on trying to beat those defenses at the outset.
What are the Common Tactics of Defense for a Car Wreck Case?
The defense will first try to contact for a statement even before you retain an attorney. That is probably the single biggest mistake that someone can make when they give a statement to the other person’s insurance company. You would think that they just want to get the case resolved and that they are very nice and helpful, but in reality what they are trying to do is get you committed to certain facts and the extent of your injury so they can use that against you later. Oftentimes they will ask you to give them authorizations for your medical records, but that is not limited in time or scope.
They can even go back and retrieve your pediatric records if they think it is necessary and if it will help their case. You never want to do that. The other issue is that they will oftentimes make you think that they are going to negotiate and pay your bills. It can be several months if not years before you realize that they are not going to do that. What they try to do is wear you down so that you finally just give in, throw in the hat so to speak, and take whatever they offer you. Every time the insurance company acts, it is because they are trying to defeat you and your claim. This is a well-known tactic that they use over and over again, and that is why it is so critically important to get legal assistance as soon as possible.
How Can an Injured Person Defend Their Claim Against an Insurance Company?
First and foremost, never talk to an insurance company if you do not have a lawyer with you. They are not there to help you, and they are not there to be your friend. They are there to minimize and or defeat your claims. Secondly, do not give them authorizations to get all of your medical records. If you have been in a car wreck and you have been injured, what difference does that make? If you give them authorization, they can obtain any and all of your medical records from any health care professional. Thirdly, do not let the insurance companies drag this on for months or possibly even years.
There are statutes of limitations that apply in all states. But besides the statute of limitations, witnesses and evidence will fade out. The likelihood of filing a witness or filing a witness who is willing to get involved evaporates over time. If there is some type of digital evidence, it may be rewritten, destroyed or concealed. It is so critically important to start early in this process because the insurance companies are starting early on their end gathering evidence and materials to defeat your claim. It is critical that you do too, either on your own or by hiring a board certified personal injury trial lawyer.
For more information on Defenses Used by Insurance Companies, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (817) 503-9200 today.