Why Insurance Companies Put off Settling Texas Auto Accident Claims

If you’ve done much reading about how insurance companies work when it comes to settling a car accident claim or personal injury claim, you probably ran across (excellent) advice not to settle quickly. Many experienced personal injury attorneys point out the first offer you get isn’t necessarily a fair one.

Sometimes insurance companies want you accept their offer quickly, before you have time to think things through or talk to an attorney. They might hope you don’t notice lasting or delayed-onset health repercussions. They might act like their offer is the best you can hope for and it’s only available for a limited time to make you feel even more pressured.

Or, they might delay. They might drag their feet. When you check on your claim, all you might hear is crickets. You might get excuses, like the adjuster is out of town, they haven’t yet heard back from their insured or some other runaround. But why do they do it?

Does it mean you might not have a claim after all? Are they just hoping you’ll go away? Or is there some other reason they’re putting off settling your Texas auto accident claim?

It’s a Common Pressure Tactic

The easiest thing to do is nothing. When insurance companies stall, that puts all the pressure on you.

You’re the one with the injury and the growing mountain of doctor bills. You’re the one who had to take time off work. You might be waiting on them to get your vehicle fixed or buy a new one. You also might need money for treatment or surgery before you can go back to work. You’re hurting, worried, frustrated and maybe angry. And when you don’t receive any communication, you can’t get a status update or you spend hours on hold, your anxiety skyrockets.

The insurance adjuster doesn’t feel any of that. For him or her, it’s just another day at the office. Their job is to pay you as little as possible. When you sit on hold, they can knock out work they like better than dealing with frustrated accident victims. When you can’t sleep at night because of pain and worry, they drift off without a care.

By the time they do make a settlement offer, the hope is you’ll be desperate enough to take it.

They Hope You’ll Give Up

Sometimes insurance agencies don’t just drag their feet, they put an unnecessary burden on you. They might ask for documentation that you’re not required to provide. Or they might ask for endless forms from your healthcare provider and say they can’t move forward without that info. Sometimes they’re digging for a reason to deny your claim. Other times they hope you’ll just get tired of going back and forth, that you’ll give up.

Time Isn’t On Your Side

There’s a statute of limitations by which you must file a personal injury lawsuit. In Texas, you have two years from the date the accident occurred. If you’re one of our Louisiana clients, know that for you the statute of limitations is only half that amount. You only get one year from the date your accident occurred to file a claim.

Insurance companies know this. They delay hoping you’ll get busy with the rest of your life and not notice the months are slipping by, and they won’t have to pay anything at all.

You’re Representing Yourself

Maybe you Googled or talked to that family member who always offers advice, and you came across the idea that you don’t need to hire a personal injury lawyer because insurance companies are going to pay what they’re going to pay, and working with an attorney will just reduce the amount you get.

Online legal advice resource NOLO published survey results that compared settlements between people who hired a lawyer and those who handled their own claims. Of those who hired a personal injury, attorney, 91 percent received a payout while only 51 percent of those who didn’t got a settlement. If that’s not a big enough difference, know that people who had legal representation got an average of $77,600 in compensation, while those who handled their own claims received an average of $17,600. Even after they paid their attorney fees, they walked away with multiple times what the people received who handled their own claim.

Plus, they didn’t have to go it alone. The insurance company took them seriously from the beginning because they had an expert on their side.

If the insurance company you’re dealing with is dragging their feet, we can help. Schedule a complimentary consultation online using this link.