The Inside Scoop on How Insurance Companies Will Fight Your Personal Injury Claim

Insurance companies handle most personal injury claims. You might rely on your own insurance company (your health insurance, for example) or another party’s insurance policy (the at-fault driver’s auto insurance, for example). Either way, they are not your ‘good neighbor’ and, once you assert a claim, they are not your friend. They make money by collecting premiums, not by paying claims.

Typical Examples of Personal Injury Claims

There are thousands of ways for an accident or injury to occur.

Below are some of the most common forms of personal injury:

These are not the only types of personal injury claims. Some types of personal injury claims, such as intentional infliction of emotional distress, do not even involve bodily injury.

Insurance adjusters use various tactics to avoid paying claims for the above accidents and more.

Attempting to Discredit You

The insurance company can defeat your claim, at least to the extent that it is based on your own testimony, if they can successfully discredit you. One of the most common ways of discrediting you is by suckering you into agreeing to give a recorded statement. They will then ask you trick questions and try to use your answers against you.

Here are some examples of just how sneaky an insurance company can get:

  • “How are you today?” “I’m fine.” “Well, if you’re fine, then you must not be as seriously injured as you say you are.”
  • “EXACTLY, what time of day did the accident occur?” “OK, OK, it was EXACTLY 5:22 pm.” “Oh, so you were checking the time instead of watching the road.”
  • “Can you describe the other driver’s vehicle?” “It was a dark SUV, I think.” “So, you weren’t paying attention to the details of the accident, were you?”
  • “Did you have any passengers in your car at the time of the accident?” “Yes, my husband was with me.” “Hmm, did he also suffer injuries?” “No.” “Then maybe the impact wasn’t that severe.”
  • “Can you describe the weather conditions at the time of the accident?” “It was raining heavily.” “Hmm, poor weather conditions can contribute to accidents. Maybe you weren’t driving cautiously enough.”

You should either refuse to give a recorded statement or consult a lawyer first.

Lowball Offers

A lowball offer is an offer for far less than your claim is worth—an $800 offer for a $10,000 claim, for example, Lowball offers are standard practice when an insurance company is making a first offer. Your best bet is to respond with a counteroffer (say, $12,000, to give yourself some bargaining room).

Feel free to ignore an arbitrary deadline the insurance company tries to impose. The Texas statute of limitations sets the deadline, not the insurance company. Typically, you have until two years after the date of your injury to file a personal injury lawsuit. As long as you haven’t missed the deadline, your claim is still valid, no matter what the insurance company says.

Stonewalling You or Giving You the Runaround

One way an insurance company might try to defeat your claim would be to simply ignore you until the statute of limitations deadline expires. Another way is to keep changing the identity of the insurance adjuster assigned to your case. That way the new adjusters can keep pleading for more time to get “up to speed” on your case. An insurance company may be less likely to try these tactics if you hire a lawyer.


Under Texas’s modified comparative negligence system, the parties may share the blame (and liability) for an accident. The court will assign each party a percentage of fault. If you were more than 50% at fault, however, you will receive nothing in damages. If you were 50% or less at fault, however, you will lose that exact percentage of your own damages. If you were 30% at fault for example, you will lose 30% of your damages.

The “Pre-Existing Injury” Strategy

The insurance company might ask you to sign a document that gives them unlimited authorization to examine your medical records. If they can find a previous injury similar to the injury you’re claiming (a back injury, for example), they might claim that your injury was pre-existing. In other words, your recent accident did not cause the injury you are claiming.

Questioning Your Medical Expenses

The insurance company should pay all of your ‘reasonable and necessary’ medical expenses. But which medical expenses count as reasonable and necessary?

Here are some types of medical treatment that an insurance company might call into question:

  • Homeopathy
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Psychological treatment
  • Experimental treatments

The insurance company might question other forms of treatment as well, such as unnecessarily expensive treatment.

Snooping on Your Social Media Accounts

Did you know that an insurance company can use your social media posts as evidence against you in court? Imagine, for example, that you upload a photo that shows you drinking a beer at a party. The insurance company might use it to question the severity of your injuries. It’s best to suspend your social media accounts while your claim is pending–and don’t pose for any photos.

Hiring a Private Investigator to Spy on You

Think you’re paranoid? You might not be. Indeed, the insurance company really is ‘out to get you.’

The greater the value of your claim, the more money the insurance company will be willing to spend to defeat it. That includes hiring a private investigator to watch you.

Insurance Bad Faith Claims

The insurance company must deal with you fairly and honestly. If they don’t, they might be liable for a bad faith insurance claim. This is an additional claim. If you win it, you can collect compensation that exceeds the value of your initial personal injury claim.

Convincing You That You Don’t Need a Lawyer

This can be the most dangerously effective tactic that an insurance company can use. It is crucial to consult a personal injury lawyer, even if you believe your injuries and property damage are minor.

An Experienced Laredo Personal Injury Lawyer Can Handle Your Insurance Claim

If you try to handle your personal injury claim on your own, you are in a very vulnerable position. Insurance adjusters are professional negotiators, and they will ‘take you to the cleaners’ if they can. Once you hire an experienced Laredo personal injury lawyer, however, the insurance company is less likely to try the above tactics.

Contact Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with a Laredo personal injury lawyer and learn more about how we can help you handle your insurance claim.


It’s best to hire a Laredo personal injury attorney, like Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers, to get started immediately on your case. That way you can focus on recovering while we handle your legal affairs. If you have any questions about economic damages, call our office at (956) 766-4167 for a free consultation.

Roderick C. Lopez Personal Injury Lawyers
6557 Metro Court, Suite 1 Laredo, TX 78041
(956) 766-4167

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