Archive for March, 2014

West Virginia Collisions Claims – Insurance Companies v. Consumers

No matter what clever jingle your auto insurance firm’s advertising department has dreamed up, you must remember: They are not your friends. They are not “like a good neighbor” or “on your side” by any means.

This does not mean that you can’t get your car insurance company to work for you in the event of an accident with someone who is uninsured or underinsured. But if you were to go it alone, you would soon find out the hard truths. Vehicle insurance companies very rarely will grant you the maximum to which you are entitled without a fight, and usually only after you’ve involved the services of an experienced West Virginia accident attorney.

No matter what is alluded in the commercial, keep in mind that the bottom line of these firms is their bottom line. They want to minimize their own liability and pay you as little as possible.

Study reveals controversial insurance company tricks and tactics

Common insurance company tactics were outlined not long ago in a research article called, “Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse and Refuse,” published by the American Association for Justice.

The authors focus on all different kinds of insurance, from housing insurance to health insurance. The article notes insurance companies systematically work to deny claims through a series of tried-and-true tactics that cross ethical lines and skate just this side of legal.

These tactics include denying virtually all claims outright, without any real consideration as to the veracity of that decision. Employers are given rewards when they deny a certain percentage of claims – and punished when they fail to meet that quota. Then there are efforts to thoroughly confuse consumers with contracts that contain extensive fine print, and which are written in such a way as to intentionally keeps consumers from understanding the type of coverage they have – or don’t have. These firms have also been caught dragging out cases as long as possible. Using tactics such as “lost” paperwork, countless customer service personnel who can’t keep the facts of your case straight, long telephone hold times and seemingly endless motion-filing in court, these firms are hoping that the claimants will either give up or die.

Knowing your rights after a West Virginia car accident

You are required by law to keep a minimum amount of auto liability coverage if you wish to drive a car legally in the state of West Virginia. Those amounts are $10,000 for property damage, $20,000 for one accident and one injury or death and $40,000 for one accident involving two injuries or death.

These amounts are very quickly exceeded when a serious accident occurs.

Drivers here are also required to maintain uninsured motorist coverage, which means if you hit someone who isn’t insured or whose coverage doesn’t fully compensate you for all damages, you can seek recompense from your own insurer.

But again, just because you have the coverage doesn’t mean your insurer will pay up without a fight. In addition to the aforementioned tactics, companies will also attempt to downplay the extent of injuries or damages. They might even try to say that under the circumstances, you weren’t covered at all.

Our attorneys successfully fought car insurance companies for years. Let us help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

Contact a West Virginia accident attorney at the Recht Law Offices.  Call 1-800-487-8546 today for a free consultation.