Insurance company commercials make it look like the claims process is easy and painless. Something bad happens, you call your agent, they magically appear and write you a check immediately. Too bad that life doesn’t imitate art.
I increasingly hear from clients that, “the insurance company has accepted liability.” Injury victims wonder why they even need a lawyer if that is true. Accepting liability is meaningless by itself.
There are two parts to any negligence claim: liability and damages. Accepting liability only means that the insurance company admits their insured was in the wrong. Damages means that the wrong caused you some harm. The insurance company can admit fault while still disputing the nature and extent of your injuries-no harm/no foul, in other words.
In fact, admitting fault often lulls injury victims into a false sense of security. Folks think that since the insurance company admitted fault, they are going to pay for the damages fairly. They don’t hire a lawyer to protect them, and they give the insurance company everything. This allows the insurance company to delay payment.
Why would an insurance company delay payment? Studies have shown that a certain percentage of claimants will never finish their case due to death, other injury or lack of interest. Delaying payment of the claim helps the insurance company save millions of dollars. A recent study on The Huffington Post, found that insurance companies intentionally delay claims and shortchange victims to maximize profits.
After you been injured, it is tough to ever recover all of your losses. Why should insurance companies profit while you lose?