Common Insurance Company Arguments - Part #1
This is the first of a three-part series on excuses used by insurance companies to avoid paying a fair and reasonable settlement. If you have been injured in a car accident insurance companies may try to defeat or diminish the value of your claim using some of these common arguments.
If you have been injured in a car accident insurance companies may try to defeat or diminish the value of your claim with a laundry list of arguments that include...
Using Your Medical History Against You
• The plaintiff* has a hearing or vision defect and wasn't wearing his glasses or hearing aid at the time of the accident.
• The plaintiff had other physical defects such as epilepsy, headaches, sickness, etc., which impaired his driving ability, perception, and reaction time.
Using Your Perceptions/Recollections Against You
• The plaintiff didn't notice the defendant until impact or immediately before impact and therefore was not paying attention.
• The plaintiff's recollection of time of day, accident timing, speeds, and distances are grossly inaccurate and indicate inattentiveness or incompetence in driving which diminishes his credibility.
• The plaintiff exaggerates the defendant's speed and other facts surrounding the accident which diminishes his credibility and makes him an unreliable or unbelievable witness.
• The plaintiff has difficulty describing events surrounding the accident in detail.
Blaming It The Condition of Your Vehicle
• Seat belts or other safety devices were available in the vehicle but not used by the plaintiff.
• There were equipment defects in the plaintiff’s vehicle: the tires were bald, brakes were not working, tail lights not working, turn signals not working, etc.
• The plaintiff's vehicle was not equipped with a headrest. seatbelts, a rearview mirror, or other safety devices.
Making You The Bad Guy & Blaming You For The Accident
• The plaintiff had prior warning of danger within a sufficient time to avoid the accident if he were paying attention.
• The plaintiff could have avoided the accident if he were not exceeding a safe speed for the road/weather conditions.
• The plaintiff made an unnecessary and unexpected stop.
• The plaintiff made an unsafe lane change without warning.
• The plaintiff gave no stop or turn signal.
• The plaintiff was backing up under circumstances and/or at a location where a reasonable person wouldn't have anticipated same or where it was difficult for defendant to see same.
• The plaintiff was not at/in the intersection first.
• If the plaintiff and the defendant were in the intersection at same time, the plaintiff was to the defendant's left, exceeding the speed limit, or was inattentive.
• The defendant was acting as any "reasonable person" would have. He was traveling at a safe speed for conditions and therefore was not negligent. The defendant’s actions were not a probable cause of the accident.
Remember that it is the insurance adjustor's job to find as many of these defenses and arguments as possible for the limited purposed of defeating or minimizing your claim. He will question you very carefully. Therefore, be very careful when speaking to the insurance adjustor!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Seattle personal injury attorney Christopher M. Davis is the managing partner of Davis Law Group. He brings over 15 years of practical yet innovative experience to personal injury cases. He practices law in Seattle, WA. You can learn more about Mr. Davis at http://www.InjuryTrialLawyer.com or at http://www.WashingtonAccidentBook.com.