A knowledgeable Jacksonville injury lawyer will alert clients to the methods used by insurance representatives to justify lower settlement offers. Be aware of these tactics as you prepare your claim or case.
It’s Tax Free!
General damages paid on claims are not taxed. Insurers think that this gives them the ability to lower their payouts. The way they see it, you won’t have to pay a large tax bill, so they can just subtract that double-digit penalty from their settlement offer. But the truth is that the tax law is written this way for a reason: A claim is not taxable income, like wages, salary, earnings or profits, so the insurer’s argument doesn’t hold water.
As a personal injury claimant, it’s important not to be afraid to argue your case. Yet insurance adjusters know that many people would rather quit than fight, even if their cases are worth it. If the claims representative senses that you’re unlikely to call a Jacksonville injury lawyer, they will tempt you with an unfairly low settlement offer, knowing you would rather accept it than call a lawyer and press your case. Don’t be intimidated; let a Jacksonville injury lawyer fight for you.
We’re not saying that all insurers do this, but some are less than forthcoming about what their claimants’ policies cover. If you don’t demand particular costs and damages, the insurance company may not offer to cover them. According to most accepted industry practices and requirements, the insurer typically has the duty to tell you what coverages apply to your claim. Once you notify the company of your loss, it should be upfront with you. But be careful to ask for the information about your policy just in case. Otherwise, you may not be aware of all the coverage you deserve.
Structured (Delayed) Settlement
You may have heard of structured settlements; these insurance claims are paid out over time instead of in a single cash payment. While this set-up may be right for you, your Jacksonville injury lawyer knows that the insurer has a huge incentive to drag out payments while it retains the funds for investment purposes. Work with a legal professional to be advised of your options.
Car’s Current Worth
After an accident, the car can lose significant value once it is repaired. But who pays for the difference between the car’s prior worth and its value after the loss? The insurer should, but may refuse, and that would leave you holding the loan or title to an asset that is devalued. This is particularly likely for luxury or expensive vehicles.
Insurance representatives use dozens of approaches to delay, reduce, or avoid payouts. But your Jacksonville injury lawyer is up to speed on all the latest gimmicks. Be sure to put an experienced and knowledgeable local expert on your side by calling First Coast Accident Lawyers, 904-278-1000.