While insurance companies are legally obligated to honor legitimate claims, their primary goal is to protect their bottom line. They’re businesses like any other, after all, and if they can dispute a claim so owners and shareholders benefit, they will.
In other words, if you intend to file a personal injury claim, you should be prepared for the insurance adjuster to challenge it. Even if you have grounds for action, not to mention plenty of proof of liability and damages, they might apply one of the following strategies in an effort to dispute or at least devaluate your claim:
1. Placing Blame on You
Michigan has a modified comparative fault rule, which bars plaintiffs from recovering non-economic damages if they’re deemed more than 50 percent liable for their losses. As such, insurance adjusters often try to place as much blame as possible on claimants.
Even if you didn’t contribute to the accident in which you were hurt, you could be deemed responsible for at least some portion of your damages if you failed to take reasonable measures to mitigate them. If you put off seeking medical care after the incident, for example, and then suffered complications, the insurance adjuster could argue that you’re partially to blame for the severity of your losses.
2. Monitoring Your Online Activity
Since most people are on social media nowadays, insurance adjusters have gotten used to monitoring claimants online. They will scrutinize everything a victim posts in an attempt to obtain evidence that allows them to challenge his or her credibility. If it appears the plaintiff is ignoring medical advice or exaggerating his or her injuries, for example, they might consider that reason enough to dispute the entire claim.
3. Rejecting Your Damages Total
If the insurance adjuster cannot dispute liability, their next tactic will probably be disputing damages. Even if you present sufficient documentation of everything you’re hoping to be compensated for, you should be prepared for the opposing party to question the total. Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate these negotiations alone.A seasoned personal injury lawyer can handle all correspondence with the carrier on your behalf. This includes reviewing the offers they propose and responding with more reasonable counteroffers.
As long as your legal team put together a strong case, the insurer should be willing to negotiate. Indeed, most tort claims are settled because both parties want to avoid the hassle of court.
If the insurance adjuster refuses to offer a fair payout, however, even after you present plenty of evidence you deserve one, your lawyer can help you file a formal lawsuit. Should your case go all the way to court, a judge will decide the outcome.
Discuss Your Case with a Personal Injury Attorney in Detroit
At Seva Law Firm, we’re equipped to go up against even the largest insurance companies. If you or someone you love was seriously hurt, we won’t let the liable party’s carrier take advantage of the situation. To schedule a free initial consultation with a personal injury lawyer in Detroit, call (248) 385-5704 or fill out our Online Contact Form.