Just this week, Stephen Schultz, founding partner and personal injury lawyer at Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers obtained a $1 Million verdict for our client who had injured her back and neck in a crash.
Our client had been trying to settle with the insurance company for two years before hiring Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers. The defendant (the at-fault driver) admitted to being under the influence of sleeping pills at the time of the crash, so liability was clear. Still, the insurance company continued to delay payment.
One of the takeaways of this case is that, even in the cases of clear liability, the insurance company will do all they can to prevent themselves from paying up.
Insurance Company Delayed Settlement For Two Years
We’ve all seen those fun and friendly television commercials for auto insurance. Every company has a mascot who’s looking out for you. In reality, this billion dollar industry is interested in keeping a tight grip on their own wallet.
Yes, it is true that our client was dealing with another insurance company, not her own. Many expect that the other side’s insurer would avoid paying. But, (and this may not be surprising to some), many people go through similar situations when making a claim on their own insurance policy!
With any claim that comes into an insurance office, more often than not, the insurance company will “deny, delay, and defend” themselves from paying car accident victims – especially when the victim is not their client. They offer meager settlement proposals, or deny the claim altogether.
When The Insurance Company Doesn’t Pay Up
If you’ve been injured severely, you are likely missing work and facing huge medical bills. It’s reasonable for you to expect the insurance company to take care of you. There are certain ways of expediting the payment of your claim or convincing the insurance company to give a reasonable offer;
- Fill out forms carefully: if you miss a box or make a mistake, the insurance company will take advantage.
- Write letters or emails when communicating. This helps cut down any “he-said/she-said” arguments. Remember, most companies will record your phone calls. So they will have the conversation on file. If it benefits them, they’ll hold onto it. You’ll want to have the same security.
- Don’t cash checks from the insurance company right away. Make sure you have documentation so that it’s not interpreted as an agreement to the insurer’s decision.
- Involve a lawyer as soon as practicable. You might not even need a lawyer to represent you, but consultations at law firms are always free. Take advantage of any free information you can gather. You’d be surprised by how much you can learn from one phone call.
- Don’t give up. Perseverance pays off.
If you’re getting nowhere with your own insurance company, and you feel they are being unreasonable, consider filing a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance. If you think that your insurance company is using the “deny, delay, defend” strategy, we strongly recommend contacting an experienced attorney.
Our client spent two years trying to reach an agreement, but they would not listen. She knew she had to get a lawyer on her side.
St. Louis Personal Injury Lawyers
Every insurance company has an army of defense lawyers, ready to use their knowledge of the law to delay or deny payments. They will comb through paperwork looking for the slightest mistake or loophole that will save their company money. Meanwhile, the average claimant is going through the claims process for the first time.
You need a personal injury lawyer to go to bat for you. We have experience in these cases and are familiar with the insurance company tactics. Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers in particular isn’t afraid to take a case all the way to court if the situation warrants it.
This week, personal injury attorney and founding partner, Stephen Schultz took our client’s case to the St. Louis County Circuit Court and obtained a $1,000,000 verdict. If your insurance company is denying and delaying your claim, call Schultz & Myers Personal Injury Lawyers and let us fight for you.