Anytime you’re injured in an automobile accident, don’t expect the insurance company to treat you fairly. In 2015 alone, the Arizona Department of Transportation reported 116,609 total car crashes with 36,139 accidents including injuries. The insurance company’s primary goal is saving money by convincing you to settle for the lowest dollar amount.
They may use various reasons to reduce your claim. Before you try to settle your Yuma personal injury claim know your rights and don’t let insurance companies reduce your claim with tactics to limit or deny what’s rightfully yours.
Pressure to Settle & File Closure
Insurance companies may “close your file” to pressure you to settle. This doesn’t mean you can’t seek compensation. Arizona has statutes of limitations on how long you have to file lawsuits. You have two years from the date of the accident to file a Yuma personal injury claim (ARS 12-542).
Not Wearing Seatbelt
Arizona state law requires you to wear a seatbelt (ARS 28-909). If the insurance company can prove your injuries would be less severe had you been wearing a seatbelt, your claim amount may be lowered.
Shift Blame & Accident Avoidance
Insurance companies may try to shift part of the blame for the accident on you. Their reasons for reducing your Yuma personal injury claim may include stating you:
- didn’t react quickly enough;
- stopped suddenly;
- didn’t signal a turn;
- made an improper lane change;
- were speeding.
Arizona uses a comparative fault rule (ARS 12-2506) to calculate the percentage of fault or liability between two parties involved in an accident. This means, if the insurance company can prove the accident was partially your fault, you would be responsible for a portion of the total dollar amount of all claims.
Severity of Injury
Again, insurance companies may give a number of reasons why your claim may be lowered based on the extent of your injuries. They may claim your injuries were pre-existing or you:
- didn’t complain of pain in the police report;
- made minimal complaints to emergency room staff;
- made differing complaints.
Contact the Best Yuma Personal Injury Attorneys After an Accident
Insurance adjusters always start with a lower amount than the company is willing to pay. This amount is often even lower, if you don’t have an attorney. Lerner & Rowe has the best personal injury attorneys in Arizona. Our attorneys are board certified personal injury attorneys and offer free consultations. Call us at (602) 977-1900 and let us fight to get you the best settlement for your Yuma personal injury claim!