Insurance companies are in business to make a profit. Although that may seem to be an obvious statement, many accident victims are stunned when the insurance company offers them far less than their injuries have cost them or denies their claim completely.
There are many types of tactics insurance companies use in order to minimize or deny claims. This is why it is critical for accident victims to obtain the services of a seasoned Virginia accident attorney. At Shapiro & Appleton, we have been advocating for accident victims for more than three decades and know exactly how to deal with insurance adjustors who attempt to manipulate our clients into settling for less than they deserve.
The following are some of the more common ways insurance companies try to get out of compensating victims.
Delaying the Claim
One of the more common tactics used is to delay processing the claim, despite the fact that the company is under a legal obligation to process it in a reasonable amount of time. Many accident victims are under enormous financial pressure because of their injuries. The medical bills start arriving in the mail and they often are unable to work while they recover, which means they are not receiving their paycheck every week.
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- Insurance Company Acts of Bad Faith
Insurance companies know this. They also know that if they come up with unnecessary documentation request or claim they are still investigating the accident in order to drag out the process, then the victim may end up settling for less because they become desperate for funds, even if it means those funds are much less than what they are legally entitled to.
Your Virginia accident attorney will make sure that does not happen. In fact, it is quite common that once an insurance company finds out a victim had an attorney representing them, the claims process proceeds at the pace it should.
Denying Fault for the Accident
Another tactic that insurance companies use is to try to say that the victim was at fault for the accident, not their client. If they cannot blame the victim entirely for the accident, then they may at least attempt to shift part of the blame on the victim. Unfortunately, under Virginia law, if the victim is even partially responsible for the accident, they are not allowed to seek recovery for their losses through a personal injury claim. This is referred to as contributory negligence.
For example, if during a recorded telephone interview, the victim says they are sorry the accident happened, the insurance company could use that as proof that the victim is taking at least some responsibility. This is why you should never speak with the insurance company before consulting with your attorney.
Lack of Evidence
The insurance company may claim that the victim has not provided enough evidence to support their claim of being injured. This is why it is critical to document and save everything. Your attorney will use this evidence in order to prove that you were injured in an accident and that it was the insurance company’s client who caused the accident. Some of the important evidence includes all medical reports and bills, photos from the accident scene, police reports, witness statements, and proof of missed work.
Let a Virginia Accident Attorney Advocate for You
If you have been injured in an accident caused by another party, contact a Virginia personal injury attorney to find out what legal options you may have. At Shapiro & Appleton, we are dedicated to helping injured clients obtain the compensation they deserve for their medical bills, lost income, and other losses their injuries have caused. Call 757-578-1079 for a free case evaluation.