Huge Settlement by Major Insurance Company Highlights Insurance Company Tactics


March 04, 2011

Allstate has reached a $10 million regulatory settlement requiring the company to implement procedures that will ensure that those who are injured in auto accidents are treated with consistency and fairness. The Allstate case followed an 18-month investigation by multiple states, via the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), for their use of a computer program in settling claims. Insurance companies have increasingly become reliant on such programs and can be extremely difficult to deal with when handling a personal injury claim.

An insurance adjuster who is handling a claim is never focused on your best interest. The ideal objective of the insurance company handling a personal injury insurance claim is to deny liability by their insured, deny coverage for the incident or pay the minimum amount possible on the claim. The experienced team at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing auto accident victims against insurance companies for over 27 years. Insurance companies will use any argument or strategy to avoid paying an auto accident victim. Our attorneys are familiar with these strategies and tactics and have provided some of the most common tactics below:

The Accident Did Not Cause Your Injuries: An insurance company will attempt to get you to provide all of your medical records in an attempt to find a way to link your injuries to a prior medical condition or injury. While you may have to disclose some medical history, an experienced personal injury attorney will know what information may be open to interpretation or not subject to disclosure. An experienced accident attorney also knows that aggravation of an existing injury is a new injury. It is also very important that you seek immediate medical attention following an accident to get the help you need, and to avoid insurance company claims that your injuries were related to something other than the car crash. When you seek medical attention, you need to disclose all symptoms no matter how minor they seem because they may later turn out to be an early indicator of a more serious condition.

The Accident Was Your Fault: The insurance company may try to claim that you were at fault for the accident so that their insured has no obligation to pay. The other driver's insurance company may even add insult to injury and claim YOU are obligated to pay their insured. The issue of determining fault can be complex and often is less than clear cut. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have extensive experience in handling these claims and protecting the rights of accident victims. We understand the law and what is necessary to establish a strong claim. Although a law enforcement auto accident report will often indicate that a particular driver is at fault, even experienced law enforcement officers are sometimes wrong. At Montlick and Associates, we will look at the evidence with a fresh set of eyes, even if the police report indicates that you were at least partially at fault. We may view the evidence differently and conclude that you were not at fault at all. Even if you are partially fault, this does not necessarily mean that you absolutely cannot recover for your injuries but may affect the amount you recover. We have our own investigators and depending on the specific facts, may also retain outside experts including auto accident and truck accident reconstruction experts when we feel it is needed.

Willingness to Settle Quickly without an Attorney: Many people make the unfortunate mistake of discussing settlement with the other driver's insurance company shortly following an auto accident without the benefit of legal representation or legal advice. An insurance company adjuster handles thousands upon thousands of such claims and will view this approach as a sign of weakness. The adjuster will assume that a person who is willing to settle quickly without an attorney is in desperate financial straits. The adjuster may agree to the quick settlement because they know that they can settle the case for a small fraction of what the claim is worth, especially if an attorney is hired later.

You Were Not Wearing a Seat Belt: This is really a specific example of the insurance company blaming your injuries on you. Georgia uses a comparative negligence system, which means that your recovery can be reduced based on your percentage of fault in causing your own injuries. This does not mean that your claim should be denied though it may affect the amount of your recovery.

You Are a Fraud: This is a very common strategy, which may take many different forms. The insurance company may argue that you are exaggerating your injuries, reporting symptoms that do not exist, or pretending to be disabled when you are fully functioning. Insurance companies will typically point to any of the following to suggest your claim is either completely fraudulent or exaggerated:

• The collision was low impact with little property damage

• You were not taken from the scene in an ambulance

• You did not seek immediate medical attention

• There is no objective medical evidence to support the symptoms you reported to the doctor

• You failed to attend medical rehabilitation sessions

• There was no medical reason for you not to return to work sooner

These are just a few examples of the kinds of facts that insurance companies may try to use to argue that your claim was fraudulent. These arguments are typically not really believed by the person advocating them. The adjuster is simply looking for an argument whether valid or not to reduce or avoiding paying the claim. Insurance companies and the attorneys who represent their interest are skilled and experienced at reducing and avoiding liability. The experienced team at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, can help you level the playing field.

The experienced attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, have been representing victims injured in auto accidents in Atlanta and throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our Georgia car accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. We work hard for our clients and are dedicated to providing exceptional service as part of our goal to be the best car accident lawyers in Georgia. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or use our 24 Hour Online Chat at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.