Most Idaho personal injury claims will require dealing with an insurance company. This could be the defendant’s car insurance, a business owner’s liability insurance, or a policy held by a manufacturer. Plaintiffs suing for damages due to an injury that is the result of a careless or negligent act won’t be naming the defendant’s insurance company as the negligent party. Still, they will be involved in the lawsuit.
Insurance companies have entire departments devoted to risk and liability; therefore, a plaintiff should never deal with them directly without having a legal team. Kootenai County residents should contact a Coeur d’Alene personal injury attorney before discussing anything with an insurance company.
What Role Do Insurance Companies Play In Idaho Personal Injury Claims?
Defendants with an insurance policy to cover damages for their careless or negligent act that caused an injury will have the insurance company represent them during the personal injury case. Their team of lawyers will be heavily involved in all aspects of the claim beginning with the discovery and dispute resolution phases and, if necessary, during an actual trial.
Their roles are many, but it’s important to remember that they aren’t working for you; they’re working for the policyholder. Their priority is risk management, not ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.
Defend Their Policy Holders
An insurance company’s number one goal in a personal injury lawsuit is to defend its policyholder against any and all claims of negligence. If the claim goes to trial and the defendant is proven to be negligent, the insurance company will be held liable for payment. No matter what settlement amount they offer once you’ve filed a claim, know they are not looking out for what’s best for you.
Investigate The Claim
Once a personal injury claim has been filed with the court, the insurance company will thoroughly investigate it. This will occur during the discovery phase while meeting with you and your attorney to exchange evidence and discuss the matter. Even when liability is obvious, the defendant’s insurance company will search for loopholes to either dismiss the claim or offer a lower-than-acceptable settlement.
Pay Or Deny The Claim
During the case’s discovery phase, the insurance company can make a settlement offer or deny the claim altogether – that is when they don’t delay it for some reason. If they deny the claim, your lawyer will take the case to either a judge or a jury trial. With the help of your legal team, you can accept their settlement offer, negotiate for a better offer, or take the case to trial.
How To Negotiate With An Insurance Company
The defendant’s insurance company will do all possible to get you to slip up and admit to something you shouldn’t. They’ll ask leading or irrelevant questions to get information or statements they can use against you.
When speaking with the defendant’s insurance company or their legal representation, you should always:
- Have your lawyer present – It’s never advisable to speak to anyone about your personal injury case without your lawyer being present, either in person or on the phone. You have no legal right to answer any of their questions unless it’s a formal sworn deposition.
- Don’t agree to a recorded statement – Savvy insurance companies will ask if they can record phone conversations with you. Never make any statement on record unless your lawyer has advised you to do so.
- Don’t be desperate – Insurance companies and their legal counsel can smell desperation a mile away. They’ll try to exploit your need for compensation and offer you much less than you should receive. This is why it’s of utmost importance to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Work With Your Legal Team And Not With The Defendant’s Insurance Company
The role of insurance companies in Idaho personal injury cases is to do what’s best for its policyholder and not for your best interest. Although some may act as if they’re looking out for you, their true purpose is to deny the claim or pay out as little as possible. Never speak to them without first hiring an experienced personal injury attorney.