Car accidents are expensive. From simple expenses associated with the accident, such as administrative and clerical fees, to larger ones, such as MRI's, surgeries and rehabilitation, a car accident can easily exceed $20,000. Because insurance companies are in the business of making money, they'll often find excuses to deny part or all of your claim in order to avoid paying these costs - even if the accident wasn't your fault.
As experienced Fort Worth personal injury lawyers, we are accustomed to insurance adjuster's tactics and know how to defeat them. Here some of the most frequent reasons insurance companies such as Allstate, GEICO, State Farm, Farmers and Fred Loya avoid paying injury victims the full and fair compensation they are entitled to.
You Were Partially at Fault
Insurance companies always like to point the finger at the person making the claim. Even if the police officer's crash report puts 100 percent of fault on the insured, the insurance adjuster may still try to deny paying damages by blaming the person making the claim. Through witness statements and other evidence, a good Fort Worth trial attorney can easily defeat such arguments.
You Don't Have Enough Property Damage
If the pictures of your wrecked car don't show much damage, the insurance adjuster might say there is not enough property damage to support an injury. Occasionally, there is validity to this argument. Mostly, though, small damages do not always equal small injury. We've handled accident cases where our client's car had only a small scratch, but the injuries required surgery. Because of this, "low property damage" is never a valid excuse for an insurance adjuster to deny your injury claim.
Your Injuries Could be the Result of a Preexisting Condition
If you suffered a neck or back injury in your accident, it's highly likely that your insurance adjuster will question whether the problem was preexisting, meaning your neck or back was already causing you trouble before the accident. Sometimes, we order our clients' prior medical records to prove that this is not the case. We also use experts in the medical field to vouch for our clients, if necessary. One way to avoid such an argument from the insurance adjustor is by refusing to give them a copy of your medical records – you have no legal obligation to do so.
You Have Not Received Consistent Medical Treatment Since the Accident
Spotty medical treatment gives the insurance companies the opportunity to argue that you weren't "that hurt." Many accident victims will try to suffer through the pain, refusing to let it affect their life more than necessary. While this is certainly understandable, we counsel our clients to continue with their treatment, follow the doctor's advice, and not allow there to be gaps in medical treatment. Toughing it out simply gives the insurance company too much ammunition to argue that the subsequent treatment (after the gap in medical care) is not related to the wreck.
The Medical Charges Are Too High
Many times, the insurance company adjuster will argue that the medical charges are not reasonable or necessary. We have even had insurance companies argue this with regard to standard fees such as ambulance rides. There is not much way to argue this matter pre-litigation. This often forces our lawyers to resolve the case through litigation. Often, this provokes the adjustor into dropping their claims because they know a jury won’t tolerate it.
There is Insufficient Documentation to Support Your Lost Wages Claim
In cases where you are attempting to recover lost income, documentation is the key. We generally see insurance companies argue that there is a lack of documentation to support the claim. This might be a lack of doctor's notes authorizing or excusing the missed work or it might be the lack of support from the employer that the days were indeed missed. For our clients, we provide a detailed description of what needs to happen in order to be paid for lost wages. This generally includes a ton of documentation, which is a combination of doctor's notes, pay stubs (to verify wage rate) and a verification from the employer as to days missed. Armed with these items, any insurance company argument usually becomes very weak.