Today I was retained in a new motor vehicle accident (MVA) claim. The claim at first glance, seems to be standard: Client was in an MVA that was not their fault, the Client went to the ER for treatment, x-rays, etc., Client retains me. What stands out as strange, though, is a growing trend I have seen where Insurance companies, even where their insured admits full liability at the scene and to the responding LEO, refuse to accept 100% liability for the claim.
Now, of course, in the past, I have dealt with insurance companies who deny liability until the bitter end when I am forced to file a lawsuit, but they always conceded liability in the end. Now a defense attorney would contend that their client (the at-fault driver and their insurance company) have affirmative defenses to the claim. While I understand that this new behavior occurs even before pre-litigation before a defense attorney ever gets involved.
I have seen insurance carriers attempt to force anywhere fro 15-25% fault for the MVA on the part of the driver who had no responsibility for the accident. Personally, I suspect that this is an underhanded tactic that insurance companies are developing in a way to try to cheat injured people out of the compensation they rightfully deserve. After all, why should the insurance company care whether your bills are paid for and you are compensated for your pain and suffering? The only concern of these issuance companies are their shareholders. As such, they create deceptive and dishonest tricks such as these in an attempt to force people to settle for less. This is evidenced by the fact that these insurance companies always love to tout how many MILLIONS they save on paying out on claims each year, in translation, they are happy to give you the lowest amount they possibly can. This new trick of trying to give you part of the blame goes hand in hand with their ultimate goal: PROFIT AT YOUR EXPENSE.
I hope your takeaway from this article is to always be wary of any insurance company when dealing with claims, especially as they relate to MVAs. Always consult an attorney immediately so that you know your FULL and LEGAL rights.
Very Truly Yours,