Insurance companies rely on various settlement strategies to minimize the amount that they pay out to car accident victims. Unfortunately, if you agree to a settlement, it is very unlikely that you will be able to get out of any release you have signed. Even when the amount paid by the insurance company was insufficient. The temptation to accept a settlement offer is often great and it is common for insurance companies to offer low settlements to those who are in a financially needed position.
Unfortunately, insurance carriers often rely on this desperation and take advantage of it. One of the best ways to protect yourself from this kind of settlement tactics is by learning as much about these strategies as possible.
Language Commonly Used in Settlement Tactics
Insurance carriers tend to use a similar strategy as part of settlement tactics. Some examples of that carriers commonly employ include:
- Full and final payment or settlement
- Final settlement of any and all claims
- Release of all claims
If you understand that signing a paper will give up your right to make a claim. It is permissible to sign such a letter. Insurance carriers often expect that people will not speak to a lawyer before signing paperwork. Allstate Insurance Company has been found to provide legal advice to injured victims by telling them that they will receive less after hiring an attorney. The opposite has in fact been proven to be true.
Common Settlement Tactics Employed by Insurance Carriers
The settlement tactics utilized by insurance carriers often operate in the following way:
- The insurance carrier sends the car crash victim a check that appears to be a routine payment. Often, the compensation seems as if the carrier is willingly offering to pay compensation.
- The amount of compensation is much less than the total worth of a person’s accident claim. This check or release often includes some of the previously mentioned phrases.
- Believing that the company has no ulterior motive or improper intention, the victim cashes the check and signs the release. Due to the language utilized in the release, the victim unknowingly settles the case. It prevents them from making any future claims with the insurance carrier.
How to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Carrier Settlement Tactics
To protect yourself against strategies used by insurance carriers is to speak with an attorney before signing any papers. In fact, the earlier you speak with an attorney, the better. Remember, it is always better to be on the side of caution. Speak with an attorney before signing a release that prevents you from pursuing any additional amount in compensation. Additionally, it can help you to understand that if you failed to realize that the insurance carrier intended the check to be a settlement of your claim. It might be possible to “tender repayment” of the amount to the carrier within 90 days of receiving the settlement.
Speak With an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and have questions or concerns about navigating a settlement, you should not hesitate to speak with a knowledgeable car crash lawyer. Contact House Law LLC today to schedule a free case evaluation.