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Six secrets insurance companies don’t want accident victims to know

The secret : Rigid legal deadlines can prevent a victim from going to court. Insurance companies rely on these time limits, called limitation periods. Failure to act in a timely manner can be a complete impediment to your right to obtain compensation for injuries sustained as a result of the negligent actions of others. In California, negligence claims against private entities must be filed in court within 2 years of the date of discovery of the injury.

A special claim must be filed against government entities within 180 days, otherwise the victim may even be barred from taking legal action. There are many entities, such as hospitals and recreational facilities, that may not appear to be associated with government. However, if owned or operated by a government entity, a victim only has 180 days from the date of injury to file a claim.

Secret Two: Immediately after the insurance company has been contacted about an accident, they will appoint an experienced claims adjuster to investigate the accident and collect evidence that will provide the insurance company with grounds to dispute your claim and minimize your financial damage.

Secret Three: If you have been injured by an uninsured motorist, your own insurance company will be your opponent even if your policy requires you to cooperate with the insurance company.

Four Secrets: Many auto insurance companies now use the Colossus computer program to assess accident victim claims. Colossus is software used by insurance companies to help predict the settlement value of injury claims. According to the program’s developer, Computer Science Corporation, it is used by more than 50% of the nation’s adjusters and more than 300 insurance companies. Of the top 20 US P&C insurers, 13 use Colossus. Colossus is kept secret by the insurance companies that use it; the expert will not tell you if the company uses the software.

The insurance industry argues that it is a useful tool. Personal injury lawyers know that software favors insurance companies. First, the values ​​we receive are by definition a function of the input data. You never know what data the fitter has entered. In addition, the program does not take into account subjective elements of the case that are impossible to quantify, such as interference with normal life activities resulting from injury. At trial, these indices of pain and suffering are proven by the depositions of injured parties and witnesses. Can’t a computer program quantify emotional distress or loss of enjoyment of life? A Colossus appraisal is an inaccurate appraisal because it attempts to reduce a victim’s injuries to a monetary value based only on certain facts, which do not reflect the totality of the victim’s condition or accidental events.

In a trial, a jury determines the value of a claim, and juries listen to and consider many factors that Colossus ignores. Colossus has no way of evaluating subjective elements that may increase the jury prize. Each victim is just a compilation of numbers in the Colossus program. Hardly different from thousands of other seekers.

Experienced personal injury attorneys know how Colossus works and how to get the best settlements when working with insurance companies that use the program. The key is to make sure adjusters understand that you, the victim, are an individual, not a number, and that your accident is unique, not one of thousands of identical events. Experts must trust that your lawyer will take the case to court if necessary. Seriously preparing for the trial is the best way to ensure the best settlements.

Five Secrets: Insurance companies have enormous legal advantages over the average person: great wealth, thousands of qualified adjusters, sharp lawyers and experts, and more than 20 legal defenses that they use to minimize or deny compensation for the victim. Insurance companies are profit-oriented companies. The goal is to earn money. Insurance companies do everything they can to minimize reimbursements.

Six Secrets: Insurance companies don’t want you to hire a lawyer. The reason is simple. With the exception of minor cases, victims systematically receive more compensation when they are represented by a lawyer. Auto insurance giant Allstate’s own documents show that accident victims who retained an attorney received 2-3 times more than victims who were unrepresented.

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