Advanced Insurance Company Tactics: Experts Witnesses And Cutthroat Negotiations
Insurance companies will use every trick in the book When trying to deny paying injured victims of car accidents their fair share of compensation. This article dives deeper into some tools that they will often seek to use against you and your claim. Including:
- How insurance companies will use their experts and undermine yours (and one easy trick to beat them).
- Two underhanded but highly effective tactics used by insurance companies during settlement negotiations.
- The perverse incentive that guides insurance company behavior and how to overcome it.
How Do Insurance Companies Utilize Expert Witnesses To Bolster Their Defense In Car Accident Cases?
When trying to win their case and deny or limit your personal injury claim after an accident, if the case gets to court, the expert witness is one of the key weapons in any insurance company’s arsenal. And when it comes to experts, insurance companies will hire serious muscle.
Their experts will be paid very well (often more than a thousand dollars an hour) to quickly review some records, maybe see you for about 15 minutes, and then say that you are not hurt or not as badly. They will say everything your treating physicians (who have examined and treated you over a long period) have said is wrong. Basically, they are paid to say that you are not hurt.
Thus, litigation often becomes a battle of the experts. The treating physician will say that you are hurt and that you have a permanent injury. The defense is going to say, well, maybe you are hurt, but the injury is not permanent or is no big deal. Their experts will try to undermine what you are asking for in compensation. And basically, they cancel each other out.
How To Win The Battle Of The Experts In Personal Injury Claim Litigation?
In order to break that tie and win the battle of the experts, you must employ two key strategies. First, it is extremely important to bring in lay witnesses. Lay witnesses are your coworkers, family members, friends, and pastors. They are people in your life who can talk about the value of what has been taken from you in terms of harm and losses.
These lay witnesses can talk about what you were like before the crash, what you were like during the crash and recovery, and then what you are like now. You can bring several of these people in, and then the jury is left wondering if it is even possible that all these seemingly ordinary people are not telling the truth. And usually, they come to the conclusion that you are telling the truth. However, the insurance companies will use highly paid experts who will have credentials and a resume as long as their arm. And oftentimes, all they do is testify for the defense.
Another tactic that can be quite effective is hiring some of those defense doctors or witnesses to help your case. In any trial, as part of the cross-examination, the witness will be asked how often they have testified for the plaintiff or the defense. And most of the defense witnesses will say, honestly, that they testify mostly for the defense.
Well, if you can have even a single defense doctor on your side, someone who usually testifies mostly for the defense but this time says that you truly are hurt, then you have eliminated that potential defense that they can use against you. At the same time, you avoid another pitfall by having a doctor who is a little bit more conservative than others because sometimes plaintiff doctors are just as bad, biased, and mercenary as defense doctors.
Do not be afraid of a fight; just make sure it is fair. So, usually, you will be best off with the fairest doctor, who will also generally return higher numbers and higher verdicts because they are more believable, and in a jury trial, it is often a race to the truth.
Is It Possible To Resolve A Personal Injury Claim With An Insurance Company Without Expensive Litigation?
Not all battles are won in court. In fact, most personal injury complaints will be resolved via settlement. In other words, in an agreement between both sides.
Once you reach maximum medical improvement, meaning your recovery is as good as it is going to get, your attorney will send a settlement opportunity package to the insurance company. This will contain all the medical records, the billing, descriptions of your injuries, and all the harms, losses, current expenses, and anticipated future expenses. Basically, it contains all the damages that you have suffered. And there will be a number attached to it, an initial negotiation amount.
Then, the insurance company will review all of the records and files and return with a different number, which starts the negotiation process. It will go back and forth, with your lawyers starting high and defense lawyers starting low. The idea is to meet somewhere in the middle that makes sense for both parties.
How Do Insurance Companies Negotiate Settlements To Minimize Payout In Car Accident Cases?
Unfortunately, insurance companies will try to gain unfair leverage over you with tactics like time delays. They hold the money and hope that by delaying the case, you will lose your will to continue and just take some of the money because you need it. Since you may not have been working or have expensive medical bills to pay, sometimes it is not worth the fight.
Moving forward with litigation is often a daunting experience, especially for most people who have never been through it before. Your attorney will, of course, be there holding your hand and guiding you through it, but litigation is not something that is enjoyable for most people. Unfortunately, the insurance companies know that, and the longer they can delay the settlement, the more they can sap the client’s will or soul and get them to accept less than what the case is worth. Sometimes much less.
Another way that they will attempt to minimize payment is with tactics meant to belittle your injuries. By pointing out pre-existing conditions or an aggravation, arguing that someone with less than perfect health deserves less compensation is simply not the case.
Every once in a while (but not often), you will see an insurance company that will negotiate in good faith, but their job is still to pay you as little as possible. Of course, they will never admit that, especially not to you, but that is their reality. They are in the business of making a profit by holding on to as much money for as long as they can and keeping it out of the hands of those who are injured. This is why you always need a lawyer to fight on your side and genuinely represent your interests in the case.
For more information on Using Expert Witnesses And Negotiation Tactics In Personal Injury Claims, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (954) 546-7608 today.