How Insurers Minimize Settlements
Many of our clients are relieved to obtain a settlement after an accident. Instead of taking their chances at trial, they are guaranteed a sum of money to cover their losses. They also should receive the compensation much faster, since a trial could take a year (or longer) to complete.
However, insurers in Florida tend to be stingy, and they would like to settle cases for as little money as possible. To that end, they have developed certain techniques that they use to assist in their efforts to get you to accept much less money than you deserve.
Below, we outline a few of the most common techniques insurers use and explain how you can counteract them.
The Insurer Tries to Get You to Accept Responsibility
Florida is a comparative fault state that recognizes that both parties in an accident can be negligent. For example, a driver might have plowed into the rear end of your car, but you might have failed to use a turn signal to notify them that you were turning. In that situation, both drivers bare some blame for the crash.
Under the comparative fault scheme, the amount of money you can get is reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, your medical bills and lost wages could have totaled $30,000. However, if you were 50% responsible for the crash, you can only get half that.
For this reason, insurers often try to get accident victims to agree that they bear some of the blame for the crash. An insurer might make statements like, “So you weren’t really looking” or “You were probably distracted, right?” and try to get you to agree. You should never agree to statements made by the insurance adjuster. Instead, tell your story using your own words.
The Insurer Tries to Minimize Your Injuries
Another tactic adjusters love is to downplay your injuries:
- “So you don’t feel a lot of pain, right?”
- “You probably could have returned to work after a week, I’m assuming.”
- “Your injuries probably were not that disruptive.”
Each of these statements is an attempt to minimize the severity of your injuries so that the insurer does not need to pay out much in pain and suffering compensation. As mentioned above, you shouldn’t agree to statements made by the insurer. Tell your own story.
The Insurer Tells You that a Lawyer is Unnecessary
There are many reasons why accident victims benefit from an attorney. Not only will a Daytona Beach personal injury lawyer investigate your claim and compile evidence, but they can negotiate much more money in a settlement.
Many insurers, however, will tell you that you will end up further behind if you hire a lawyer. But only a lawyer is looking out for your best interests—not the insurance company! If you try to negotiate without a lawyer, you risk accepting far less in compensation than you could otherwise get.
Speak to Us Today
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in an accident, please contact Bundza & Rodriguez today. We have represented the Daytona Beach community for years and have obtained millions in compensation for our clients.
You can schedule a free consultation by calling 386-252-5170.