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Common Defense Strategies Used in Car Accident Claims

Common Defense Strategies Used in Car Accident Claims

According to statistics, in 2020, there were a total of 35,766 fatal car accidents on roadways across the United States. Another 1,593,390 crashes resulted in injuries and 3,621,681 caused property damage. If you have been involved in a car accident and are considering filing a claim, it's important to understand what to expect during the process.


In an attempt to pay out as little as possible, most insurance companies will dispute or try to discredit the claimant’s version of events and may use various defense strategies to minimize or deny your claim. To help you claim compensation for damages arising out of your accident, it is advisable to seek legal advice from an experienced car accident law firm such as Travis Heller, who can advise you on the merits of your claim and assist you in getting the compensation you deserve.  In this article, we'll discuss some of the defense strategies used by insurers so you can prepare for and challenge them should they arise.


Disputing the Extent of Damages

An insurer may dispute the extent of your damages in a car accident claim by arguing that your injuries were not caused by the accident or that your medical treatment was unnecessary or excessive. They may also seek to limit their liability by arguing that your claim relates to a pre-existing injury that is not attributable to the defendant’s actions.

An insurer may also disagree with the value of your property damage or other losses, such as income. To support their position, they may hire their own experts to examine the evidence or request an independent medical examination.


Using Comparative Negligence

Comparative negligence is a legal doctrine that allows a court to allocate fault between the parties in an accident. In some states, if a claimant is found to be partly at fault for the accident, their damages may be reduced by the percentage of their fault. An insurer may use comparative negligence as a defense strategy to argue that you were partly responsible for the accident and, therefore, should not receive full compensation for your damages.


Asserting Policy Exclusions

Insurance policies often contain exclusions that limit or exclude coverage for certain types of damages or events. Insurers may use policy exclusions as a defense strategy to deny your claim or limit the amount of compensation you can receive. For example, if you were using your vehicle for commercial purposes at the time of the accident, such as delivering food or packages, the insurer may assert that the policy only covers personal use, and therefore doesn't apply. In this instance, you would need to be covered and file a claim under a commercial auto insurance policy.


Delaying or Denying the Claim

Insurers may use delaying tactics or outright deny your claim as a defense strategy. For example, they may argue that your evidence is insufficient, that you missed a deadline, or that you failed to provide all the necessary information. They may also simply drag out the claims process, hoping that you will give up or settle for a lower amount.


These are some of the defense strategies an insurer may use to avoid liability or to negotiate a lower settlement amount.

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