Daily life, work, school, and essentially everything else about our lives have been disrupted or changed due to the unique demands of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Accident claims and the courts that handle them are not exceptions.
Here at the Law Offices of Vic Feazell, P.C., we have been helping our clients with difficult personal injury cases since the start of the pandemic. Even as the world slowed down, we didn’t because we never tire when our clients’ livelihoods are on the line. We have seen how the COVID pandemic has influenced these cases and the court system, and there are many nuances you might not know about unless you are a legal professional yourself.
Insurance Companies Push Lowball Settlements Even More
Perhaps the most obvious and distressing difference is how much insurance companies are willing to do to ensure that claimants get as little as possible. Since the start of the pandemic, many insurance adjusters don’t answer the phone or respond to emails as much as they should. Intentionally avoiding any communications with a claimant is a form of insurance bad faith, but they don’t seem to care.
Along with insurance adjusters doing the bare minimum to work with claimants, insurance companies have been pushing lowball settlements more so than usual. The company waits for the claimant to get frustrated at the lack of communication before sending them a really low settlement that is just enough to tempt them. The frustrated claimant signs a settlement agreement and release, they get just enough to pay for emergency medical bills, and nothing else. They don’t know how badly they’ve been ripped off until it’s too late.
Clogged Courts Aren’t Helping
The coronavirus pandemic has shifted all sorts of court processes into remote settings. While this is safer for all parties, it is also less convenient in some ways. Many courts are struggling to keep up with case demands due to the change in settings and procedures.
Insurance companies know that cases are stacking up in some courts, which emboldens them even further to offer lowball settlement amounts. They know that a claimant won’t want to wait months and months just for their case to be heard by the court. This fear of a delay makes a lowball settlement look even more like a “good deal,” even though it absolutely is not.
Don’t Rush into a Deal with an Insurer
Were you in an accident that wasn’t your fault, and now you’ve been sent a settlement offer from the other party’s insurer? Don’t make a deal just yet! Talk to a local attorney about your options before you sign anything or give a recorded statement. Once you sign a settlement agreement, that is all the money you can get. There will be no option for another recovery.
If you try to call the insurance company for more information, then you can expect that they won’t call you back. They will call you to get you to sign, but they probably won’t answer your calls or emails, not in a timely manner. Just getting them to respond to you might take the assistance of a lawyer.
Please don’t do what we’ve seen so many clients do since the pandemic began, which is sign a settlement agreement without talking to us first. If you sign something and then call us, it’s too late for us to help and demand more compensation.
Call us at (254) 938-6885 first. We accept calls 24/7 and initial consultations are free. We help clients in Waco, Austin, and everywhere in between.