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Winning Personal Injury Cases Against Insurer Bad Faith Tactics

Winning Personal Injury Cases Against Insurer Bad Faith Tactics

Personal Injury lawyer new york

Plaintiffs often assume that painful surgeries and medical treatments are the greatest challenges facing them after suffering serious injuries inflicted by a negligent defendant. Unfortunately, they’ll soon learn that the greatest threat of all is posed by deceitful insurance companies that rely on unethical practices to deny or manipulate even the most valid claims.

In fact, many well-known insurance companies often quickly deny most claims in hopes of maximizing company shareholder profits. This practice is especially disturbing when the defendant’s liability is clear, and the badly injured policyholder has an immediate need to keep receiving the best medical care available.

The following material reviews some of the most common ways that insurance companies try to defeat valid personal injury claims. While delay tactics can inflict the worst harm on a majority of accident victims, outright denial of many new claims has almost become an industry standard. Our experienced New York personal injury law firm is fully prepared to fight hard on your behalf to overcome all dishonest or compromising insurance company practices.

Contact our team at (212) 222-1111 for your free case evaluation.

The importance of immediate medical attention in personal injury claims

Even if you first think your accident injuries aren’t very serious, it’s wise to be fully evaluated and diagnosed in a hospital emergency room or critical care clinic. Unseen harm can often begin causing intense pain within a day or two. It’s also important to remember that nearly all of us experience a bit of shock right after suffering a bad fall, being hurt in a major car accident, or incurring a deep dog bite.

personal injury lawyer bronx So, if you’ll go get fully checked out right after your accident, you’ll be documenting the seriousness of all that you’ve suffered while possibly receiving crucial, preventive care.

Many Americans are always shocked to discover the extreme pain and discomfort that whiplash neck injuries can impose after 24 hours — along with fractured bones, or a dog bite that suddenly becomes seriously infected.

Just remember to never go straight home after sustaining any significant bodily damage.

How insurance companies delay personal injury claims

Despite our consistent efforts to obtain an early settlement of your case, we often encounter insurance company adjusters who greatly delay responses to our phone calls. Eventually, they may call back and say they still haven’t had time to finish investigating all your accident claims. Within another week or so, we’ll learn exactly how they’re trying to delay handling your case.

  1. The basic validity of your claim will likely be questioned while new stall tactics begin

Frequently, we’re told that you have no valid claim or that you’re not personally covered by the insurance policy in question. Even though these are often obvious delay tactics, we must document all arguments being made and carefully refute them. When insurance companies say they still haven’t received all your medical records (or all police or first responder accident reports), we may offer to send them copies.

  1. Lowball settlement offers will be offered in hopes you will give up and accept one

Once these stall tactics let up, we immediately begin advocating for a reasonable settlement offer. If we avoid taking their earliest offers, you can often do far better by waiting longer to resolve your case. Of course, going to trial never guarantees you success.

Always remember that it can often take two years to prepare most cases for trial. We will keep

you informed of all settlement offers that are tendered to us as time goes by. Hopefully, you’ll

receive a fair sum to cover all your lost income, medical treatment costs – and your pain and suffering.

The role of pre-existing injuries in personal injury cases

personal injury lawyer near me If you haven’t received an acceptable offer before trial, you can be sure that the insurance company lawyers will have thoroughly reviewed all your recent and older medical records. They will now probably start arguing that all your current medical injuries (or sources of pain) are directly attributable to prior injuries – or chronic medical conditions that you’ve been battling for years.

Hopefully, each of your doctors will have followed our advice and carefully noted in their records which of your current medical conditions can honestly be attributed to your most recent accident or injury. They should also have indicated how any past injuries have been clearly aggravated by your most recent accident or damaging event. At this point, both sides usually hire their own medical experts to try and refute all the medical conclusions reached by the other party’s examining or treating physicians.

As might be guessed, prior existing injuries frequently involve prior neck and back injuries, concussions, fractured bones, breathing difficulties, heart ailments, cancer, and all other chronic conditions like diabetes, depression, anxiety, and arthritis.

If you’ve been able to remain physically active in recent years (and have records that can document that fact) — despite your prior conditions or injuries — such evidence can help to greatly strengthen your case about the aggravating effect of the newest harm you’ve suffered.

How comparative negligence affects personal injury claims

One of the most common arguments that will be put forth if you were seriously hurt in a New York car or truck accident is that you personally either helped cause the damaging event – or failed to fully protect yourself. For example, the insurance company’s lawyers may claim that you were speeding at the time of the accident – or were not wearing a seatbelt, which increased all the harm you suffered.

Obviously, all accident reports will have to be carefully studied again and witness statements reevaluated to see if they offer enough proof to overcome the charges being made against you. While these tactics can seem overwhelming, your experienced attorney will be prepared to counter them with all the evidence we’ve gathered.

Should the trier of fact – either a judge or jury – be greatly persuaded by any arguments put forth indicating that you caused the accident, New York’s comparative negligence statutes will still likely allow you to recover some degree of compensation. However, if a former court ruling is made stating that you were just as culpable for causing your injuries as the defendant, you will likely not prevail in the case. Fortunately, many plaintiffs are often found either not responsible for causing any aspect of the damaging event – or they’re only assigned liability for a very small percentage of the harm suffered. They can then receive at least a modest verdict.

Contact our team at (212) 222-1111 for your free case evaluation.

How comparative negligence defenses can also be brought up in non-auto accident cases?

One common type of injury claim where a defendant’s lawyer may advance a comparative negligence defense involves premises liability cases. For example, let’s assume that you are a young woman who was walking from your parked car one night to your apartment when you fell into a deep pothole — or tripped and fell into an area littered with broken beer bottles. While the landlord had a duty to keep the area clean and well-lit, it turns out that all lighting was off, and the surface was covered with broken glass or had a hard-to-see pothole. Chances are that the defendant’s insurance company will quickly claim that your decision to wear high-heeled shoes directly contributed to your fall – rendering you comparatively negligent.

While that might at first sound like a valid comparative negligence argument, chances are that it will fail since it was highly probable and foreseeable that many residents might wear high-heeled shoes when going out at night. The real danger was simply the poorly maintained surface and the lack of adequate lighting.

Basic, generic ways that insurance companies often rush in to compromise new claims

  • If you don’t already have a lawyer, they may call and say that you have an obligation to provide them with a recorded statement about how you believe the accident took place.
  • They may ask you to sign a released statement – possibly summarizing how they believe the accident unfolded – in a manner that favors the defendant
  • During an early phone call, the company may strongly discourage you from hiring a lawyer — by claiming that doing so will wind up reducing what you personally receive.

These are just some of the more familiar, deceitful ways that some insurance companies try to compromise valid claims before an attorney has been hired. Be sure to never fall for any of them and immediately call us so we can help you evaluate your potential case.

The use of surveillance by insurance companies

To protect themselves, many property owners install extensive surveillance systems. This is just as likely in your local grocery store as it is in a remote part of a corporate parking garage. While activities caught on tape can sometimes defeat claims that an insurance defense lawyer says are frivolous, impartial witness statements can still help valid claims succeed where the visual evidence is unclear.

The importance of legal representation against insurance defense tactics

While some plaintiffs do choose to represent themselves when meeting with an insurance company adjustor, the fact remains that they will likely be subjected to intense pressure to immediately settle for a very small sum. Insurance companies spend large sums of money to train their adjustors to skillfully belittle all claims and use whatever psychological techniques they know to weaken a plaintiff’s resolve.

If you want a fair settlement amount, you will always need the help of trusted, well-established attorneys like those employed by our firm. We have the experience necessary to help you overcome the many unscrupulous insurance company practices still used today.

If you have suffered serious injuries after an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you need to contact our New York City personal injury accident law firm. We will carefully investigate all the facts of your case, review all your medical records, and then fight hard to win the maximum compensation available to you. We want every client to fully recover for all lost wages, pain and suffering, medical expenses, and other losses.

Contact our team at (212) 222-1111 for your free case evaluation.