Mark Roman | December 28, 2022 | Personal Injury
Insurance companies are businesses whose ultimate purpose is to make as much money as they can. The way the insurance industry is structured gives them a disincentive to offer you a fair personal injury settlement. Instead, they will deny or minimize your claim if they can. Following is a description of some of their most common tactics.
Claiming Your Injury Wasn’t “Serious” Enough To Exit Florida’s No-Fault Car Accident Liability System
Under Florida law, you cannot sue an at-fault driver unless your injuries are “serious,” as defined by Florida statute. Additionally, you must first look to your own PIP insurance to cover your claim.
The problem is that PIP coverage tops out at $10,000 unless you purchase supplemental insurance. Florida law’s definition of a “serious” injury is ambiguous enough to allow insurance companies some wiggle room to deny your claim.
“Lowballing” You While You Are in Physical or Financial Distress
Insurance companies love to offer low settlements while you are still in pain or after medical bills pile up. The hope is that you will accept a paltry but quick settlement out of sheer desperation.
Asking You Trick Questions and Then Using Your Answers Against You
To fully understand how tricky insurance companies can be, look at the following examples:
- “How are you?” “I’m fine.” “If you’re fine, you must not be as seriously injured as you said.”
- “We need the EXACT time of the accident, down to the last minute.” You (exasperated): “The accident happened at 2:18 p.m.” “So you were checking the time instead of watching the road?”
The insurance company will not dare try these tricks on an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Snooping on Your Social Media Accounts
The opposing party can submit the contents of your social media accounts as admissible evidence in court. For example, if you are claiming a serious injury, they can use a photo of you enjoying yourself against you. It is best to completely suspend your social media accounts while your claim is pending. At the very least, don’t talk about your claim.
Claiming You Had a Pre-Existing Condition
If you hurt your back in an accident and the insurance company discovers you have an old back injury, they will claim that your current back problems were caused by your old back injury, not your recent accident. This reasoning applies to other kinds of claims as well.
Convincing You That You Don’t Need a Lawyer
This is the most damaging trick of all if you fall for it. A good lawyer can help you in too many ways to list here.
How To Protect Your Personal Injury Claim in Florida
Following is a list of some ways you can protect your personal injury claim:
- Never apologize for an accident, even just to be polite.
- Take photos of any injuries or property damage, the scene of the accident, and anything else important.
- Cooperate with the police if they come to the scene of the accident.
- Hire a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can. Tell the opposing party and their insurance company to contact your lawyer about your claim, not you.
- Get a copy of the police report, if any.
- Obtain the contact details of anyone else involved in the accident. In a car accident, obtain the other driver’s insurance details.
- Get contact details for any witnesses to the accident.
- Report the accident in writing to the manager of any establishment where you suffered an injury.
- Suspend your social media accounts until your compensation is in your bank account.
Speak to your lawyer about other ways to protect your claim because every case is different.
A New Port Richey Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Fight Back Against an Insurance Company
An experienced personal injury lawyer knows all the tricks insurance companies use to deny or minimize claims. Find a good lawyer and let them do the negotiating for you. Remember, your lawyer cannot accept a settlement without your express permission.
Contact the New Port Richey Personal Injury Law Firm of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact the legal team of Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers for a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in New Port Richey. We have five convenient locations in Florida: Clearwater, New Port Richey, and Tampa.
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Clearwater Office
1811 N. Belcher Road, Suite I-1
Clearwater, FL 33765
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Congress Ave Office
2360 Congress Avenue
Clearwater, FL 33763
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – Tampa Office
6601 Memorial Hwy Suite 202
Tampa, FL 33615
Roman Austin Personal Injury Lawyers – New Port Richey Office
2515 Seven Springs Blvd.
New Port Richey, FL, 34655