car accident attorneyHave you ever noticed just how many ads for insurance companies you encounter every day? There are ads that seek to reassure you by suggesting that you are in good hands or that there is always a silver lining. There are ads that try to make you laugh while also suggesting that you can save money—perhaps by only paying for what you need. There are ads with famous athletes, famous musicians, famous actors, and now-famous characters (who sometimes interact with famous athletes, musicians, and actors). A recent television spot even invites you to make soulful eye contact with an animated lizard.

The message all the insurance companies are trying to reinforce is that you can trust them to take care of you when things go wrong. Whether they send this message through serious or comedic advertising, the goal is the same: to convince you to buy their insurance because—as one company puts it—they are on your side.

But here’s the thing: Insurance companies are only kind of on your side. Sure, they provide coverage and make payouts when something happens that aligns with your contract with them. But they aren’t, as a rule, eager to make payouts—and they certainly aren’t eager to make large payouts.

The reason for this is simple: Insurance is a for-profit business. 

For all of the nice and funny things they tell us about their business model, in the end, that model boils down to finding ways to make the most money possible every year. And that can be a problem if you have been hurt in an accident because an insurance company will almost certainly look for ways to limit the amount of money they have to spend to cover your claim.

Here, we discuss a few ways they might try to save money on their end by costing you money on yours.

Making a Quick, Lowball Offer

Sometimes after an accident, an insurance company will seem to swoop in and save the day with a quick payout. In the aftermath of an accident, a rapid settlement with the insurance company might seem like a godsend. But there’s a good chance it’s a trick. If an insurance company can get you to settle quickly for a low offer, they save money—and they prevent you from pursuing a fair settlement down the road.

Delaying and Denying Claims

Some unscrupulous insurance adjusters will delay—or even deny—a claim, even when they know the claim is valid. This tactic can be surprisingly effective when used against someone who does not have an attorney representing their interests. 

Avoiding an Investigation or Misrepresenting the Policy (or the Law)

Delaying an investigation into the circumstances of a car accident can obscure what actually happened. Not only that, but some adjusters will delay an investigation in the hope that you will get impatient and accept that lowball offer we warned of above. 

Meanwhile, an insurance company may also decide to misrepresent the terms of your insurance policy—or even misrepresent the applicable laws—in the hope of paying out less in damages. These tactics once again highlight the importance of having a lawyer working for you.

What a Fair Settlement Looks Like

If you have been in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for a whole range of things, including:

  • Medical expenses—both immediate and ongoing
  • Lost wages or income—again, both immediate and ongoing
  • Out of pocket expenses
  • Compensation for pain and suffering

As we have noted, an insurance company does not want to fully compensate you for any of these things. That’s why it is absolutely essential to hire an attorney.

Contact Our Flagstaff Car Accident Attorneys Today

If you have been hurt, don’t let an insurance company add insult to injury by refusing to offer a fair settlement. The attorneys of Griffen & Stevens Law Firm are expert negotiators who will not let an insurance company take advantage of you. Don’t deal with the insurance industry on your own. Instead, contact us to enjoy the benefits of our experience and expertise. 

Ian van Schilfgaarde, Esq.
Ian van Schilfgaarde is a highly-reputed Flagstaff criminal defense lawyer known for his tireless work ethic.