The Tricks Insurance Companies Play and How We Deal with Them


When people who have been injured find themselves pitted against insurance companies, they may often feel – accurately – that they are in a "David vs. Goliath" contest. They may find themselves having to deal with their injury claims with no one on their side and with little or no knowledge of how to fairly resolve their claims, or even worse with inaccurate and contradictory information about how personal injury claims should be fairly handled. Well-meaning but not necessarily well-informed family and friends may try to offer them advice, as may their family doctor who's great at treating their injuries but not necessarily an expert at handling liability insurance claims. And, of course, their cousin's sister-in-law's neighbor who's a retired divorce attorney from a different state will assure them that resolving a personal injury claim in California "is a snap." (It isn't.)

Unfortunately, many insurance companies engage in outright unfair claims practices, and even those that do not will still use every legitimate advantage and technique that they can. And being multi-billion-dollar companies with tens of thousands of employees and decades of experience, they have some pretty substantial advantages and techniques to deploy against individual injury claimants. Claimants have a significant advantage, as well, but . . . we'll get to that in a moment.

Let's look first at just how big the insurance industry is -- what type of an opponent is an injury victim likely going up against?

Injury victims who try to handle their own claims will certainly find themselves going up against experienced, well-trained claims professionals from giant insurance companies who have made a science out of paying as little as they can – as slowly as they can -- to resolve injury claims. They have millions of adjuster-hours of time working with claimants to figure what works and what doesn't, to discover what they can get away with or not, and to refine their techniques for dealing with claimants and train their adjusters in the use of those techniques.

Insurance companies have a fundamentally pretty simple business model: use data on millions of claims to generate claim payout statistics with which they can calculate the insurance premium amounts needed to provide themselves with generous profits. And if they can further pad those profits by using less than fair claims practices to get claimants to settle for less than their claims are worth – well, they're perfectly happy to do so.

It may be a David vs. Goliath contest when an individual injury victim goes up against a mammoth insurance giant, but if you remember that story, David had a secret weapon that let him come out victorious. Injury victims have a secret weapon, too – experienced personal injury attorneys who have proven track records. That's the advantage that injury claimants have for dealing with insurance companies.

For more information on the insurance industry, the tactics and practices of individual insurance companies, and how we deal with them, see the links below.

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