Strategies Used by Insurance Companies to Avoid Paying Out On Claims
Time is on the insurance company’s side—yes, it is. Remember when I said that an insurance company is like a bank run by mathematicians? Well, those mathematicians get to reinvest the money that they are holding. They want to hold on to it as long as they can because they can reinvest it in the meantime. The longer it takes, the more money they make. This is why it is hard to get anybody from an insurance company on the phone. When it comes time to schedule a deposition or a trial, insurance company attorneys are suddenly the busiest people in the world.
The opposite is true for us. We don’t have the money and are trying to get it. So when it comes time to schedule a hearing, I am always available. I’ve even offered to do depositions on nights or weekends. (Of course, no insurance company employee has EVER taken me up on that offer.)
Insurance companies try to use the time to drive a wedge between the attorney and their clients. They know that when you get hurt in an accident, you are probably struggling financially because of time off of work and large medical bills. They try to use that against you so you will settle short. This is part of the “total war” mentality that insurance companies now have. They are trying to starve us into settling short. Without that total war mentality, and without somebody on your side, you really have no chance.
I play this game with my daughter, who is four years old. It is a matching game, played with tiles facing down, where you have to find and turn over two tiles that match each other. One day we were playing, and on her first move, she picked out two matching tiles. The chances of picking a match on your first move are very slim since you haven’t seen any tiles yet. I asked her, “How did you do that?” She said to me, “I just watched when you dealt them out and saw where the matches were.” (I was so proud.) This is what we are trying to do with the insurance companies. We are trying to make the game over before it even starts, by getting there first with the most.
How Does Retaining An Attorney Impact The Attitude Of Insurance Companies?
There is one hundred percent difference when you are represented than when you are not. When you retain an attorney in a personal injury case, the insurance companies realize they are likely going to have to pay. The statistics with someone trying to handle a jury case on their own are poor. It is rare for someone to recover even the first dollar in a jury trial where they are representing themselves. If I was hurt in an accident, I certainly wouldn’t represent myself. The insurance companies know all of this, since they compile and keep the statistics. They know if you are representing yourself, your chance of beating them is maybe one out of a hundred. If you are represented by an attorney, however, your chance of beating the insurance company is maybe ninety percent plus in your favor (not always, but most times.) These percentages go directly to the bottom line with insurance companies when they consider their offer to you.
Let me bore you again with some math. For example, let’s say your injury is worth $100,000.00. If you are representing yourself, the insurance company multiplies the chance of defeat (one out of one hundred,) by the total amount the case is worth ($100,000.00), and will therefore make you a $1,000.00 offer. However, if you have any attorney and you have a ninety-five percent chance of winning, then the offer suddenly becomes $95,000.00 on the same case. (0.95 multiplied by a $100,000.00 value equals $95,000.00.)
Does The Threat of Going To Trial Enhance The Expected Settlement Amount?
Every time you talk about going to trial, especially in a major personal injury case, it enhances the settlement offer. No one working for an insurance company can be fired over a small personal injury case, but a large case is a different story. In this regard, it is harder to get $6,000.00 out of them, when the offer is $5,000.00, than it is to get a million when their offer is half a million. Why? The reason for that is risk tolerance. If, for example, an insurance company makes an offer of $5,000.00 and you reject it, they are fine going to trial—even if the jury awards you $6,000.00. That $1,000.00 difference means nothing to them because they are going to do trials a thousand times a year in Illinois alone. In a major personal injury case, however, it is the opposite. If the offer is $500,000.00, getting the offer to a million is going to be much easier than it is to get them up to $6,000.00 from a $5,000.00 settlement offer, because of their risk tolerance. If an employee at “Good Hands” swears that the case is worth $500,000.00 to their superiors, and the jury awards one million, then that employee is may be fired for the $500,000.00 mistake.
The bottom line is, when you have evidence presented in an influential video presentation, along with proper experts, your offer is going to increase exponentially in a major personal injury case. Do not be fooled by insurance company tactics that are designed to frustrate and encourage short settlements.
For more information on Strategies Used By Insurance Companies, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (815) 495-5598 today.
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