7 Ways Insurance Companies Interfere with Personal Injury Lawsuits
Insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits frequently. Dealing with them can further complicate the already complex process of filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico. Unfortunately, insurance companies are not on the side of the victim in most personal injury cases. Their priority is to protect their bottom line, paying out as little as possible in damages.
In some extreme instances, insurance companies can interfere with resolution of a personal injury case if they feel the outcome isn’t in their best interest. In this blog, we discuss 7 ways insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits and how personal injury attorneys can help.
1 – Conducting Surveillance
Insurance companies can – and do – hire private investigators to dig up any dirt they can find on the victims of a personal injury lawsuit. They can look for information that discredits the claim. Victims might be followed and photographed, or video recorded in public places.
Private detectives also might seek out witnesses and interview them in the hopes of finding an eyewitness account to discredit a personal injury claim.
Although they’re working for the defendants in the case, private investigators still must follow a code of conduct established under New Mexico statutes. If a private investigator is harassing you or engaging in other unethical behavior, you can report them to the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.
2 – Denying or Delaying Claims
Another way insurance companies interfere with personal injury lawsuits is by denying or delaying claims. It’s a common tactic that’s intended to frustrate the victims, ultimately pressuring them into settling for less than their case is worth.
Insurance adjusters can dispute the severity of your injuries, who is at fault for the accident, and the amount in damages claimed as reasons for the hold up.
If someone else’s negligent behavior caused you serious harm, you have a right to fair compensation. Never talk to an insurance company for the at-fault party before consulting an attorney that specializes in personal injury lawsuits.
3 – Enacting Arbitration Clauses
Some insurance companies include arbitration clauses in their policies that require binding arbitration for settling disputes. They may try to apply these clauses as a means of delaying a personal injury claim against one of their policyholders.
However, if you’re not the policyholder, you can’t be forced into arbitration instead of taking your complaint to court. Third-party insurance claims aren’t subject to arbitration clauses, so if an insurance company tries to use this as justification for denying or delaying a claim, contact a personal injury attorney right away.
4 – Hiring Defense Attorneys
Victims aren’t the only ones who hire attorneys to protect their rights. Sometimes insurance companies hire defense attorneys that specialize in representing defendants of personal injury cases. These attorneys can request depositions and subpoenas, or file motions to challenge your case.
Even if none of these defensive moves ultimately succeed, the goal is to delay a settlement or court judgment on the claim. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to prevent insurance companies from using this delay tactic. Just make sure you have legal representation to protect your rights.
5 – Offering Lowball Settlements
One of the reasons most personal injury lawyers tell victims to never talk to the at-fault party’s insurance company is to protect them from lowball settlements. Insurance companies try to convince you to take less than an amount that fully compensates you for your injuries and losses because it’s what’s best for them.
Sometimes if you refuse a proposed settlement, insurance companies may try to pressure you to change your mind by saying it’s a one-time offer. They may threaten that you can take it or leave it, but you won’t get another offer later if you refuse it.
Accepting a lowball offer is tempting, but don’t fall for this trick. You can end up with unpaid medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses that cause you financial hardship.
6 – Requesting Medical Examinations
Insurance companies can request that victims undergo a medical exam by a doctor of their choosing. Even if you’ve already had medical treatment for your injuries by your primary care doctor or in an emergency room, they can still request their own evaluation.
What they’re trying to do is create reasonable doubt that the at-fault party caused your injuries, or that your injuries aren’t as severe as you’re claiming. Their medical examiner might look for a pre-existing condition they can blame on your injuries, or dispute that your injuries were caused by the accident.
7 – Using Social Media Against Victims
Insurance companies might monitor your social media accounts looking for information they can use to challenge your personal injury lawsuit. For instance, they might try to use photos they find of you engaging in certain activities that are inconsistent with your injury claims.
Even if you think your social media is set to private, insurance companies can gain access to your accounts by requesting it from the courts.
Protect Yourself from Insurance Company Interference
Protect yourself from insurance company interference by working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can protect your best interests. Schedule your free case evaluation today by calling 505-218-7844 or contacting us online.