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Hurt in a Car Crash in Stockton? Be Ready for These Four Insurance Company Defense Strategies

Motor vehicle collisions happen. The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) reports that around 250,000 people are hurt in traffic accidents in the state on an annual basis. Through a claim, injured victims can seek compensation for their damages, including vehicle repairs, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering.

Unfortunately, insurance companies are not eager to pay claims. They want to settle cases for less—or even deny liability outright. Insurance adjusters use a number of different tactics to raise their defense. Here, our Stockton auto accident attorney highlights four insurance company defense strategies that you should be ready for after a bad crash. 

Defense Strategy #1: Seek a Statement Before the Victim has a Lawyer

After a car wreck, you may be feeling stressed out or and overwhelmed. You have a right to get medical care and take some time to gather your thoughts. With that being said, it is not uncommon for injured victims in Stockton to receive a phone call from an insurance company shortly after a crash. Indeed, insurance companies often rush to get a statement from the victim before they have legal representation. It is a tactic designed to secure a narrative that minimizes the insurer’s liability. Unfortunately, a person who is still reeling from the shock and possibly unaware of the full extent of their injuries, might inadvertently downplay their pain or incorrectly make statements that suggest partial fault. It is easier for your words to get twisted—and these early statements can be used against the victim in negotiations or court. Always consult with a Stockton auto accident lawyer before providing a recorded statement to an insurance company. 

Defense Strategy #2: Blame Part (or All) of the Blame for the Crash on the Victim

California is a fault-based auto accident liability state that operates under a pure comparative negligence standard. Fault—even a seemingly small degree of partial fault—has huge implications for your case. A common defense tactic is to shift some or all of the blame onto the victim. By arguing that the victim was partially or fully responsible for the accident, insurance companies can significantly reduce their payout obligations under California’s comparative fault rules.

For example, imagine that you sustained $50,000 in damages in an intersection crash in Stockton. If you are assigned 0 percent fault for the crash, you have the right to hold the other driver responsible for your full $50,000 in damages. However, if you are assigned 10 percent blame, you would be liable for $5,000 of your own damages. The value of your case would drop to $45,000. If you are found to be 50 percent at fault, you would only be able to recover for half—$25,000. 

Defense Strategy #3: Undervalue Damages in Settlement 

Insurance companies frequently undervalue the true cost of damages in their initial settlement offers. Notably, insurers may try to downplay injuries, claim medical care is not actually needed, and radically understate the value of non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering. Among other things, this strategy typically involves: 

  • Questioning the severity of the victim’s injuries; 
  • Questioning the necessity of certain medical treatments; and 
  • Minimizing the impact of the crash. 

Insurers often present these lowball offers quickly, hoping that financial pressures will compel victims to settle for less than they deserve. How do you fight back against this strategy? Make sure that you know the true value of your case and that your damages are thoroughly documented. An experienced Stockton, CA auto accident attorney can help. 

Defense Strategy #4: Play Hardball and Try to Push a Low Settlement

Few car accident injury cases actually go to trial in California. Instead, it is far more common for auto accident injury claims to be resolved via a settlement agreement. With that being said, insurers rarely lead with a full and fair settlement offer. In fact, many auto insurance companies try to play “hardball” with injured victims and their families. It is a strategy where insurance companies draw out the negotiation process—trying to leverage time and resource constraints against the victim. 

Insurers may delay proceedings, dispute claims, and use aggressive negotiation tactics to wear down the victim, pushing them towards accepting a lower settlement. Unfortunately, this defense strategy preys on the victim’s need for immediate resolution and financial relief. Many people feel pressured into accepting a settlement that comes far shorter of covering the full value of their damages. Do not let an insurance company get away with paying out less. A top-tier Stockton, CA auto accident injury attorney can protect your rights and your interests. 

The Stockton Car Accident Lawyers at Redkey Gordon Law Corp Hold Insurers Accountable

In California, auto accident victims have the right to seek compensation for the full value of their damages, including non-economic losses. Most cases are handled by insurance companies. Unfortunately, insurers can make the process hard on people. These use a wide range of defense strategies with the goal of paying out less. At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, we know how to hold the big insurance companies accountable. Our case results tell the story best. With more than $25 million in compensation recovered for injured victims, we are ready to help you get justice. You may be able to recover for property damage, medical care, loss of income, pain and suffering, and other types of damages. 

Contact Our Stockton Auto Accident Lawyer Today for a Free Case Review

At Redkey Gordon Law Corp, our Stockton car accident attorney fights aggressively to protect the rights and interests of injured victims. If you or your loved one was hurt in a crash, we are more than ready to help. Give us a call now or contact us online for your free, no obligation case assessment. With a law office in Stockton, we handle car crash cases throughout the whole region, including in Manteca, Lodi, Sacramento, and Sutter Creek.