On an annual basis, there are about 10 million car accidents that range from minor dings that occur in parking lots to multi-car pileups on the highway. The nature and seriousness of an automobile accident make each occurrence unique. Regardless of the circumstances of the accident, insurance companies have one primary objective-if they can’t avoid a settlement entirely, pay out less money per Las Vegas auto accident injury claim, especially to people who do not have a car accident attorney handling their case.
Claim Adjusters Trained to Delay or Deny
Auto insurance companies have a reputation for trying at all cost to avoid paying out legitimate claims to accident victims. They will delay handling your claim, deny you suffered injury and defend their decision in litigation.
No matter how compassionate the person on the other end of the phone sounds, he or she works for the insurance company. Common tactics include:
In a CNN investigation, the insurance company, attorneys and other insiders substantiated the “delay, deny and defend” approach used to save money.
Computerized Systems Determine Compensation to Claimants
Along with training staff techniques designed to lowball accident victims, insurers also furnish adjusters computerized payout schedules, which fall below fair compensation for vehicle accident cases. In December 2010, the Consumer Federation issued a “consumer alert” warning accident victims that insurers were employing computer technology and “underpaying bodily injury claims.”
One system named Colossus” performed evaluations for “general damages” like pain and suffering, according the report.
Carriers calibrate the systems to generate a range of offers–from low to high. Claim adjusters have a range of figures from which to make offers designed to save the company money regardless of the claim’s validity.
Legal Representation Nets Higher Compensation
Research by the Insurance Research Council reports a 40 percent higher settlement for persons injured in an automobile accident if they were represented by counsel compared to individuals without representation. On average, the insurance payouts were 3.5 times higher for people who had lawyers versus those who settle claims without legal help.
While accident victims may be able to settle their own claims, more often than not the settlement value isn’t nearly as great as when he or she is represented by a lawyer. Contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney for a free consultation to find out what your options are and to protect your rights.