How insurance adjusters underpay Missouri car accident victims- Springfield personal injury lawyer

Insurance companies often use slogans like “Your in Good Hands” and “Like a Good Neighbor…”, but you would need to be an insurance insider to have heard the slogan “Good Hands or Boxing Gloves Treatment”. So how insurance adjusters underpay Missouri car accident victims? Here is an an answer from a Springfield personal injury lawyer.

A former Allstate Insurance executive, Mark Romano is responsible for shining a bright light on how insurance companies underpay injury claims, through rigging the system that evaluates them.

How Do Insurance Companies Underpay?

Insurance companies have created a computer program called Colossus, whose main focus is to find ways to reduce payments for injury claims. How can Colossus do this? Originally, the programmers studied how insurance adjusters made decisions on injury claims, and created the program to aggregate the data through questions and spit out a value range. The program looks at a multitude of factors, some of which are severity of the injury, settlements for the same type of injuries, and verdicts to name a few.

This all seems fair and logical on its face – but here is the catch, there are insurance company executives who are inputting the data. Those executives have a mandate to increase the bottom line, and this is done by paying less for injury claims. They are at the controls of Colossus, which means that they can and will skew the data to spit out lower valuations for claims – thus increasing profitability. Another resource for understanding how insurance companies underpay injury claims is a consumer study by, Mr. Romano and J. Robert Hunter, entitled Low Ball: An Insider’s Look at How Some Insurers Can Manipulate Computerized Systems to Broadly Underpay Injury Claims – which gets into great detail about the mechanics of how this works.

Good Hands vs. Boxing Gloves

This is another prong of the insurance companies approach to underpaying injury claims – adjusters are taught to buddy up with the insured to sway them into taking a lesser amount for their injury claim.

Over time, Allstate employees testified that they were trained to build rapport with customers and discourage them from hiring lawyers. Berardinelli and a growing cadre of lawyers alleged that the “good hands” strategy actually involved delaying and denying claims for several months and then making lowball offers as people felt more financial pressure.

After disclosure of Allstate internal claim evaluation documents it was revealed that a strategy that employees used was:

In its “Good Hands” approach, Allstate would pay those unrepresented people within 180 days, which McKinsey {consultants hired by insurance companies} said would take care of 90 percent of the claims. The 10 percent who hired lawyers or didn’t accept claim offers would get the “Boxing Gloves” treatment. In these cases, Allstate would expect to tie up payments for three to five years.

Put simply, either you take less than fair value for your injury claim or the big insurance company will try to beat you down into the poor house. To be fair there are some exceptions to this rule and I have worked with a handful of insurance adjustors that truly take the time to consider cases. But they are truly rare and appreciated.

How You Should Protect Yourself If You Are Injured

What should you do when an insurance adjuster calls you with a settlement offer?

  • Understand that you have plenty of time to act.  5 years in Missouri.   Insurance adjusters are going to pressure you into accepting a deal as quickly as possible.   They  do this by injecting an artificial sense of urgency into the conversation, such as “I’m going to close my file then”.  First, no they are not, insurance regulations prevent this.  Second, so what? The Missouri Statute of Limitations is 5 years to file a lawsuit. You have lots of time to make your decision and that silence may be the best answer to an initial offer. When in doubt say, “Let me think about it.”
  • You need to know where you are physically and financially before agreeing to a settlement. It can be tempting to accept an offer, especially if you need the money and they are suggesting writing a check for thousands of dollars.  This is by design.  However, you must remember that this settlement will be the only money you will get to pay for all of your accident and injury expenses, past present and future.
  • Don’t get intimidated or “good ol’ boyed”. Insurance adjusters are trained to cultivate fear and doubt.  Maybe about the quality of your case by attributing some blame to you or discouraging hiring your own attorney.  They may take a different tact that they are your friend and have your best interests at heart. Be confident when you talk to them and know that the more knowledge you have, the more confident you can be.
  • Know that adjusters play games to get lower settlements. Insurance adjusters have dozens of tricks up their sleeves—some legal, some borderline legal, and some who knows. If you are familiar with their common tactics you will be better equipped to deal with them successfully.

You may or may not need the assistance of a Springfield Missouri personal injury attorney as you settle your Missouri car accident claim. To find out more about your case, or to learn more about whether your settlement amount is fair simply call (417) 883-5886 or Toll FREE 1 800 345-0535 for your free case evaluation today. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Missouri car accident get my Free book before you speak with another lawyer or anyone from the other drivers insurance company. who is the best car accident lawyer in Missouri for my case

Here’s just a taste of what you’ll discover when you open the pages of this book:

  • How to properly handle inquiries from the insurance company… it’s sad, but being a “nice guy” and answering “a few simple questions” can cost you dearly!
  • Keys to determining just how much your case is worth – the many different factors that can literally mean thousands, if not tens, even hundreds, of thousands of dollars.
  • 8 ways to make sure any lawyer you choose to represent you can make the most effective arguments on your behalf.
  • DANGERS of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest – the key mistakes you do NOT want to make on Social Media immediately after your accident and while your case is being settled.
  • What to do if the insurance company offers to pay your medical bills… do NOT just jump at the chance, it could well be a big WARNING sign going off!
  • 6 common mistakes you do NOT want to make that could negatively affect your case in a big way.

Click Here to Get Your FREE Book

If you or a family member was injured by the negligence of another driver in Missouri or Arkansas, The Krebs Law Firm LLC offers a free case evaluation if you have questions about your car, bus, truck or bike accident. Many people may be worried that they do not have the money to pay for a personal injury attorney when they were injured by a distracted driver but we only handle accident cases on a contingent fee basis. In other words, there is no fee unless we are successful in getting you the benefits that you deserve. If you would like to speak to Jason Krebs and his staff simply call (417) 883-5886 or Toll FREE  1800 345-0535 for your free case evaluation today.

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