Ever wondered what billion dollar insurance companies think about personal injury claims? At Bishop and Hayes P.C. in Springfield Missouri and Joplin Missouri we have spent the last 18 years dealing with insurance companies on our clients behalf who have been injured in an auto accident. What many people fail to realize is that an insurance company is a for-profit company, meaning that they are in business to make money. What causes them to lose money? Paying out full compensation that our injured clients deserve as a result of the policy holders negligence in an accident.
What Many People Do Not Know about Insurance Companies
In fact, many people do not realize that insurance companies spend millions of dollars each year on tort reform, meaning they are lobbying lawmakers to restrict and reduce the amount that gets paid out to injury victims. By definition a publicly traded company must do everything in their power to show profits to the shareholders.
The way insurance companies make money is by collecting premiums each month form their customers. While this is not the only way these companies make their money, it is their most effective source of revenue. From the revenue generated by these premiums they invest in the stock markets as well as other investment funds to generate even more capital. So like many of us, when the economy is in flux what do these billion dollar companies do? They pinch every possible penny to avoid quarterly losses. So they develop tactics employed by their adjusters to try and either refuse to pay your claim or offer you a settlement the grossly undervalues your injuries and the compensation you deserve.
Tactics Used by Insurance Companies to Pay You Less
Attorneys Brad Bishop and Tim Hayes have noticed recently that this is becoming even more of a problem in their recent injury cases. Recently we had a case where a woman was seriously injured when an SUV collided into her sedan. The at-fault drivers insurance tried to push her into making a recorded statement in which they were trying to have her admit a preexisting medical condition that would have completely damaged her ability to show current and future medical needs for this injury. They offered her 20% of what the final settlement was. Further the adjuster told her that she was wise to handle this herself as this was the most she was going to get, and if she hired legal representation she would just be costing herself 33% of the original offer. As injury law advocates, we unfortunately see this happen more and more.
The Insurance “Strategic Delay” Tactic
Another tactic that insurance companies are using is what we would like to call the “strategic delay”. From a cash flow perspective the longer an insurance can take from paying out the claim the longer they have to maximize their outside investments. The more capital they have to invest means the money more they make, so why would they ever rush to settle a claim? Answer, they don’t. In fact, the insurance company have legal protections that can delay a settlement payment for months, while the personal injury victims are still losing and have at times no means to afford the medical costs or other losses of income because of their injuries. Remember, these people never asked to be injured, they are the victims; if this does not sound fair, it shouldn’t because it is not. Also keep in mind that billion dollar insurance companies have a network of highly skilled and knowledgeable defense attorneys at their fingers, who are experts in the “strategic delay” tactic.
Insurance Companies Using Fear as a Tactic
Finally the insurance companies use fear. Injury victims are dealing with life-altering effects from their accident, they have lost limbs, serious head trauma, brain injuries, loss of a loved one, the in-ability to perform their jobs, mounting medical bills, etc. These people are in an emotional and physical state of shock, and the insurance companies know this. In our experience we have seen this used by insurance companies trying to get our clients not to file a claim, using the threat of insurance cancellation, or even worse yet, the emotional aspect of the damages it will cause the at-fault driver who might have hurt them accidentally, so the injured party does not want to cause undo harm to them.
The reality is that we have insurance for a reason, if something bad does happen, all parties are protected by our insurance policies, at least in a perfect world. Undo harm, or hurting someone who caused the accident, even if it was just that, an accident, is not going to cause them any harm other than the potential of raising their premium slightly in most cases. The decision of what is going to happen to the driver of their policy, getting dropped, higher costs, is decided by another department, well before any settlement or payment is reached.
Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Springfield MO and Joplin MO
At Bishop and Hayes P.C. Auto Injury Law is all we do. For over 15 years we have fought hand in hand with our clients against the insurance companies. In what can be a truly be an uphill battle we have the experience, resources and knowledge to fight and help you receive the full compensation you deserve.