Auto insurance company adjusters and the attorneys who defend insurance companies have one interest in mind: protecting the company. They do not have the pedestrian accident victim’s best interests in mind. That is not to say that the insurance adjusters and insurance defense attorneys are bad people. They have a client or employer whom they serve, and they will do so vigorously.
Auto insurers in New York have used several different methods of trying to reduce the amount of money the company pays out in settlements. One of the so-called “tricks of the trade” that insurance companies often use is approaching the accident victim within a couple of days after the accident and offers a quick settlement. The insurance adjuster may convince the victim that he or she will receive a great financial windfall “without involving any lawyers.”
Settling within a short time frame after a pedestrian accident only serves the insurance company. The pedestrian accident victim who settles before conducting a thorough and complete investigation, or even before the victim’s injuries have healed and has fully regained his or her strength does himself or herself a substantial disservice. Resolving the matter without speaking to an experienced pedestrian accident lawyer will prevent the pedestrian accident victim from obtaining a just financial award.
A pedestrian accident victim cannot file a claim for an additional award after he or she agrees to settle the claim. The insurance company will require the victim to sign a written release before the insurance company will issue the settlement check. Absent a showing of fraudulent behavior by the insurance company, the case is over once the release is signed, even if medical bills, surgery expenses, and lost wages continued to mount.
Insurance companies will also try to blame the pedestrian accident victim for the accident. They will try to find evidence of wrongdoing on the victim’s behalf and claim the victim walked outside the boundary of a crosswalk or walked from between cars, catching the motorist by surprise and preventing the operator from stopping in time to avoid striking the pedestrian.
Insurance companies will frequently contest the severity of the victim’s injuries. Some injuries, like a traumatic brain injury, are nearly impossible to deflect, however insurance companies will often claim that the accident did not cause injuries like persistent back pain or a bulging disc. Instead, the insurance adjuster or lawyer might try to show that these injuries happened at another time or are degenerative and have nothing to do with the collision.
Insurance companies are highly skilled at using stalling techniques to delay paying out a substantial sum for damages. Insurance adjusters commonly resort to delay tactics when they believe that the plaintiff has a strong case. Stalling works to reduce the settlement amounts when the victim gets desperate for money to replace the lost wages and pay for medical bills caused by the pedestrian crash.
Alternatively, an insurance company might stall for so long that the plaintiff runs up against the statute of limitations and must file a lawsuit to protect their claim. The insurance company benefits because lawsuits can wind their way slowly through overcrowded court dockets before the case reaches the trial stage.
That is why people injured, or the family of those killed in pedestrian accidents in need an aggressive, compassionate, and skilled accident attorney from Parker Waichman LLP to fight for their rights and win the compensation they deserve.
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