March 8, 2023|Auto Accidents
If you’ve had trouble filing an insurance claim after your car accident, it could be because your insurance company doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Here are the top five things your car insurance company won’t tell you.
Insurance protects you from paying for damages out of pocket. With benefits like that it can be easy to forget that insurance companies are for-profit businesses. But when you file a claim after your car accident, there are things your car insurance company won’t tell you. Their hidden tactics can affect your settlement, but we’re here to tell you what you should watch out for.
While police might have to recite that “anything you say or do can be used against you,” insurance companies aren’t held to the same responsibility. When filing for a claim, the insurance company wants to pay as little as possible so they can save money. They will try to dismiss or diminish your claim by saying it’s unjustified. To do this, they might coerce you into saying contradicting statements. They can say your statement is an admission of liability or “acts inconsistent” with your insurance claim, and that statement can be as innocent as saying “I’m fine” after a car accident.
When you’re in a car accident, you must report it to your insurance company and be compliant with their investigation. To ensure you don’t say the wrong thing, don’t give any recorded statements without speaking to a lawyer first. Any recorded statement you make on the scene can be used against you later.Your lawyer will advise you on what to say or what not to say.
A car is totaled when the cost of repairs exceeds the vehicle’s value, but that might not always be the case. Insurance companies might declare your car as totaled to save themselves the cost of repairs. Depending on the extent of the damages, you may recover less money than your car is worth. This amount may not be enough to help you pay for the cost of a new car. You might want to get a second opinion on your car’s damages and decide if the cost of repairs is more beneficial than declaring your car totaled.
After a car accident, one of the things your car insurance company won’t tell you is that premium rates increase. Your insurance company might not tell you when or if they do or by how much. In Florida there are laws preventing your insurance company from raising your rates, unless you are at fault. By hiring a lawyer you can protect yourself and your insurance rates by proving you were not at fault for your accident.
An insurance company’s job is to settle your claim quickly and at the lowest price. One way they might do this is with the “deny first” strategy. In this case, your insurance company might deny your claim even if it’s valid. This strategy is one of the things your car insurance company won’t tell you about because they can get in trouble for it. The deny-first strategy is in bad faith. If you file a complaint for it, you may receive punitive damages for it.
Your insurance company might also deny your claims because you lied or “lied” on your insurance application. For example, if you said you were the only driver of your car but you let a household member drive it and they got into an accident, your insurance company can say it is a “material misrepresentation.” However, you can fight against denied claims. Your lawyer can negotiate with new evidence, file a complaint, or take them to court.
Along with their “deny first” strategy, your insurance company might counter with a lowball offer. As a for-profit business, these offers are how they make their money. While they can afford to pay you what you deserve, their initial offer is low so they can save money. When they offer this amount, they might also make you feel like you have to settle soon. By rushing your case, they want to make you feel desperate and feel pressured to settle. This strategy is one of the things your car insurance company won’t tell you because you’d be more inclined to reject their offer, as you should.
When filling an insurance claim, you’ll want a lawyer that can ensure you’ll get the highest payout. David A. Papa has been fighting against insurance companies for over 20 years in Tampa Bay. He’s a lawyer you can trust to put you first. David A. Papa is available whenever you need him because he is dedicated to his clients. That even includes taking your case to court to get you the settlement you deserve.
Dealing with your insurance company can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. That’s what we’re here for. Contact Papa Injury Law for your free consultation.
We’re committed to making sure you know your options – and that you have the best information possible so that you can make the best decision for you and your family.
You’ve gotten to know us a little better – now tell us about how we can help you. If you’ve sustained an injury or been in an accident, don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with us to learn about your options.
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