Individuals and companies are working together to face the economic crisis, the shutdown of “business as usual” and other difficulties resulting from the coronavirus outbreak and shutdown restrictions. In the insurance industry, some of the larger providers are even giving back to their policyholders. However, when it comes to an insurance company paying out on a personal injury claim, the focus is still on making profit-based decisions.
At Greg Coleman Law, we are learning that the insurance industry is taking their tried and true tactics for delaying or devaluing injury claims and turning it up a notch. Read on to learn what we are seeing so far, and how it could impact the outcome of your case.
If you are injured in an accident during the shutdown, we still recommend that you call one of our qualified attorneys as soon as possible. We remain open to provide legal help to injured victims, and we have a number of ways to fully, securely and safely manage your case without the need for a face-to-face meeting.
The first step is to schedule your free consultation, which we can do by phone or online. If you move forward with a claim, you pay no initial outlay of money for us to represent you and no attorney fees unless we first achieve a recovery for you.
What New Tactics Could Insurers Use During The Pandemic to Delay or Devalue My Claim?
There are a few ways that your insurance carrier may try to use the COVID-19 shutdown to its advantage during a personal injury claim, including:
- Denying your claim because it happened amid local “shelter-in-place” security orders – Your insurer may argue that they are not required to pay because you were breaking the law by being out on the road. However, this is not a valid reason to deny your claim. Even if you are not an essential worker, authorities recognize you may need to get food or medicine for you or your loved ones.
- “Milking” existing delays due to the pandemic to slow the injury claims legal process even further – While some reasons for delay may be valid, such as having reduced staff, many times the real purpose is to place financial pressure on claimants by unreasonably prolonging your claim as long as possible.
- Using the shutdown restrictions as an opportunity to offer a quicker and significantly lower settlement amount than what your claim is worth – This technique has been widely used for years by insurance companies. However, insurers know that with the current economic situation, many policyholders may be out of work, desperate and willing to accept whatever amount is offered.
What You Can Do After An Accident During The COVID-19 Crisis
After an accident during the coronavirus shutdown, we recommend that you take steps to protect both your health and your claim by:
- Contacting 9-1-1 immediately for any accident involving injuries
- Reporting your accident, within 20 days of a collision, to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, as required by state law, when:
- The car accident involves death or injury
- Property damage is $1500 or greater
- Damage to local or state government property is $400 or greater
- Obtaining contact information of other drivers and occupants:
- Collecting contact information of the other driver, but continue to follow social distancing recommendations and use your cell phone to text.
- Using your phone’s camera to capture evidence, such as signs or landmarks that indicate the location of the accident, property damage, injuries, and accident debris in the road.
- Call a reputable Knoxville attorney for legal help.
- Getting medical care
- Even if you do not seem to be injured, it is still essential that you are examined by a doctor after your accident to check for less visible injuries, such as internal bleeding or a concussion. It is also important to create a medical record that links your injuries to the accident.
- For mild injuries, you may be able to seek medical treatment online. Contact your healthcare provider to see what virtual care options they may offer.
Should I Wait Until After The Pandemic To File My Claim?
Absolutely not. The court system is still processing claims, even though deadlines and hearings may be slightly delayed until the restrictions have been lifted. If you miss filing a claim before your statute of limitations runs out, you will likely have no options to recover compensation for your damages.
Call A Trusted Lawyer For Legal Help Today
Contact one of our attorneys at Greg Coleman Law office for more information on what you should do after an accident during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have a case and we represent you, we can fully manage your case, including all communications with your insurance company, throughout the legal process.
Having one of our trusted Knoxville personal injury lawyers on your side helps to ensure your best interests and legal rights are protected, while allowing you to be able to focus on the process of healing.
Call our firm today. No face-to-face meeting required. FREE consultation: (865) 247-0080