Insurance companies and their agents make themselves look as if they are our friends. But they are not. Far from it. If you have been injured in a car accident in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California and the other driver was at fault, recovering damages may not be as easy as you think.
Here is the thing: insurance companies in California and all across the United States make an inordinate amount of money by collecting premiums from their customers. Insurance companies are profit-driven, which is why paying out large car accident settlements is against their best interests.
“That is why you can most certainly expect the at-fault driver’s insurance company to do whatever it takes to invalidate your personal injury claim, disprove their client’s liability, and/or minimize the value of your claim,” warns our Los Angeles car accident attorney at the Compass Law Group, LLP
This is the reason why insurance companies conduct a thorough and long investigation before approving or disproving claims. There are quite a few tactics and insurance claims practices employed by insurers in California to deny their client’s liability, including but not limited to:
Claiming that their client was not at fault. This is the most common tactic employed by insurance companies when the police report is inconclusive and there were no witnesses. Oftentimes, victims of car accidents in such situations have to file a lawsuit and go to trial in order to convince stubborn and dishonest insurers that their clients were at fault for the accident.
Claiming that you were partially at fault, too. In cases where the other driver’s fault was obvious, his/her insurance company may put the blame on you, too. Under the comparative negligence doctrine in Los Angeles and all across California, not one but multiple parties can be held liable for the damages. Thus, your recovery of damages will be reduced by the percentage of your own negligence that contributed to the car accident. For example, let’s say that a driver in Mercedes hit your Tesla when it swerved into your lane. If the police report notes that you exceeded the speed limit by 5 miles per hour at the time of the collision, the Mercedes driver’s insurance company will most likely use it against you by claiming that you were partially negligent in the car crash.
Claiming that your injuries were not caused by the car crash. The pre-existing injury defense is often used by insurers all across California, and the most effective way to battle this defense and establish proper causation in your case is through seeking legal help of a Los Angeles car accident lawyer. Your lawyer will disprove the insurance company’s theory by seeking the opinion of expert witnesses who are qualified doctors to testify in court that your injury was directly caused by the car crash.
Claiming that your injuries were not “that bad.” Another common tactic employed by dishonest insurance companies to deny or reduce their client’s liability to avoid paying large settlements. If you refused to go to the emergency room at the scene of the accident, you can most certainly expect insurance companies to use it against you. It is vital to receive medical evaluation from a doctor and document your injuries as soon as possible to prove that you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.