Insurance companies are notorious for deploying any trick, trap, or cheat to pay car accident victims less money. What’s worse, they imbed these cheats into software programs that result in lower payments. Don’t take my word for it. The former guru for Allstate’s software program admits that these programs were tuned to “generally ‘lower settlement values’ and increase [the company’s] profits.”  That guru has detailed how insurance companies can lower settlement values, including requiring “adjusters with no formal medical education or credentials to second-guess medical professionals by altering significant details of medical reports and selecting injury codes that yield lower recommended settlement values.” 
This report makes it clear that the insurance companies can ignore your doctor and make up details of your injuries to pay you less.
The law is clear: when someone causes an accident, they must pay the person they injured enough money to make up for the medical bills, pain and suffering, and mental anguish. This is not some new invention. Laws of this type have existed since Biblical times! However, the insurance companies don’t like these laws. They don’t want to pay your fairly. That conflict with the law sets up the fight.
Insurance companies learned years ago that their stock price, bonuses, and profit go up when they pay injured people less. They have waged war with hurt people. Unfortunately, many injured people don’t know or don’t understand the rules of combat.
Make no doubt that you are in the middle of a big battle. Insurance companies hire platoons of adjusters, investigators, and lawyers to fight for their interests. Additionally, they have expensive and fancy software systems that scrutinize and analyze your medical bills and injuries. The result is lower payments for valid claims. When injured people don’t understand the rules of the battle, they get cheated out of money they deserve.
We’ve established that insurance companies try to game the system to pay injured people less. Their willingness to avoid paying valid claims is well documented. So, what can you do about those no-good insurance companies? Learn their major tricks, traps, and cheats to make sure you get the most money from your car accident settlement. Here are three insurance company cheats.
One common cheat is when adjusters arbitrarily throw out all or some of your medical bills. Excuses include treating “longer than expected”, bills higher than “reasonable and customary”, and reducing the bills as if you had Medicare, even if you don’t have it.
However, they never provide any proof for any of their excuses. When pressed, they will blame company policy or the computer program printout. Yet, the law states the full amount of the medical bills is owed. Additionally, any comparison to medical insurance rates, like Medicare, is illegal.
The result of this cheat is less money for your claim. That could leave you with no cash to get the bill collectors off your back. This cheat is unfair and likely illegal. It’s not fair to hurt someone in the first place. It is rubbing salt in the wound to leave a victim with unpaid medical bills.
Another common cheat is to make baseless allocations of fault. We have experienced adjusters allocating between 20-30% of fault, even in rear-end crashes. This cheat is particularly tricky because the law does allow for allocation of fault. This allocation can be used to lower the value of an injury claim, as well as vehicle repair claims.
However, this allocation must be legally and factually based. One must review each violation of the rules of the road and how that rule violation contributed to the collision. Most of the time, we find the injured person was completely abiding by the rules of the road.
When pressed, some adjusters have admitted to us that they just make up the numbers. They use this cheat to pressure injured people to accept less money for their case.
Generally, an injured person has three years from the date of an accident to file a lawsuit or settle their case. Some situations reduce the time limit to two years, usually in cases involving government employees.
We’ve received reports of threats from adjusters intimidating people into taking some low settlement, otherwise the adjuster will “close out the claim”. Even if an insurance company “closes out the claim” the injured person still has up to three years to file a lawsuit from the date of the accident. There is no legal consequence to an insurance company closing out a claim on their software system. The only reason an adjuster would use this trick is to pressure the injured person to accept less money than they should.
The only way for an injured person to get what they deserve is to have a battle plan. First, you need to understand the rules of engagement—the law. You must understand the law of injuries. Know that the law requires the at fault driver to pay. An injured person must arm themselves with the law to do battle with the insurance company. Negotiating without understanding the law of injuries is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
When you fall for these tricks, traps, and cheats, you can leave hundreds, if not thousands of dollars on the table. Worse, you might not even have enough money to pay back your medical bills.
Don’t go to battle alone. Our firm combines legal experience with a meticulous process to help you beat the insurance company’s tricks. We have spent considerable time and effort creating this plan and we tailor it for each client.
Our Battle Plan Process methodically processes your claim, so you get full compensation as fast as possible. We help you with each stage of the case from getting medical treatment to negotiating with the insurance company. Finally, our plan includes representation in a lawsuit if necessary.
We are confident in our legal service and our Battle Plan Process. So confident, that we guarantee we will recover money for you, or we will work for free. That’s right: If we don’t get a settlement or verdict for you, you owe us no fee.
While our clients are responsible for the expenses of their cases, our firm advances those costs in most cases. Our guarantee applies to attorney’s fees and not to case expenses.
He is a personal injury lawyer with a passion for justice. Brian is a trial lawyer with a broad range of experience fighting for people who have been injured through no fault of their own. Brian is the author of "Battle Plan" Your South Carolina Car Accident Claims Guide" where he explains how to go head to head with the insurance companies. He has been recognized as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 and one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in South Carolina.
Brian's passion is for helping people get justice with client focused goals. He has built a team dedicated to helping clients battle insurance companies. Brian, along with his team, have created a Battle Plan Process that helps his clients beat the insurance company’s tricks, traps, and cheats. Click the button below to start working with Brian.
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 STORM OF MONEY: Insider tells how some insurance companies rig the system The Post and Courier, Tony Bartelme, December 2, 2012
 Low Ball: An Insider’s Look at How Insurers Can Manipulate Computerized Systems to Broadly Underpay Injury Claims. Mark Ramno, June 4, 2012.
Disclaimer: The information here is not legal advice nor is there an attorney-client relationship created by reading it. Copyright 2023 by the Law Offices of Brian Robert Murphy, LLC. Our lawyers practice out of our offices in Charleston at 170 Meeting Street, Suite 110, Greenville at 550 N Main St #500, and our principal office in Rock Hill at 1926 India Hook Rd. We will not charge you attorneys fees unless and until we recover money for our clients. Fees are computed before deducting expenses from the recovery. Court costs and expenses must usually be paid by the client regardless of the amount of the recovery.
Results we obtain for one client does not necessarily mean we can get similar results for other clients.