Over the past 15 years, I have come across some horror stories about offers to settle…the worst ones being when the injured party agreed to the offer and signed a full release.
When considering an offer from the insurance company, several questions should come to mind. First, are insurance companies non-profit or for-profit entities. As most of you guessed….FOR PROFIT! In fact, in 2021, the American automobile insurance market was worth an astounding 311 billion dollars. With that in mind, why would anyone believe an insurance company would pay a fair amount to an injured party? I don’t think any more questions are necessary.
I have seen several “tricks” played over and over by insurance companies. Example – an accident victim sustains significant injuries and treats at the Emergency Room and receives a referral for physical therapy. The insurance company offers the victim $2,500 and agrees to pay all related medical expenses incurred over the next 90 days. The victim accepts the offer because they want a quick check.
There are several reasons why accepting this offer is a huge mistake. First off, the victim would likely be entitled to much more in pain and suffering alone. Second, the victim has eliminated any chance for lost wages. Third, what if treatment (such as a surgery) is needed after 90 days? The victim is now responsible.
I saved the “best” reason for last. What victims do not know is that the insurance company will also do anything possible to pay as little as possible on your medical bills. For example, let’s assume the accident victim has $50,000 in medical expenses and that the victim has health insurance or Medicare/Medicaid. Now, particularly if Medicaid or Medicare pays, there is a good chance the victim’s medical expenses just went from $50,000.00 to $3,000.00. The insurance company just got out of this claim for the $3,000.00 plus the $2,500.00 to the victim for a total of $5,500.00. That same claim could easily be worth $100,000.00 or more (possibly much more) depending on the details of the injury and insurance coverage. The end result is the insurance adjuster likely receives praise for saving the company money. There are even documented instances of an insurance company rewarding adjusters for denying claims that should have been paid with gifts such as mini fridges.
If you have received an offer from an insurance company, please contact Beach Injury Lawyers for a free consultation and we will provide a free case evaluation.