Delaware Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz reveals seven illegal things insurance companies do after a car crash with personal injuries.
Hi, I’m attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today’s video is on seven illegal things insurance companies do after a car crash with personal injuries. You know in my legal practice the bulk of the cases that I handle, the bulk of the cases that the other attorneys handle, are cases involving serious injuries and death after events like automobile accidents.
So, I wanted to give you some perspective on some of the things that we see. These are some of the things that sort of drive people to come to us that may be otherwise would never have gone to an attorney. These are some of the things that our clients complain to us about. These are some of the things that we see in practice and that we try to remedy or fix on behalf of our clients who are legitimately injured in automobile collisions.
Number One – Insurance companies simply fail to pay reasonable and necessary medical expenses stemming from the accident. You know, all the time, every week we have clients who come to us who have been injured in an automobile collision. They go get medical treatment and then the medical treatment is supposed to be paid by their own auto insurance under their personal injury protection benefits or their med-pay benefits and the insurance company simply ignores the bills or doesn’t take any action. That is illegal. It is illegal because insurance companies in every state in the United States; as far as I am aware, insurance companies have an obligation to their policyholders to investigate and pay legitimate claims.
Number Two – They route you to the other driver’s insurance company to get your car fixed or to get your car totaled. Oftentimes we have folks come to us, they have been involved in an automobile accident, their car needs to be repaired or their car needs to be totaled out. They go to their own insurance company and their insurance company says well, we are not going to deal with this, you go to the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Sometimes that is good, sometimes it is bad. You may, if it works, you may avoid paying for your deductible on your auto insurance but if your insurance company has sold you a policy of insurance coverage that requires them to pay for the damage to your vehicle after an accident. They are the ones who are supposed to be taking care of it. They should never tell you, well we are not going to deal with it, go to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Because you do not have a policy with the at-fault driver’s insurance company and all you have is the hope that maybe they will pay.
Number Three – They will tell you that your claim is closed. Let me give you an example of this in play. I had a client, she was pregnant, she got in an automobile accident and she has some significant neck and back injuries. She started going to physical therapy and getting some very conservative physical therapy and massage therapy. Well, she has the baby and after having the baby she did not immediately go back to physical therapy. When she did go back, several months later, when she was ready to return to physical therapy, the insurance company just did not pay the physical therapy bills.
We called the insurance company and we said, “why are you not paying these physical therapy bills?” The adjusters’ answer was, “the claim is closed.” Well, checkmark the box for the claim is an open and processed payment because there is a law in the books that requires insurance companies to investigate and pay legitimate claims. This is a trick used by insurance company claims representatives telling people the claim is closed, it does not mean anything. Is it beyond the statute of limitations? Is it beyond the deadline for filing claims? If it is, send out a written response telling us the claim is denied. But don’t tell me, on the phone, “the claim is closed.”
Number Four – They raise your rate. Insurance companies will raise your rate after a not-at-fault accident. Folks, I cannot tell you if this is true in every single state, but I can tell you that it is true in the state where I’m at right now, which is Delaware. We have a law that says, the insurance company cannot raise your rate on your auto insurance premium, due to an accident, that is not your fault. It happens all the time and a good attorney knows how to battle it.
Number Five – They use second-hand parts to fix your car. If you have got a policy requiring OEM parts (original equipment manufacturer parts), and they use used parts, it’s a violation of your policy, it’s a violation of the law and it’s a violation of your rights.
Number Six – They expect you to pay your own PIP subro (Personal Injury Protection Subrogation) when state law requires otherwise. All right here is the concept, you get in an auto accident, in some states you have med pay, personal injury protection, or no-fault insurance that pays your medical expenses through your own policy or through the policy on the car that you are riding in or driving in at the time of the collision. You then go to the at-fault drivers’ insurance and you get a settlement of your claim against the at-fault driver.
In some states, you are supposed to pay back your own auto insurer for what they paid for medical treatment. In some states, you are not. In some states after settling with you, the at-fault drivers’ insurance is supposed to pay back the medical bills directly to your insurance company. Well, I cannot tell you the number of times that it is the latter situation. The at-fault drivers, their insurance company is supposed to pay back the medical bills directly to my client’s insurance company. Yet the at-fault driver’s insurance company tries to slither out from under that obligation by putting language into the release, into the settlement documents, that would make my client responsible for those medical bills. That is illegal! I know the insurance companies are doing it. I know it is one way that they are trying to take advantage of unrepresented people who try to settle their own claims. And, I think it is disgraceful.
Number Seven – Insurance companies will send you to a fake medical exam. Let’s say that you are injured in an accident, you start going to physical therapy. After several months, or after several weeks you go back to your doctor. The doctor renews the script for more physical therapy, to get several more weeks of physical therapy. At that point, your insurance company, which has been paying for this treatment, sends you a fake medical exam. The doctor that examines you says, “I don’t that you need any more physical therapy” and then they cut you off and refused to pay. You have to sue your own insurance company to force them to pay for the medical care or to force them to pay for the physical therapy.
Those doctors that do those medical exams for insurance companies are the same over and over and over. They are selected because they are reliable. They can be relied on, by the insurance companies, to say that people do not need any more medical treatment. That makes them fake! And if you have that situation, we know just what to do with that doctor and we know just what to do with that insurance company.
In any event, I am attorney Ben Schwartz. This has been my video on seven illegal things that insurance companies do after a personal injury automobile accident. If you have questions about how your insurance company is handling your claim, feel free to contact my office. We handle cases in Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. We have eight attorneys handling claims in all four of those states. If you have a question about a case outside of that geographic area, if you contact my office, we will try and find you some names of attorneys in the state where you live or where your accident happened that would be appropriate for you in your case.
I hope you enjoyed watching this video. If you have comments, please feel free to give us your comment in response to this video, or you can send me an email. Thanks for watching!