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Are Insurance Companies the Bad Guys in Car Accidents?

In car accidents, insurance companies are sometimes described as the enemy. Some patients, after sustaining a serious injury in a car accident, are upset to find that insurance companies refuse to pay out claims or offer very low claims which do not cover all the costs of injury-related costs. Some patients complain of insensitive insurance company representatives who pressure them into signing documents right in a hospital. Since insurance premiums are so high and since patients usually pay in a significant amount of money to their insurance companies, they are often irate when faced with challenges to their claims.

While many savvy patients eventually hire Florida personal injury attorneys in order to better manage their relationships with insurance companies after a car accident, insurance companies are not necessarily the bad guys. Insurance companies are in business, and good business sense simply means paying out the least amount that is considered fair in any car accident. Car accidents occur every few seconds in this country and if every burn injury patient, spinal cord injury patient and injury patient were automatically recovering the largest possible insurance claim amount, insurance premiums would be much higher and insurance company profit margins would be much smaller. It makes financial sense to an insurance company to offer the smaller fair claim amount in any given situation and keep premium costs competitive.

As well, much of the disagreement between insurance customers and insurance companies comes down to differing definitions. For a patient who has been in a car accident and has sustained a burn injury or other devastating injury, a “fair” claim amount is one that covers all possible medical costs and covers the best quality medical care. For an insurance company, however, in many cases a fair claim amount is one that matches a patient’s level of insurance coverage and one that covers only basic medical needs. A good Florida personal injury attorney can help insurance companies and car accident victims reach a claim or settlement amount which is mutually satisfactory to both parties.

Insurance companies also sometimes use what are seen as aggressive methods because insurance fraud is a serious problem across the industry. A few car accident patients who exaggerate their injuries cost insurance companies millions of dollars and insurance companies must then pass on these losses to customers in the form of higher premiums. The very real threat of insurance fraud also makes insurance companies automatically suspicious of many claims, which pushes insurance companies to carefully review, and in some cases investigate, insurance claims.

Of course, some insurance companies are not very reputable or ethical in their dealings. While many insurance companies do their best to maintain good profits for shareholders while also offering fair compensation to car accident victims, some companies do use unethical practices. Some companies make low-ball offers to car accident victims, knowing that the claim amounts will not cover even basic medical care. Some companies refuse claims without adequate reasons while some will pressure patients into signing away their rights to fairer settlements.

In most cases, however, insurance companies are not the bad guys. It is important to keep in mind, on the other hand, that insurance companies do not necessarily have your best interests in heart, either. Insurance companies are businesses and their main allegiance is to shareholders, who demand the highest profit margins possible. For this reason, it is important to consult with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney soon after your car accident. A good attorney can look after your best interests and your rights, ensuring that you get the best possible care and all the resources you qualify for under the law.