Some of California’s largest employers are insurance companies. They are sold on the New York Stock Exchange and are valued at billions of dollars. These insurance companies have grown so large, so fast because they have found a secret formula that allows them to make money hand over fist.
Think about that: people buy insurance precisely so they will be protected in the event of an accident. However, insurance companies have developed a strategy—a game plan, if you will—that has helped them pad their bottom line and grow into massive, multinational corporations.
The strategy is called “the 3 Ds” and those D’s stand for Deny, Delay, and Defend. According to one source, the consultancy firm McKinsey developed the strategy in the 1990s to help State Farm increase its profits. The 3D strategy has proven so successful, however, that other insurance companies have adopted it to rob injured victims of the compensation they deserve.
Fortunately, the experienced personal injury attorneys at Wagner Zemming Christensen LLP have developed techniques of our own to counter the 3D strategy. Let’s take a closer look below.
Trick #1: Deny Even Legitimate Claims
Insurance should be straightforward. If a loss is covered by a policy, then the insurer should pay out compensation according to the terms of the contract. Insurance policies are contracts, after all, and they are contracts drafted by the insurance company, so there should be no doubt about its obligations.
However, some insurers have developed a strategy of denying even obviously meritorious claims. An insurer might claim the victim is 100% at fault for an accident or that the victim’s injuries are not covered by the policy.
Even when they don’t outright deny a claim, an insurer might agree only to pay a portion of what a victim is owed. Some insurers will haggle and nitpick that a victim’s injuries are not as serious as he or she claims. This type of response is just as good as a denial.
Trick #2: Delay
Insurers figured something out about injured victims: when they are badly injured, they can’t work. And when they can’t work, they don’t have any money coming in the door.
For this reason, many accident victims are desperate for a settlement—any settlement. And insurers have learned that they can often get a victim to settle for far less than they deserve if they drag out the insurance process.
California has strict insurance laws in place to make sure this doesn’t happen. An insurance company should promptly investigate a claim to see if it has merit. Once the company is sure that it does, then they should pay compensation promptly. Unfortunately, many companies delay, delay, delay and face no punishment for this strategy.
Trick #3: Defend a Case in Court
When an insurer refuses to settle a claim fairly, we have no choice but to file a lawsuit. Insurance companies used to dread going to court, but they quickly realized that many victims make the mistake of representing themselves. Without a lawyer, these people can get steamrolled by a justice system that is not looking out for their rights. It is very easy for people to lose a case on some technical or procedural error, and they end up with no compensation as a result.
How Our Firm Counters the 3D Strategy
The best way to counter the insurance industry’s tricks is to hire an experienced personal injury attorney in California. It really is that simple.
At Wagner Zemming Christensen LLP, we can counter the insurance company by doing the following:
We properly value your injuries. California law lets an injured victim receive compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and property damage. But it also allows a victim to receive compensation for pain and suffering, inconvenience, and depression. These intangible losses can be considerable. An insurer, if pressed, might pay your medical bills and a portion of lost wages. But they hope you never find out you can receive compensation for the pain and reduced quality of life that your injuries have caused.
Many accident victims assume their case is worth only a couple thousand dollars when, in fact, they can get much more. You can’t get a fair settlement until you can put a price tag on your injuries, and we can do that.
Next, we stake out an aggressive negotiation position. Believe us, we are not fazed by delay tactics. We understand California’s bad faith insurance laws and will make sure an insurance company promptly investigates and settles a claim. When they don’t, they can be sued for violating these laws.
We are also eager to defend your rights in court. Our attorneys have experience inside a courtroom and are never afraid to take a case to jury.
Contact Us Today
After an accident, you need a legal advocate in your corner. Contact our law firm today for a free consultation.