Houston Liberty Mutual Insurance Claims Lawyer
Liberty Mutual is one of the largest insurers in the United States. It employs over 50,000 people and provides coverage to millions of people all across the country. As such, it is very likely that you or someone involved in an accident with you uses Liberty Mutual as their insurer.
If you have been involved in an accident and want to file a claim with Liberty Mutual, or if you simply want to better understand Liberty Mutual’s claims and damages process, give us a call. Our panel of expert insurance and auto lawyers charges no fees whatsoever until you collect a damages settlement check for your accident.
Filing a Claim
As is true for most insurance companies, Liberty Mutual provides its clients with a number of claims options. You can file a claim online, over the phone, or using the Liberty Mutual app. Once your claim has been lodged, an insurance adjuster will be assigned to your case.
From the point of view of the insurance company, the role of the adjuster is to mitigate the damages, if any, that are paid to you once your case has been decided. From your point of view, however, the adjuster is just one obstacle in the way of winning your case, but he or she is one additional step you have to successfully pass if you are to succeed in winning damages from Liberty Mutual. In many cases, you will have to pay most of your medical care and hospital bills, as well as costly treatment for injuries such as whiplash and back injuries until your case is decided, even if you were not at fault for the accident
Getting past the adjuster is, therefore, the first step towards being successful in your claim, but before dealing with an adjuster, it pays to be aware of all of the following:
The Value of Your Claim
You should know what your damages are and how much your claim is worth. The overall social cost of road accidents was estimated to be as high as $800 billion in 2010, so knowing the value of your claim is a key determinant in winning what you deserve. Doing this will involve placing a dollar figure on all of the damages and/or injuries you sustained in the accident in question. You can do this by, for example, providing medical bills, invoices from caretakers or rental companies to prove expenses you had to pay because of the accident, and providing your medical history to show the procedures, surgeries, tests, and other expenses you were made to pay as a result of your accident.
Know That You Will Likely Be Rejected
Most insurance companies will deny your first claim. Sometimes this is in the hopes of the claimant (i.e. you, the victim) giving up and calling it a day. Sometimes it is because there is missing documentation for your case, or because you have missed important filing deadlines. Prepare yourself for this eventuality and do your homework beforehand so that you can counter any denial right away with whatever is needed.
Do Not Immediately Accept the First Offer You Are Given
If you are given an offer, do not immediately accept it for two reasons. Firstly, if you have been given an offer, that indicates that the insurance company acknowledges that your claim is valid. Secondly, since all insurance companies are in the business of making money, it follows that any offer they make will be lower than what they would like to pay. Speak with an attorney before accepting an offer because it will not only very likely be lower than what you deserve, but accepting it will forfeit your right to make any additional claims in the future. This can be detrimental to you if you end up having to pay additional care costs or become aware of injuries or face a prolonged recovery period that you did not expect or were not aware of during your initial conversations with your insurer.
Bad Faith in the Insurance Business
Insurance companies are notorious for their use of underhanded tactics to protect their bottom line. These tactics include:
- Denying valid claims for no reason
- Delaying responses or not responding to your calls or requests for updates
- Offering an unfairly low settlement
- Refusing to acknowledge a claim because of administrative issues or clerical errors
- Stating that you are not covered based on complex and convoluted policy terminology
One of the most common ways that insurance companies get out of paying a fair settlement is by using the contributory negligence doctrine to their favor. The way this works is as below.
The concept of contributory negligence often comes up in traffic accidents. What this means is that, in all likelihood, more than one party was responsible, at least in part, for the accident. for example, imagine a driver was struck by an overspeeding driver, but that the former incorrectly signaled and changed lanes right before being struck by the latter.
Based on contributory negligence, the court may find that you were to be held, say, 30% responsible for the accident, and as a result, you lose 30% of the damages you would have otherwise been able to recover. The other driver, since they were found to be 70% responsible for the accident, loses 70% of the damages. Other rules and bylaws may also come into play, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) limits, which generally pay a minimum of $2,500 up to $10,000 to all victims of an accident, regardless of who was found to be at fault for it. If your damages amount to more than $10,000, your personal insurance coverage will have to make up the difference.
Insurance companies often twist this doctrine to place more responsibility for the accident on you than is fair, thereby preventing you from enjoying the payout you otherwise deserve.
Protect Yourself and Speak with an Expert Accident Lawyer Today
We are here to help, and we do not collect until you do. If you are facing harassment from insurance adjusters, feel you have been awarded an unfairly low settlement, or need help collecting the evidence and documentation required to support your case, give us a call. We can be reached 24/7 at 713-677-2253 and we will assign a seasoned legal expert to your case.
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