Although it is from 2007, CNN’s 18 month investigation and subsequent report on how major insurance companies treat claims of car accident victims is still relevant seven years later. The report shows that accident victims who submit a claim for soft tissue injuries are being subjected to un-due scrutiny and falsely labeled as abusing the system. Insurance Companies are putting profits over accident victims to an alarming degree.
A Soft Tissue Injury is defined as damage of muscles, ligaments and tendons throughout the body and is not easily visible from the outside or even in an x-ray.
Insurance Companies put Profits over Accident Victims
Findings from the CNN Study:
In the mid-1990s most major insurance companies* sought advice on maximizing profits and chose to adopt a very tough “take-it-or-leave-it” strategy when handling claims for accidents involving soft tissue injuries. Essentially this means that the company will fight to not even offer you a settlement and if they do it will be for far less than your injury is worth. The final piece of the strategy involves dragging the process out so long that injury lawyers will start refusing to help clients fight for compensation. According to former Allstate and State Farm employee Jim Mathis, the strategy relies on the three D’s — “denying a claim, delaying settlement of the claim and defending against the claim in court.”
The study found that the insurance companies have added billions in profits to their bottom lines and thousands in lost claims for individual cases as a result of this strategy. What was surprising about this study was the fact that insurance companies seem to have targeted smaller but more frequent injury (soft tissue) cases along with very large and expensive cases as a means to increasing their bottom line.
*All-State and State Farm Insurance companies were found to be leaders in this strategy.
In response to the study State Farm wrote: “We take customer service seriously and seek to pay what we owe, promptly, courteously and efficiently, and we handle each claim on its own merits.”
When it comes down to it we know that the insurance companies will continue to put profits over people as long as they’re allowed to get away with it. Common sense tells us that a for profit insurance company will be vigilant in processing and approving claims and fight hard to pay the smallest amount possible in order to protect its profits. For these reasons, it is so important to seek the help of an accident lawyer if you’ve been injured in an automobile accident. You need an accident attorney to help you protect your interests because the other driver’s insurance company won’t. Don’t cheat yourself out of the settlement you deserve! A Consumer Panel Survey of Auto Accident Victims found that settlements for car accident injury victims were 40 percent higher if the victim was represented by an accident attorney.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!