If you’re hurt in an Ohio car accident and need to request compensation for your losses, you probably assume that the responsible motorist’s insurance company will handle your claim promptly. However, even if the circumstances surrounding the incident seem clear, you may be disappointed to receive a rejection or low offer that doesn’t cover your damages. AAA auto insurance accident claims can be particularly challenging, which is why retaining representation from an experienced Ohio insurance claim lawyer is critical.
Though all insurance companies in Ohio have a duty to pay valid claims for injuries, many skirt their legal obligations in the interest of profits, including AAA Insurance. In some situations, this conduct amounts to bad faith. Our bad faith insurance lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are committed to enforcing your rights and confirming insurers comply with state law.
Please call 1-800-HURT-NOW to schedule a free case evaluation, or reach out via our online form.
Historical Overview of AAA
Established in 1902, the American Automobile Association (AAA) is one of the oldest insurers in the United States. Organized as a federation of regional motor clubs, the company includes the AAA East Central, which serves several counties in Ohio. Though its record on environmental advocacy and conservation efforts are admirable, the company has received complaints from victims who suffer injuries in car accidents. Some of these issues may be due to not following proper procedures for filing a claim, which generally involves:
- Filling out the necessary forms
- Providing documentation that demonstrates the policyholder’s fault in the crash
- Including all medical records and paperwork related to injuries
- Presenting any other information relevant to the claim
Still, many victims run into roadblocks even when they fully comply with every step and supply necessary paperwork. In fact, a Consumer Reports survey reveals that up to 26 percent of claimants experienced problems in filing AAA auto insurance accident claims.
An Insurance Company’s Approach to Injury Claims
The statistics on AAA’s claims-related issues are not so surprising once you realize how insurers operate. These companies are businesses, and their success directly ties to profits. They view your claim for compensation as a threat to their bottom line. Employees are instructed to find reasons to reject your claim or offer a low-ball settlement, so they may:
- Dispute your version of what happened in the collision
- Present evidence that absolves their own policyholder of fault
- Question your injuries and treatment
- Tell you that your best option is to take a settlement, since going to court is expensive and time-consuming
- Engage in other tactics, some of which may border on bad faith by an insurance company
Insurance Companies and Comparative Negligence
Insurance company representatives are notorious for attempting to place the blame on you for the crash. This strategy stems from Ohio’s comparative negligence law, which provides that victims can only recover compensation if their fault is not greater than that of the person they’re claiming was negligent. In other words, you are barred from receiving any monetary damages if you were 50.1 percent or more blameworthy in the motor vehicle crash. Plus, when you’re less than 50 percent at-fault in the collision, your recovery is reduced by the percentage of negligence attributable to you.
For instance, you may be entitled to $50,000 for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other monetary damages. However, there is evidence that you were 10 percent responsible for causing the auto accident. Your award is reduced by $5,000, so you may recover $45,000.
Though Ohio’s comparative negligence statute applies to car accident cases that go to trial, insurance agents will raise the issue of your own conduct when handling your claim. Examples include allegations that:
- You failed to yield at a stop sign, even though the other driver was speeding
- You were speeding a few miles over the posted limit, but the other motorist was driving drunk
- You were following too closely, but only because the driver improperly changed lanes into traffic
An insurance company may try to convince you that you don’t have a valid claim under these and other scenarios, and that you stand to recover nothing if you take the case to court.
Facing Challenges with AAA Auto Insurance Accident Claims? Our Ohio Insurance Bad Faith Lawyers Can Help
When you understand how insurance companies like AAA approach your claim for compensation, you can see the value in having an experienced attorney on your side. Our insurance bad faith lawyers at Kisling, Nestico & Redick are the skilled advocates you need to protect your interests in AAA auto insurance accident claims. We’re also prepared to take the case to court if necessary to fight for your rights.
Please contact us at 1-800-HURT-NOW, or visit us online to schedule a no-cost consultation today.