A serious injury can often limit an individual’s ability to maintain gainful employment and live a happy life. For this reason, many injured people choose to quickly settle a personal injury claim with their insurance carrier so they can alleviate a certain degree of financial stress.
It is wise to remember, however, that the insurance company does not have the singular focus of protecting a policyholder’s best interests. They are, after all, a company that must remain profitable. This could mean delaying, devaluing or denying a claim. There are certain warning signs, however, that individuals can keep in mind while working through a personal injury claim, including:
- Did the settlement offer come too fast? In some instances, a settlement offer might seem too good to be true. In fact, the insurance carrier might be preying on an injured person’s desperation. The insurance company might attempt to close the claim before the policy holder does any additional research or gains a more thorough medical examination that could increase the value of the claim.
- Is the company pressuring a signature? Not only could they deliver a quick settlement, but the company might also exert pressure to sign and accept the agreement. Constant reminders, harsh deadlines or intimidation could all be signs that the insurance carrier is not acting in good faith.
- Does the settlement contain gaps in logic or inaccurate math? Another red flag centers on the wording of the settlement itself. Often, the insurance carrier will gloss over an explanation of benefits and omit details without clarifying how the company calculated the settlement.
- Was certain evidence dismissed or ignored? It is a red flag when the insurance carrier does not complete a thorough, timely investigation of the claim. It is not uncommon for the company to ignore or dismiss evidence in the case to devalue the claim.
- Did they seem to question the injuries? In an effort to reduce the settlement amount, the insurance carrier might question the injuries themselves. They might suggest the injuries are linked to pre-existing conditions or question the veracity of the medical examination.
Even a dedicated policyholder can find themselves at odds with an insurance carrier after a serious injury. Paying premiums for years or decades does not mean that an injured individual will be catered to in any fashion. After suffering a serious injury, people are encouraged to pay careful attention to the communication received from the insurance carrier and notice any red flags about the settlement.