Insurance Company Tactics After A Car Accident
In the aftermath of a car accident with serious injuries and property damage, those injured in the crash may require financial compensation for economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages, as well as noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. However, seeking this financial compensation involves filing an insurance claim, which can be a difficult process. Insurance companies have an incentive to deny claims or limit payouts, as doing so helps to increase their profits. Drivers should be aware of insurance company tactics after a car accident and how those tactics can be used to deny drivers the financial compensation they deserve. Chuck Franklin represents car accident victims and their families, helping them seek the full financial compensation to which they are entitled. We understand how the insurance companies work and how to help our clients protect themselves from these common tactics. For more information about dealing with an insurance company after a car accident, consider calling Chuck Franklin of Chuck Franklin Law directly at 480-545-0700 today.
Is Arizona a No-Fault Insurance State?
No. Arizona is an at-fault insurance state. Under Arizona law, a victim of a car accident can seek compensation for injuries and losses that are the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Arizona law states that a victim of a car accident must obtain compensation for medical bills or lost wages from the negligent driver (instead of their own insurance policy). If the at-fault driver’s insurance company fails to pay the compensation a victim deserves, the victim has a legal right to pursue the compensation they deserve through a lawsuit in civil court.
In order to obtain compensation under Arizona law, a victim must show that the other driver’s negligence specifically caused the injuries or losses that resulted from the car accident. Additionally, Arizona courts use a pure contributory negligence standard to award compensation to victims. If you are found partially at fault for the car accident, you still can obtain compensation. However, your compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault you were assigned. If you are found 20 percent responsible for the accident, your compensation award will be decreased by that percentage.
5 Common Insurance Company Tactics for Limiting Car Accident Payouts
Insurance companies are concerned with their profits above all else and will not hesitate to use a variety of common industry tactics designed to limit payouts or deny claims. Drivers who are struggling to get the compensation they deserve from an insurance company can learn more about circumnavigating these tactics from an experienced personal injury attorney such as Chuck Franklin.
Calling Shortly After the Accident
Insurance companies will often call a policyholder who was injured in a car accident very soon after the accident occurred. While the company may attempt to pass this off as looking out for the best interests of the policyholder, these early calls are often a manipulative tactic designed to trick the driver into accepting an unfair settlement. A few reasons why insurance carriers often call shortly after an accident include the following:
- The policyholder may not be aware of the full extent of his or her injuries. Many car accident injuries have delayed symptoms that may not surface until days or weeks after the accident.
- Car accident victims are often in vulnerable and stressful emotional states in the days following the accident, which could make them more likely to accept a lowball settlement.
- The insurance company assumes that the policyholder has not yet had a chance to speak with a car accident lawyer.
Unfair Settlement Offers
Insurance carriers will often offer an unfair settlement quickly, hoping that the policyholder will accept an offer much lower than what he or she deserves. These companies understand how stressful a car accident can be, especially when serious injuries are involved. Accepting these early lowball offers can be a huge mistake, as the policyholder may not be aware of the full extent of injuries and damages related to the crash. An insurance company is hoping that a victim will quickly settle their claim for much less than they deserve under the law.
Requesting a Recorded Statement
Insurance adjusters often ask drivers to agree to a recorded statement following a crash. Sometimes, they may mention the statement in a way that suggests it is normal or expected. However, these adjusters are trained to ask certain types of questions that could jeopardize the claim or limit payouts. Even answering the question “How are you doing today?” could result in challenges to your claim. If you answer “Fine”, it is possible that the insurance company may use that to attempt to prove that you are not in any kind of pain or suffering following your accident.
Asking for a Signed Medical Authorization Release
The insurance company may ask for a signed medical authorization release, which will grant the company access to all of the policyholder’s medical records. Carriers can use these records to attempt to argue that some of the injuries suffered in the crash were preexisting. For example, the company may argue that it does not owe compensation for back injuries suffered in the crash due to a documented medical history of back issues.
Contact Chuck Franklin Directly Today
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident can be extremely difficult and stressful, especially for those who do not understand how these companies operate. Insurance carriers often present themselves as a friend on the policyholder’s side, but in reality, they are protecting the profits of their business before anything else. If you are struggling to deal with insurance company tactics after a car accident, Chuck Franklin of Chuck Franklin Law is ready to help you seek the financial compensation you deserve. Consider calling 480-545-0700 today to schedule your consultation.
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