5 Secrets Insurance Companies Don’t Want You to Know
We’ve all seen the insurance commercials overflowing with compassionate agents, catchy slogans, and talking lizards. Insurance companies spend millions every year in advertising. According to an insurance report, GEICO spent $1.2 billion, Allstate spent at least $900 million, and State Farm spent $800 million on advertising alone in 2013. Yet while the advertisements and catchy songs try to convince us that these insurance companies are “on our side” after an accident, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Insurance companies have one main objective – to make money for their shareholders. And they do this by trying to pay as little as possible to their policyholders after an accident. They even make the claims process difficult and time consuming so accident victims are frustrated enough to settle early. They often use a tough “take it or leave it” approach even with their own policyholders and they pressure accident victims to settle quickly for far less than they need and deserve.
When this occurs, accident victims need an experienced and skilled Colorado accident lawyer on their side to protect their rights and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. At McDivitt Law Firm, our lawyers know all the tricks the insurance companies use to reduce settlements and we know the secrets they DON’T want you to know.
Formal Statements can be Traps
After your accident, the insurance company will want to contact you and have you make a formal statement. While they may sound like they are simply investigating your accident, the truth is that they are looking for any reason to deny your claim or reduce your payout. This formal statement can be done over the phone with a claims adjuster and it should be approached with caution. Remember, what you say will be on your record and could limit your claim. As such, you have every right to contact an attorney prior to making a formal statement or speaking with the claims adjuster.
First Settlement Offers are often Too Low
Insurance companies want you to accept their first offer. That’s why they start with a low dollar amount and they pressure you into accepting this quickly. Never accept their first offer without first speaking to an attorney. Even if the insurance adjuster says that this is your best and is a final offer – this is not true and an attorney can likely negotiate a much higher settlement amount. Don’t be persuaded into signing the first offer.
Release Forms Can Wreck Your Case
Insurance companies often insist that they can’t cut you a check unless you sign a release form. This gives up your right to pursue additional claims and get further compensation for your injuries. Most injured accident victims are quick to sign these release forms because they need their money fast to pay for mounting medical bills. Unfortunately, this can be devastating, especially when accident victims later realize that more money is needed to continue recovering from their injuries. Never sign a release form without consulting with an attorney. The terms of your release can potentially wreck your case and prevent you from obtaining further compensation – even from other parties.
Insurance Companies Must Act in Good Faith
They don’t want you to know it, but insurance companies are required by law to act in good faith. They are required to uphold insurance contracts and pay policyholders in a timely fashion. They must also act in their policyholders’ best interest and NOT their own. If they engage in bad faith practices, they can be held accountable. Unfortunately, many insurance companies regularly push boundaries and engage in bad faith practices. When this occurs, your lawyer can file a lawsuit against the insurance company and hold their feet to the fire.
Hiring an Attorney Can Increase Your Settlement
Insurance companies want to settle quickly because they don’t want accident victims to seek legal representation. Why? It’s simple. Accident victims who retain a lawyer are more likely to obtain significantly higher settlements than those who do not. According to data from the Insurance Research Council, accident victims who were represented by an attorney received almost 3 and a half times more money than those without an attorney! It is always in your best interest to review your case with an experienced car accident lawyer. At McDivitt Law Firm, we offer all our services on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t owe us a dime unless we can win your case! We do this because we believe that everyone deserves justice – not just those who can afford it.
We’re There When You Need Us
If you are injured in a car accident in Denver, Aurora, Boulder, Colorado Springs, or anywhere in the state of Colorado, you need a law firm that can achieve favorable results quickly. At McDivitt Law Firm, we have offices conveniently located throughout Greater Colorado. With offices in Downtown Colorado Springs, North Colorado Springs, Denver, Aurora, and Pueblo, our attorneys are ready to assist you at a moment’s notice.
After a car accident, it is important to know that the law is on your side. Contact the McDivitt Law Firm car accident lawyers today at Colorado Springs 719-471-3700, Denver 303-426-4878, or Pueblo 719-542-3700. We offer free consultations, so you can better understand your rights and options. Call us today!Back to the Blog