Ways Insurance Companies Reduce What They Pay After a Car Accident | Kisling, Nestico & Redick
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Here are some common tactics insurance companies use to reduce payouts.
Written by
KNR Legal
Date posted
April 18, 2023

After a car accident, you may expect your situation to be handled by the at-fault driver’s insurance company. After all, you are only in this situation because their client caused your injuries or damaged your property.

Even if you think you have a cut-and-dry claim, that may not be the case. Learn more about insurance companies’ methods for avoiding or reducing payouts after car accidents.

Insurance Companies Tactics for Reducing Payments

Insurance companies are known to be reluctant or slow to make a settlement offer after a car accident. Insurance companies are for-profit institutions. They’re designed to make money for shareholders. They cannot make money if they’re paying every claim. If they don’t pay outright, they may attempt to pay slowly or reduce the amount they pay altogether. Some of their tactics include:

1. Insurance Companies might Dispute Liability

One of the easiest ways an insurance company can reduce what it owes a plaintiff is by reducing responsibility. If their policyholder didn’t cause the crash or wasn’t as responsible, the insurance company can argue that they don’t owe you money.

The insurers could argue that both drivers share fault for the crash, or they may blame other factors involved, including you.

2. Insurers Could Try to Minimize Damages

The insurance company may attempt to downplay how serious the car accident was. They could say the damages caused in the crash aren’t as severe as they appear or that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.

The insurance company might reduce the estimated total of your damages and injuries to make a lower offer or payment.

3. Insurance Companies Will Often Offer Lowball Settlements

Instead of fighting the process, some insurance companies may take the initiative and make you an offer quickly. In most cases, these offers will not be enough to cover your total damages or injuries. Insurers hope you’ll accept whatever’s offered so the case can be closed quickly. You should know that if you accept their money, you might lose the right to sue for further damages from the accident.

4. Insurance Companies Will Delay Payments

Insurance companies may drag their heels throughout the claims process, especially if they know a crash victim is struggling with bills, lost wages, or recovering from injuries. The company may take its time investigating the crash or processing the claim.

They’ll pressure you into accepting early offers by stalling the possible payment.

5. Insurance Companies Might Request Your Medical Records

Insurance companies could request your medical records to connect your injuries to the car accident. However, if they request your complete history, they could be looking for a preexisting condition to argue that their policyholder wasn’t the source of your injuries and you don’t have a claim to file against them.

You should talk to a personal injury attorney to determine the records connected to your case.

6. Insurance Companies Could Provide Misleading Information About the Law

Another tactic insurance companies may use to reduce payments or skip out on them altogether, is by blurring the law. In their role, you might expect insurance companies to have knowledge about insurance laws. While you might trust that they know the laws, take their advice with a grain of salt.

Insurance companies may use the general public’s vague knowledge of the law to argue that they don’t owe you as much. A personal injury attorney can provide a clear interpretation and tell you what the insurance company owes you.

7. An Insurance Company May Push You to Cease Medical Treatment

Although insurance companies might seem knowledgeable about medicine and the recovery process, they cannot tell you how you should seek treatment. If the insurer urges you to stop treatment, you could risk your legal and physical recovery. An insurance company might promise a payout if you stop treatment early, but stopping prematurely could mean you suffer unnecessarily.

It’s best to continue your treatments as you recover after a car accident and have a personal injury attorney help you talk to insurance companies.

8. An Insurance Company May Ask You Purposefully Misleading Questions

As for-profit institutions, insurance companies are designed to make money for shareholders. They won’t be able to do that if they’re paying settlements to crash accident victims. So they may try to take your words out of context or shift blame to you by asking tricky questions about the incident. They could use your words against you to reduce what they owe you after a crash.

It’s best to only speak with the insurance company with your attorney present. They can help you make clear statements that can’t be twisted against you later.

Get Help from an Ohio Car Accident Lawyer

The Ohio car accident attorneys at Kisling, Nestico & Redick have experience helping clients like you face off against insurance companies. We know how traumatizing car accidents can be and how challenging it can be to try and recover alone. The at-fault driver and their insurance company owe you for the damages and injuries they’ve caused.

We’re prepared to hear your story and understand that each case is unique. We can use our knowledge and experience working with insurance companies in the past to ensure you have the best chance at success in recovering the compensation you deserve.

Call 1-800-HURT-NOW or use our online form to get started.