9 Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Minimize Payouts in Injury Cases (and Ways to Counter Them)

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9 Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Minimize Payouts in Injury Cases (and Ways to Counter Them)

Navigating injury cases with insurance companies can be challenging, as these companies often employ various tactics to minimize payouts. At Legal Consulting Pro, we understand the complexities involved in such cases and the importance of countering these tactics effectively.

This blog explores nine common tactics used by insurance companies to minimize payouts in injury cases and offers actionable strategies to counter them. From disputing liability and downplaying injuries to delaying settlements and offering low-ball offers, each tactic presents unique challenges for claimants.

Understanding these tactics is essential for individuals pursuing injury claims to protect their rights and maximize their compensation. With the right legal support and paralegal services, claimants can level the playing field and advocate effectively for fair and just outcomes.

Join us as we delve into these tactics and provide insights into how claimants can navigate the complexities of injury cases with confidence. With proactive strategies and the support of experienced legal professionals, individuals can overcome the challenges posed by insurance companies and secure the compensation they deserve.

Prioritize Client Proceeds Over Time

Low-ball insurance settlement offers are among the most common tactics insurance companies use to minimize payouts in personal injury cases. Counteracting this tactic sometimes requires a personal injury attorney to prioritize proceeds to the client, often over the time invested by the attorney in the case. Unfortunately, more and more often, filing a lawsuit is required to obtain realistic settlement offers from an insurance company.

Greg Baumgartner, Personal injury lawyer, Baumgartner Law Firm

Document Interactions and Leverage Medical Evidence

In my experience overseeing workers’ compensation claims, I’ve noticed a pattern where insurance companies often delay processing claims or responding to inquiries as a tactic to minimize payouts. This strategy plays on the claimant’s need for immediate financial relief, which can lead to accepting a lower settlement out of desperation. In this context, my approach has always been to maintain persistent communication with the insurer and to meticulously document every interaction. This ensures a trail of evidence that can highlight any undue delays and pressure the insurer to act more promptly.

A particularly effective strategy I’ve employed involves leveraging detailed medical evaluations and prognoses that unequivocally establish the extent of the injury and its impact on the client’s ability to work. For instance, in a case where the insurance company was contesting the severity of a back injury, we presented comprehensive medical records along with expert opinions emphasizing how the injury impaired the client’s job performance. The insurer, faced with undeniable evidence and the prospect of drawn-out litigation, opted for a fair settlement rather than risk a more substantial payout mandated by a court.

To counter insurance companies’ minimizing tactics, it’s also beneficial to prepare a detailed life-care plan in cases of severe injuries. This document, prepared by medical professionals, outlines all expected future medical needs and associated costs. It serves as a powerful tool in negotiations, vividly illustrating the financial implications of the injury over the claimant’s lifetime. By adopting a proactive stance, backed by unassailable evidence and a thorough understanding of the client’s ongoing and future needs, lawyers can effectively safeguard their client’s rights and secure equitable compensation.

Ethan Pease, Managing Attorney, Visionary Law Group LLP

Persist in Negotiations and Prepare for Trial

One of insurance companies’ favorite tactics to minimize payouts on a case is to simply make lowball offers. Insurance companies know that unfair offers frustrate claimants and that many just give up and accept an unfair offer in the settlement of the case. There are ways to deal with this: (1) One tactic to deal with lowball offers is to just keep negotiating, reducing the demand in comparatively small increments. As long as they keep raising the offer, stay at it. (2) Another tactic is to demand to speak with the adjuster’s supervisor and hope that he or she is more reasonable. (3) Another tactic is to suggest mediation in hopes that hearing from the mediator that the offers are inappropriate might move the needle.

Whenever the carrier employs the lowball tactic, you must do two things: (1) Explain to your client what the carrier is doing and that you need to get through this process before you can achieve serious negotiations, and (2) Be prepared to try the case if the offers are unfair. Insurance carriers can smell the fear some lawyers have about trying a case, and that encourages them to think that if they keep lowballing your client, at some point you’ll give up. Don’t. Call their bluff and kick the snot out of them at trial.

Matthew Biren, Founding Attorney, Biren Law Group

Build a Strong Injury Impact Case

One of the most common tactics employed by insurance companies to reduce payouts in injury cases involves disputing the severity of the claimant’s injuries. They often seek to downplay the extent of injuries or argue that the injuries were pre-existing conditions, not caused by the accident in question.

I’ve seen a lot of cases where insurance adjusters will try to use a person’s medical history against them or even go as far as hiring their own doctors to refute the claims made by the injured party. This can be incredibly frustrating for both lawyers and clients.

The best way to counter this tactic is by gathering strong evidence and building a solid case that highlights the true impact of the injuries sustained. This can include obtaining medical records and expert testimony from trusted healthcare professionals who can attest to the seriousness of the injuries.

Andrew Pickett, Founder and Lead Trial Attorney, Andrew Pickett Law

Seek Immediate and Regular Medical Treatment

The key thing to do, above all else, is to seek medical treatment immediately after an injury. Insurance companies have created this false narrative that prompt treatment is necessary, suggesting that delays indicate the injured person is lying about the nature and extent of the harm. They’ve honed a strong defense strategy around treatment delays. However, by promptly seeking treatment and continuing it regularly, this entire defense is erased, making the case much easier for the injured person.

Additionally, it’s equally important for the injured person to seek treatment through their health insurance whenever possible. Insurance companies also argue that seeking treatment outside of insurance suggests a person is exaggerating their injuries to purposely increase the value of their claim. Essentially, even if there’s no treatment delay, the injured person may face skepticism if they opt for treatment with doctors recommended by their lawyer, as it might be seen as an attempt to inflate medical bills for a larger claim.

Andrew Biren, Managing Attorney, Biren Law Group

Document Delays and Maintain Patience

In my experience, I’ve encountered a lesser-known tactic used by insurance companies to minimize payouts in injury cases: the “claims delay” strategy. Instead of promptly processing and resolving claims, insurers may intentionally delay the claims process, causing frustration and financial strain for claimants. By prolonging the process, insurers hope to pressure claimants into accepting lower settlements out of desperation or exhaustion.

To effectively counter this tactic, I advise my clients to document every interaction with the insurance company meticulously and maintain patience throughout the claims process. By keeping detailed records of communications, deadlines, and any delays imposed by the insurer, claimants can build a compelling case and hold the insurer accountable for unreasonable delays. Additionally, seeking assistance from a knowledgeable attorney can provide invaluable support in navigating the complexities of the claims process and advocating for fair treatment.

Ultimately, by understanding the tactics employed by insurance companies and proactively addressing delays, injury victims can increase their chances of securing the compensation they rightfully deserve. Through perseverance and strategic advocacy, claimants can level the playing field and achieve a favorable outcome in their case.

Jonathan Rosenfeld, Owner and Attorney, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers

Ensure Well-Documented Medical Treatments

In my years at Prestizia Insurance, we’ve seen various tactics used by insurance companies to minimize payouts in injury cases. A common approach is to dispute the severity of the client’s injuries or argue that the injuries pre-existed the incident. This is often backed by requesting extensive medical records or employing their medical experts to undermine the claims.

Being on the side of providing coverage, I’ve learned the importance of robust documentation and proactive communication. Lawyers can effectively counter these tactics by ensuring that their clients’ medical treatments are well-documented and that any changes in condition are promptly reported and recorded. It’s also crucial to engage medical experts early who can provide independent evaluations to support the claim.

One particular case that stands out involved a client who was initially offered a settlement that barely covered their medical expenses. By working closely with the legal team, gathering comprehensive medical evidence, and preparing a detailed economic analysis of the future impact of the injuries, we helped achieve a much fairer settlement that accounted for the client’s long-term needs. This experience showed that thorough preparation and a strong emphasis on the full impact of injuries are key to countering attempts to minimize payouts.

John Crist, Managing Director, Prestizia Insurance

Prove Injuries with Medical Evidence

Insurance companies may dispute the severity of injuries to reduce payouts. Lawyers fight back by gathering comprehensive medical evidence and expert testimony. This builds a strong case, proving the injuries are real and directly caused by the incident, ultimately leading to a fair settlement for their client.

Nick Schrader, Insurance Agent, Texas General Insurance

Gather Compelling Evidence for Severity and Causation

As an injury lawyer, I’m well-versed in the tactics used by insurance companies to minimize payouts in injury cases. One of the most common strategies employed by insurers is to downplay the severity of injuries sustained by the plaintiff. They may argue that the injuries are pre-existing or unrelated to the accident, or they may dispute the extent of medical treatment required.

To effectively counter this tactic, injury lawyers must diligently gather and present compelling evidence to support the severity and causation of their client’s injuries. This includes obtaining comprehensive medical records, expert testimonies, and documentation of ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Additionally, lawyers can leverage their negotiation skills to advocate for fair compensation based on the true extent of their client’s injuries and losses.

By demonstrating the strength of the evidence and advocating assertively on behalf of their clients, lawyers can challenge the insurer’s attempts to minimize payouts and secure the maximum compensation deserved. At Garnett Patterson Injury Lawyers, we employ a strategic approach to counter insurance tactics, ensuring that our clients receive the full and fair compensation they are entitled to under the law.

Hunter Garnett, Personal Injury Lawyer and Managing Partner, Decatur Personal Injury Lawyers

In conclusion

Understanding the tactics used by insurance companies to minimize payouts in injury cases is essential for claimants seeking fair compensation. By recognizing these tactics and implementing effective countermeasures, individuals can level the playing field and protect their rights.

Legal Consulting Pro offers valuable paralegal services and legal expertise to assist claimants in countering these tactics effectively. With proactive strategies such as thorough documentation, expert negotiation, and diligent legal representation, claimants can navigate the complexities of injury cases with confidence.

It’s crucial for individuals to advocate for themselves and seek professional legal assistance when dealing with insurance companies. By partnering with experienced professionals and leveraging their expertise, claimants can maximize their chances of securing fair and just outcomes in injury cases.

At Legal Consulting Pro, we are committed to supporting claimants throughout the legal process and ensuring that their rights are protected. With our comprehensive paralegal services and dedicated legal team, we empower individuals to assertively pursue the compensation they deserve in injury cases.

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