Navigating the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming, and dealing with insurance companies often adds to the stress. It’s crucial to remember that insurance companies, even though they promise to be on your side, are still businesses primarily concerned with their own bottom line. In this article, we discuss common tactics insurance companies use to minimize your payout after a car accident in Kansas City.
The Rushed Settlement Offer: Insurance adjusters often move quickly to offer a settlement right after an accident. While this might seem helpful, these initial offers are typically much lower than what you may be entitled to. They may try to settle quickly to cut off their obligation to pay for future medical care or lost wages. It’s essential to consult with an experienced car accident attorney before accepting any offers.
Recorded Statements: Insurance adjusters may ask you for a recorded statement about the accident. Be cautious – they are skilled at asking leading questions that can later be used against you. It’s best to consult your attorney before providing any recorded statement. Your attorney can help you through this process.
Downplaying Injuries: Insurance companies frequently downplay the severity of your injuries, claiming they are minor or pre-existing. They may even use surveillance to dispute your injury claims. Always seek medical attention after an accident, and make sure your injuries are properly documented. Insurance companies aren’t doctors.
Blame-Shifting: Some insurers may try to shift blame onto you, alleging you were partially or fully responsible for the accident. This tactic aims to reduce their liability and perhaps to scare you into a premature settlement. Work with an attorney to prove fault accurately.
Delays and Stalling: Insurance companies may use tactics to delay the claims process, hoping you’ll become frustrated and accept a lower settlement to resolve the matter quickly. Your attorney can help keep the process moving and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Lowball Settlements: Offering low settlements is one of the most common tactics used to minimize payouts. Insurance companies may undervalue your claim, making it crucial to have legal representation to negotiate a fair settlement. They evaluate claims every day and they know that most accident victims don’t have the experience to properly value of claim.
The Good Cop Approach: Some adjusters use a friendly, understanding demeanor to gain your trust. This “good cop” approach is a strategy to make you feel more comfortable and potentially accept a lower offer. Always remember that their primary goal is to save the company money.
Doubting Your Medical Treatment: Insurers may question the necessity of your medical treatment or the legitimacy of your healthcare providers. It’s crucial to maintain a consistent medical record and consult with an attorney to ensure your treatment is properly documented.
Underestimating Pain and Suffering: Pain and suffering can be challenging to quantify, and insurance companies often downplay these non-economic damages. Your attorney can help you calculate a fair value for your pain and suffering.
Our Kansas City Area Car Accident Attorneys are Here to Help
Dealing with insurance companies after a car accident in Kansas City can be a complicated and frustrating process. Understanding the common tactics they use to minimize payouts is the first step in protecting your rights. To ensure you receive the compensation you deserve, it’s essential to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who will fight for your best interests and help you navigate the complexities of your case. At Morefield Speicher Bachman, we are here to support you through this challenging time and advocate for your rights.