If you watch even a small amount of television these days, you’ve seen the endless insurance company commercials. The insurance industry uses everything from sport stars, cartoons, talking lizards, to catchy slogans to entice new customers.
According to a recent insurance industry report, GEICO spent $1.2 billion (with a “b”) alone in advertising dollars in one year. Allstate, State Farm and Progressive are right behind spending nearly a combined $3 billion in one year of advertising.
Many of the ad themes involve phrases such as “like a good neighbor,” or similar messaging to convince the public that these insurance companies have your best interest in mind. Yet while the advertisements and catchy songs try to convince us that these insurance companies are “on our side” after an accident, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Insurance companies have one main objective – to make money for their owners or shareholders. I have counseled hundreds of injured people who come to me with stories of low-ball tactics and adjusters purposely making the claims process difficult and time consuming. I’ve represented people who experienced adjusters showing up at their house on Christmas eve trying to get them to take a low ball offer. They often use a tough “take it or leave it” approach even with their own policyholders and they pressure accident victims to settle quickly for far less than they need and deserve.
When this occurs, accident victims need an experienced and skilled Kentucky personal injury lawyer to protect their rights and negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company.
Beware of these common insurance industry tactics:
1. Recorded statements can be traps
Following an accident, the insurance company will most likely ask you to give a statement which is usually recorded over the phone. While this may seem innocent enough, it is often a trap and will be used to deny your claim.
2. First settlement offers are purposely too low
Insurance companies almost always try and settle cases quick and cheap. This increases their profit margin and reduces the likelihood the insured victim will seek legal advice.
3. Release forms and checks can ruin your case
Never sign anything without full knowledge of its implications. Even property damage releases and payments can cut off your right to collect for your injuries. Be careful and vigilant.
4. The insurance industry knows hiring a lawyer will increase your settlement
The insurance industry itself conducted research proving that accident victims who hire an experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer received almost 3 and a half times more money than those who go it alone.
5. Kentucky law requires insurance companies to negotiate in good faith
We are fortunate in Kentucky to have a law called the Kentucky Unfair Claims Practices Act. While the public may not know their rights under this law, an experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer will insure that the insurance company handles your case in compliance with the law in order to protect your interests.
Christopher W. Goode, is a national recognized trial attorney and founder of Goode Law Office PLC. While his practice is diverse, he is committed to only representing injured individuals from automobile collisions to nursing home neglect and abuse to product liability claims. He is a past president of the Fayette County Bar Association and is a frequent speaker on legal topics. Chris currently serves as a District Vice President for the Kentucky Justice Association. He can be reached at [email protected] or www.goodelawyers.com.