Common Tactics Insurance Carriers in New Jersey Use to Minimize Payouts
- January 01, 2022
We like to think our insurance is there to protect us, and while that may be somewhat true, the fact of the matter is that insurance carriers are businesses. For many, their primary goal is to maximize profits and minimize expenses—and that means minimizing payouts, especially to third parties. If you’re injured by another driver or on someone else’s property, their insurance carrier will likely use many different tactics to try to minimize their payout to you. In some cases, they’ll do their best to avoid paying you anything. Here are some common strategies we’ve seen insurers use, and how we can help you combat these attempts to deny you what you’re owed.
Delay Until the Statute of Limitations Expires
If it feels like you’re being strung along and they’re constantly delaying a decision on your claim, it’s probably because they are. All injury cases and other types of legal action have a time window in which you can file a case; this is called the statute of limitations, and once that window closes, you no longer have legal recourse to pursue compensation. So, oftentimes, insurance carriers will string a claim along until that statute of limitations expires. Then, they’ll deny your claim, and you’re left without any legal options to attempt to receive compensation.
We encourage all claimants to be aware of the statute of limitations for their specific type of case. For personal injuries (e.g., slip-and-fall accidents, auto accident injuries, dog bites, etc.), New Jersey has a two-year statute of limitations, from the date the injury occurred. While it’s normal for insurance claims to take time to process, if your claim has been strung along, again and again, it’s important you file your legal case before the two-year anniversary of your injury passes.
Deny the Insured Party’s Liability
It’s a tactic you’ve probably seen from kids again and again: Blame someone else. Insurance carriers will look at every loophole and exception they can to try to deny that the party they insure is responsible for your injury. The burden of proof in a personal injury claim lies with the injured party (that’s you), so the insurance carrier may try to find any gaps in your evidence and deny that their client was responsible.
For example, if you slipped and fell at a store because there was a slick floor without a sign, the insurer might question whether or not there actually was a sign. If you don’t have photographic evidence, witnesses, or some other record that proves there wasn’t a “Wet Floor” sign in place, they’ll try to deny that the injury was the store’s fault.
Diminish the Extent of Your Injuries
You might think that the extent of your injuries and the costs associated with them are fairly obvious. After all, you have medical records and bills to prove your injuries. Insurance carriers, however, may still use tricks to diminish the extent and severity of your injuries. For example, they might try to claim that your back pain is from a pre-existing condition or a past accident. Or, they might state that you waited too long to file your injury claim, and your health issues were exacerbated by the delay.
If you don’t have medical records proving your injury, we strongly encourage you to see a doctor as soon as possible; waiting to be examined and receive treatment can result in the same tactic of claiming your problem was worsened by your procrastination. Additionally, without those medical records, the insurance carrier has more grounds on which to claim your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Make a Low Settlement Offer
Insurance carriers are counting on the fact that you will accept any payout they offer. They will offer the bare minimum settlement amount they believe you’ll take. When this happens, you might feel blindsided by just how little they believe you deserve; and, you might feel like you have no other option but to accept it. That’s exactly what the insurer is counting on. You do have legal recourse, and if you’ve been low-balled on your settlement, you have the right to pursue a personal injury case.
How We Can Help
We’ve seen these tactics used by insurance carriers again and again—with our clients and in our own personal injury cases. We understand the frustration you’re experiencing at having your claim delayed, denied, and diminished again and again. At Selem Antonucci Law, we know how to take on big insurance carriers and ensure you get the settlement you deserve. With an attorney at your side, insurance companies are much less likely to string you along and take advantage of you. Contact us today for a consultation on your personal injury case.