Common Insurance Company Arguments - Part #2
This is the second in 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 read part one of this three-part series then you are already familiar with some of the excuses that insurance companies will use to deny, delay, or diminish your car accident claim. But there are even more arguments that the insurance company will use against you.
Shifting The Blame to Some Other Cause
• An act of God or unknown person was responsible for the accident.
• The accident was "unavoidable."
• There was an "emergency" that excused the defendant's negligence.
"Nobody Knows For Sure"
• No independent witness was found who could corroborate the plaintiff's version of the accident.
• A witness cannot be found (plaintiff, not defendant has legal duty to prove by a "preponderance of the evidence" each element of his case.)
• The witnesses dispute the plaintiff's version of the facts or substantiate the defendant's version.
• The physical evidence (lights. brakes. tires. etc.) was lost and it was necessary to have it examined by an expert to substantiate the plaintiff's version of the facts.
• The investigating police officer made errors in his report or erroneous conclusions that dispute the plaintiff's version of accident.
• The plaintiff did not obtain the services of an expert to substantiate the negligence of the defendant.
• The police was not called to the scene (inferring that it was just a minor accident).
Claiming That You Are Not Really Injured and/or Minimizing Injuries
• There was no complaint of pain at scene of accident by plaintiff.
• There is nothing in the police report to indicate that the plaintiff complained of pain at the accident scene.
• There were no physical signs or injury at scene of accident like cuts, bruises, etc.
• The plaintiff did not request an ambulance.
• The plaintiff did not go to the emergency room on the day of the accident or in the day following the accident.
• The plaintiff told the defendant or other people at the scene that he felt "Ok."
• The plaintiff made a statement to the insurance company that he was not injured in the accident.
• The plaintiff received no treatment for several days following the accident.
• There is no medical opinion substantiating medical causation between the accident and the plaintiff's physical or subjective complaints.
• Shortly after the accident, the plaintiff's physical/health condition returned to "normal" i.e. what it was prior to the accident
• The plaintiff's complaints to his doctor were minimal.
• According to medical records the plaintiff exaggerates complaints related to the accident.
• According to medical records the plaintiff's complaints to his doctor were bizarre, exaggerated, and lengthy.
• According to medical records the plaintiff's complaints to one doctor differ from his complaints to other doctor(s).
• The plaintiff had full range of motion at the medical examination.
• The plaintiff was observed moving normally and without pain.
• The plaintiff's family doctor's opinion is that the injuries are minimal. The doctor did not prescribe physical therapy or any other treatment.
• The plaintiff did not see his regular doctor again.
• The plaintiff's injuries are totally "subjective". i.e., no indication of injury from x-rays, orthopedic tests or observation.
• The plaintiff received minimal treatment for a minimal time period after the accident.
• The plaintiff saw a chiropractor after the accident and not a "real" doctor (i.e., M.D.)
• The plaintiff only received chiropractic care and massage after the accident.
• The plaintiff has a psychological condition instead of an injury.
• The plaintiff is malingering, or the plaintiff's subjective complaints are not supported by objective findings of injury.
• The plaintiff was examined by a doctor recommended by the insurance company ("independent" medical exam) soon after the accident and was found to be uninjured and not in need of any treatment.
• The plaintiff had a chronic injury or condition as documented in the past medical records or she has unrelated medical problems as such as arthritis or congenital.
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.