What You Need to Know about Liability Insurance
Nobody likes a fender bender, let alone an accident involving serious injuries. But car wrecks happen all the time and the motor vehicle insurance insuring against the liability of the at-fault driver is supposed to pay for any damages to the vehicles as well as for any injuries to you. The liability insurance company cannot be implicitly trusted to have your best interest at heart because of the following reasons.
The Truth About Insurance Companies
- Insurance companies are in business to earn a profit from the money they are paid in insurance premiums. Fundamentally, premiums are income and claims paid are expenses. It is simple math; the smaller the expenses, the more the income. Insurance companies are owned by shareholders who invest for income.
- Insurance companies want to hold onto their cash as long as possible and this is true regardless of who is to blame for the collision. Premiums are collected on the front end, but claims are paid on the back end. In the middle, the premium income is invested. The longer the money is held before claim payment, the more investment income (interest and dividends) the insurance company makes.
- Insurance companies make more money by paying less in claims. It’s just business to them. The goal is to pay you as little as is legal. And, an insurance company will do whatever is “legal” to pay you as little as possible.
It is NOT Illegal for Insurance Companies To:
- Wait until you have requested all the compensation to which you are entitled.
- Wait until you have figured out the applicable law under which you are entitled to recover money from that insurance company.
- Wait until you have presented proof of each and every element of damage you are seeking.
- Pay you nothing at all until it gets every single element of the claim approved so that the whole claim can be settled and a release agreement is signed.
- NOT tell you about legal advantages that are due the claimant, such as “the made whole doctrine.”
- NOT tell you that certain medical liens and/or insurance subrogation liens are unenforceable.
- NOT tell you that you have the right to negotiate reductions in enforceable medical expenses and subrogation liens.
- NOT tell you that certain claim expenses are subject to payment by other insurance coverages at a lower rate than demanded by the service provider.
- Legally string you out so long that you are in a cash flow bind and have to accept less than you are actually entitled to receive.
The Insurance Adjuster:
- Does not have to tell something that is in your best interest or to tell you that his or her first duty is to the insurance company and not to you.
- An insurance adjuster can be a “nice” person who has treated you in a “nice” manner but still not have a duty to tell you what is actually in your best interest.
- Insurance adjusters have no affirmative duty to help you beyond receiving information and questions from you, and can simply choose to NOT lie but also NOT tell you what claim adjustment strategy is in your best interest.
Do not be tricked or trapped. The insurance company and the insurance adjuster are going to perform their legal duty – which is owed to the owners of the insurance company. If you have been injured by the fault of another, the only way you will have an advocate on your side with an affirmative duty owed to you is to engage the services of an injury lawyer.
The ethical duty of an injury lawyer is to “represent [you] zealously within the bounds of the law.”
Things to do after a collision causing you to be injured by the fault of another:
- Call Rainwater Holt Sexton. We are Arkansas’ largest personal injury law firm. We are dedicated to helping any person injured by the fault of another. We are zealous advocates for those wrongfully injured. We will work to get all the bills paid and maximize the money that goes into our client’s pocket.
- Do NOT trust the adjuster, subjectively. The adjuster works for the insurance company. While he or she may seem like a nice person who wants to help, his or her ultimate loyalty is to ensure the insurance company pays you as little money as possible. Since the adjuster is NOT working for you, the insurance adjuster can actually be called as a witness to testify against you – telling a judge of the facts that you have told the adjuster. Be very careful. Words taken out of context can be misleading and not represent the whole truth.
- Assume all your communications with the insurance adjuster will be recorded. Insurance companies often try to take recorded statements from the parties involved. If your statement is recorded, they may try to twist pieces of your statement against you. In general, other than reporting the accident to the insurance company on a timely basis, it is always best to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer and have the lawyer do the communicating with the insurance companies on your behalf.
- Don’t be afraid to tell the insurance company you will go to court Actually, about 90% of all claims are settled by agreement with no lawsuit ever being filed. While nobody wants stress of having to take a claim to court, it is advisable that you start out the claim process with the I-will-go-to-court-if-I-have-to mindset. This is a benefit of being represented by an experience personal injury lawyer. The insurance company will know up front that you will insist on a fair offer. Our firm represents injured persons on a contingent fee basis, which means that you will owe us nothing unless we recover money for you. The insurance industries own statistics tell us that the presence of an experienced injury lawyer can loosen the insurance company’s purse strings and make it more willing to settle for a reasonable amount.
If you’ve been injured by the fault of another, let Rainwater Holt & Sexton Injury Lawyers help you weather the storm!!