January 24, 2013

Insurance Companies & Unfair Settlement After Injury

by Levin & Perconti

Automobile accidents are likely the single biggest cause of traumatic brain injury. Thousands of accidents strike across the country virtually every day--from fender benders to deadly multi-car collisions. Anytime you are involved in a car accident there is a chance that the force from the incident will cause head contact to a hard surface. These brain injuries can range from concussions to permanent, life-altering brain trauma. No matter what the severity, it is critical to take these head injuries seriously. Every day medical experts are learning more and more about the long-term harm that comes from even seemingly “minor” TBIs. There is no point risking anything, so be sure to visit medical professionals for guidance.

If you are involved in a car accident, chances are you will deal with an insurance company--either yours, that of other drivers, or both. It is absolutely essential not to deal with these businesses on your own. Never forget that following an accident it is in the insurance company’s best interest to pay out as little as possible on a claim. That means that there is a good chance they will offer you less than your full damages. The offer often come right away with the goal of having you accept it without fully thinking through the matter or consulting legal advice. You should fight the temptation every time.

Insurance Software Under Scrutiny
A recent story in the Chicago Tribune offers a vivid reminder of the need to visit with an accident lawyer to protect your rights before dealing with an insurance company. The story discusses the latest controversy surrounding one insurance company’s process of evaluating claims and making financial offers.

A former claims project manager for Allstate has come forward with serious allegations of misconduct. Specifically, the manager argues that the insurance company “tweaks” software that is used to evaluate claims and generate reasonable offers. The idea is that after an accident the company inserts various details about the incident, damage, and harm to those involved into the software. The program, known as “Collosus,” then spits out a number which is offered to the individual to settle the claim.

This use of computer technology would seem somewhat reasonable if the fairness was the underlying principle at all times. But it isn’t. The former claims manager admits that there are many ways to play around with the software so that the numbers released are far lower than would otherwise be reasonable considering the injuries, including TBIs. The man is now retired, but he is working with federal officials to help educate consumers about these risks and, hopefully, hold the insurance company accountable for any wrongdoing which shafted innocent community members.

The bottom line: Never deal with insurance companies alone. This case is just one illustration of the manner in which these businesses are looking out for their own interests, not yours. If you are in an accident that results in a traumatic brain injury or other harm, be sure to visit with attorneys who work on these cases and demand fairness.

See Other Blog Posts:

Miracle Hormone Shot for TBI?

New Federal Law May Help in Brain Injury Cases