We would all like to believe that others will treat us fairly, particularly when we have been injured and are at our most vulnerable. Sadly, the truth is that insurance companies often try to avoid paying claims in order to save money, even when it is clear that the victim deserves compensation. In many cases, this will take the form of a lowball offer that seems reasonable to the victim, but in reality does not even come close to paying all of his or her medical bills, let alone expenses related to other aspects of the injury. Unfortunately, many victims do not realize this until it is too late and they have already agreed to settle with the insurance company.
Knowing your rights and having the support of good legal counsel is one way to avoid the trap of settling too quickly when you have been the victim of an accident. A good personal injury attorney can help you protect yourself and your family from the devious methods used by some insurers to avoid paying for your injuries.
Blame the Victim
Insurance companies have several methods that they use to avoid paying victims’ claims. One tactic that insurance companies often employ is the “blame the victim” approach. This usually takes the form of someone from the insurance company suggesting that they have information that shows that the victim is actually partially or totally responsible for the accident. The insurer may also imply that, if the victim pursues a claim, he or she could be the subject of a lawsuit that seeks monetary damages. Some victims are frightened by this and quickly settle to avoid being countersued when, in fact, they are not at all responsible for the accident.
A similar tactic that is sometimes used by insurance companies is a ploy of blaming the victim because of the type of activity that occurred just prior to the accident. For example, those who enjoy riding motorcycles are often told that they “should have known” that motorcycles were dangerous and that they are not deserving of damages now that they have suffered from a crash. Another example is when someone slips on a wet floor and is told that they “should have been watching” where they were walking.
The fact is that the victim of an accident deserves to be treated with empathy and respect, not with condescension or outright dishonesty. In order to prevent this type of behavior on the part of insurance companies and others, it is often a good idea to seek legal counsel.
At Barber & Associates, we have spent many years protecting our clients from being taken advantage of by insurance companies and others who might wish to deny them payment of damages. We vigorously defend our clients against all who would seek to harm them, including dishonest companies or individuals. Call us today to learn more about how we can help you protect your rights and recover appropriate compensation after an accident.