This is supposed to be a simple process. Somebody hit you. Perhaps they were intoxicated, looking at their smartphone or just speeding. Whatever the case may be, it was their fault, and you suffered an injury because of it. Rightfully, you should not be on the hook for the associated medical bills, lost wages and other costs. The negligent party’s insurance should cover that. After all, isn’t that what auto insurance is for?
Unfortunately, car crash victims are often quick to learn that getting fair compensation is not as simple as the insurance company handing over a settlement. Claims are frequently denied or delayed without explanation. Sometimes, a settlement offer comes in, but it is not enough even to cover medical expenses, let alone other costs.
Insurance Companies Have Been Doing This For Decades
This year marks the 10-year anniversary of a CNN report that drew attention to the hardball tactics used by State Farm, Allstate and other car insurance providers. Particularly in cases involving minor injuries, insurers were shown to be extremely aggressive with their denials. Former insurance company employees went on record saying they had been encouraged to process claims fast and for as little money as possible, even going so far as to make $50 take-it-or-leave-it settlement offers to people who had been hurt in car wrecks.
So what has changed in the decade since this CNN report?
Unfortunately, there is not much evidence that insurance companies have made any dramatic changes. These businesses still seem to be doing their best to increase their profit margins by minimizing what they pay out in claims, often resorting to unfair tactics to get car crash victims to accept insufficient compensation.
Where does this leave victims? Those who have been hurt because of another driver’s negligence should be aware that they may be in for an uphill battle. However, as costly as medical care can be, it’s a battle worth fighting.