Car wreck statistics from the Alabama Department of Public Safety reveal that 127,683 vehicle-related accidents occurred in the state during 2011, meaning a motor vehicle accident was reported every four minutes. As a result of these accidents, drivers, passengers and pedestrians sustained more than 38,017 injuries, and 899 people lost their lives.

Car accidents typically involve carelessness by drivers. Alabama law protects the legal right to obtain compensation for personal injuries sustained as a result of negligent driving. However, obtaining full and fair compensation can be difficult when dealing with car insurance companies.

Common Car Insurance Practices: Deny and Delay

Car insurance companies are known for taking steps to minimize the amounts they pay on policies. Many insurance providers will do whatever it takes to nullify a claim or make it less valuable. Some common tactics include: pressuring a claimant to settle early, often at an amount far less than the true value of a claim (especially when injuries are unresolved); taking a statement of a claimant and trying to use the statement against the claimant at a later time; looking for ways to deny coverage under the terms of the policy; aggressively denying liability of its insured driver as a negotiating ploy to limit payments; and contesting medical treatments.

Some auto insurance companies go so far as to violate laws barring “bad faith” insurance practices. Insurance companies are required by law to act in good faith and uphold the terms of its insurance policies, but not all do.

Bad faith insurance practices include:

  • Failing to promptly acknowledge receipt of a covered claim
  • Neglecting to confirm or deny coverage within a reasonable period of time
  • Denying coverage without reason
  • Intentionally withholding information beneficial to the claimant
  • Advising a claimant not to obtain legal representation

Hiring a skilled car accident attorney can help you obtain full and fair compensation for your injuries

Hiring an attorney will dramatically increase your chances of being able to maximize the financial compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim. A skilled car accident attorney can help you deal with the pressure from an insurance company to settle early, particularly when your injuries are not fully resolved and long-term expenses have yet to be determined.

With an attorney on your side, you will have an aggressive advocate who knows the ins and outs of working with insurance company representatives, and who will help you fight instances of insurance bad faith. Once you retain legal counsel, your attorney will obtain the critical supporting data for your claim, including medical records. Your attorney will gather evidence to help establish liability so you are able to recover the compensation you truly deserve.

When you hire an attorney to handle your personal injury case, you are far more likely to maximize the compensation you receive than if you attempt to file a claim on your own, including factoring in attorney’s fees. A 1999 study from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) indicates settlements for injury victims were 40 percent higher with attorney representation than without.

Sources:
Alabama Department of Public Safety 2011 Traffic Crash Facts

Staff (63 Posts)