Determining compensation for accident claims may be difficult legally, and the process can quickly become overwhelming for unrepresented accident victims. It might be difficult to comprehend the manipulative tactics that insurance companies use to decrease the compensation for an accident claim. It is important to acknowledge how critical the amount of compensation for a particular claim is in ensuring the just compensation for the injuries and losses suffered by victims. Progressive Insurance Company has recently been under scrutiny for their manipulative settlement negotiation strategies, and victims that filed lawsuits ultimately won the right to receive the compensation they deserved under the law. If you suffered injuries or losses and are currently being contacted by Progressive claim representatives to settle your case early, consider visiting The Law Office of Jeena R. Belil at 631-990-3235 to learn more about your legal rights.
What is Progressive’s Manipulation Strategy?
Progressive employs a variety of strategies after an accident to attempt to provide minimal settlement proposals to victims at the expense of their interests. Dealing with the methods used by these manipulative car insurance companies, especially after suffering an injury in an accident, may be difficult and legally complex, especially when attempting to navigate a serious illness or injury suffered by the accident. The Progressive method is a mix of numerous adjuster strategies designed to cause deception and serious manipulation against the claimant. Much of the time, insurance companies operate just to enrich themselves, with no genuine assistance to accident victims. Progressive is no different than other insurance companies, and their manipulative tactics have proven to be a violation of law under recent court cases.
Understanding the Manipulative Tactics That Insurance Companies Use
The victim may feel that the insurance company is quickly providing a genuine remedy, but this is rarely the case. These businesses make it appear as though these methods are commonplace and something that all businesses would do. They might also have documentation created to demonstrate the validity of their procedures. Knowing these methods might help you navigate a difficult situation while dealing with your own Progressive claim.
Immediate Response Upon Receiving Notice
When these insurance firms get the notice that they may need to pay a settlement to a victim, they utilize the most common tactic to mislead victims: they provide them quick access to the settlement claim. This may appear to be the greatest alternative at first, but these settlements are frequently insufficient to pay the actual or projected worth of an injury. This might be a moment when the individual who was injured is in serious financial trouble, leading to their exploitation. Many victims will take an early settlement offer because of their confusion, loss of wages, and not understanding the true extent of their injuries at such an early stage. These early settlement offers from Progressive and other insurance companies are often far from the true value of the claim.
Holding Back and Denying Claims Altogether
Other manipulative tactics that insurance companies use can be detrimental to the entire claim by deploying the ‘holding back’ tactic to create an erroneous perception that the claim is not strong enough. These could lead to consequences including:
- The inability to file a lawsuit due to the failure to meet the statute of limitations deadline
- Accident victims accepting lower settlement amounts
Insurance companies do this by ensuring that car accident victims acknowledge that they may be at fault, or that there is insufficient evidence to prove fault or that the accident was caused by a third-party agent. In other cases, insurance companies request full medical records in order to attempt to find pre-existing conditions that may invalidate the claim. Some insurance companies will even attempt to record conversations and use the victim’s words against them at a later time.
Inadequate Settlement for the Claim
Car insurance providers strive to settle disputes as quickly and inexpensively as possible. Car accident victims sometimes do not realize the entire worth of their claims until after the event, and in their haste, they may accept insufficient compensation, resulting in poor financial decisions. There is another layer to Progressive’s manipulation tactics wherein car accident victims are given just one chance to accept the settlement sum with a complete denial to fresh funds at a later date. The Law Office of Jeena R. Belil can assist you in determining the real worth of your claim.
Keeping an Eye on Online Activity
Another typical tactic used by car insurance companies such as Progressive is to scour the internet for internet activity of the victim in order to analyze the validity of the claim. This might include accident victims engaging in activities that are either misinterpreted or contradict previous statements or assertions made by the victim. This online information collected by the insurance company can be used against the victim by tampering with the available information to turn the case on their side.
Requesting Recorded Statements
The adjusters will use previously recorded statements against the victims in this case. Victims may be interrogated regarding their medical conditions as well as a thorough account of the accident in order to determine how they may use these statements against them. Victims may be pushed to make misleading claims about getting lower settlement amounts or taking full responsibility in some circumstances.
Consequences of Executing Release of Claims
When a valid release of claims has been executed and action on the claim arises from the same release, such action is barred in its entirety. When signed, a valid release is written in a plain and unambiguous language and constitutes a legal act binding the parties.
When a release of claims is signed and a lawsuit is made, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that there was a fraud, duress, or any other event that is sufficient to demonstrate that the release is void.
When a release is executed until proven invalid, an action on a claim may not be maintained. This can also happen if the plaintiff provides an affidavit in opposition to the motion. This was held in the case of Fimbel v Vasquez, where the victim successfully sought to invalidate a release of claim due to the misrepresentation of a material fact by Progressive.
Elements of Fraud to Establish in Inducement Cases
In situations involving fraudulent inducement by insurance companies such as Progressive, the claimant may attempt to void the release. As outlined in Centro Empresarial Cempresa S.A. v. America Movil, these inducement cases must prove a few fundamental elements:
- Representation of a material fact
- The false nature of such a representation
- Knowledge that the representation was made falsely by the party who made it
- A justified proof of reliance
- An active injury
The claims presented by the claimant were found to be genuine and sufficient to demonstrate the fundamental elements of fraudulent inducement in the case of Armenta v Preston.
Consider Visiting With an Experienced Attorney Today
Insurance companies such as Progressive have manipulative tactics that they use in order to attempt to fraudulently induce victims into accepting unfair and unjust settlement offers. If you suffered any kind of injury or loss as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are likely facing medical bills, lost wages, property damage and pain and suffering.
Our experienced attorneys will work diligently so that your claim is appropriately assessed, and you do not suffer as a result of manipulative tactics that insurance companies use in order to persuade victims to accept limited compensation. Consider contacting The Law Office of Jeena R. Belil at 631-990-3235 to learn more about how we can work with you to ensure your rights remain protected.