Insurance Company Settlement Tactics

insurance company settlement tactics

Insurance company settlement tactics are designed to deny, delay, confuse and refuse injury claims.

Insurance companies employ insurance adjusters, who are highly skilled negotiators. Their entire reason for employment is to settle claims quickly, for as little money and with a little fuss as possible. If it becomes clear that you are willing to fight for a fair and reasonable settlement – the compensation you deserve – they have a whole bag of tricks they will use to confuse, obfuscate and deny your claim.

The goal for insurance companies is to make premiums and profits while limiting liabilities and payouts.

Therefore, insurance adjusters want to pay as little as possible on injury claims and settle them as quick as possible. Those suffering personal injury due to someone else’s negligence should be aware of these insurance settlement tactics.

Do Not Take the Low-Ball Offer!

The most common Insurance company settlement tactics are to attempt settling claims within 48-72 hours for a fraction of the true value of the claim. The goal of insurance companies is to settle claims before injured parties seek appropriate medical care, receive physical therapy or consultation with medical specialists and develop residual injuries over time. They want the victim to be blinded by their speed and ‘efficiency’, and will often send a check out overnight. Their hope (which works far too often…) is that you’ll weigh the value of the check in your hand against future need or deficiency that hasn’t made itself known yet.

Insurance Companies Want Quick and Cheap Settlements!

It is no surprise that insurance companies want to negotiate fast and cheap settlements. The faster the insurance company can settle the case, the less it will pay for medical bills, lost wages, out-of-pocket expenses, pain and suffering, permanent impairment and disfigurement, and consortium. In fact, it has become a common insurance company settlement tactic to discourage injured parties from seeking a lawyer. If you are injured, do not take the bait!

Pay Attention to Details!

Many insurance companies will try and trick injured parties into settling the case even when the injured party did not agree to settle the claim!

A recent call to Cowan & Hilgeman from a young lady injured in a car accident revealed that an insurance company paid her $300 for out-of-pocket expenses she incurred shortly after the accident and later argued that payment represented full and final settlement of her claims. Unfortunately, the young lady was mistaken as to the details of the payment and a recorded statement revealed the payment represented full and final settlement – despite not covering her medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

Do not fall for this extremely common insurance company settlement tactic! Insurance adjusters are far more capable and experienced at this than you are, which is why…

You Need A Lawyer!

A skilled personal injury lawyer will make sure that the insurance company treats you fairly and pays you the compensation you deserve. It is important that your personal injury lawyer explain how to present a strong and supported claim for your compensation. For any additional questions regarding what makes a good personal injury case, click here.

The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman handle claims involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death. We routinely recover compensation on cases that other law firms reject.

Cowan & Hilgeman offers free personal injury case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your personal injury case.

Call 937-222-2030 to get your free case evaluation.

Who is at fault in a T-Bone car Accident?

T-bone accident

T-bone accidents get their name from the T-shaped position of the vehicles when they collide. The nose of one vehicle hits the side of another vehicle. The wreck could occur at high speeds or low speeds, depending on the circumstances of the wreck.

T-bone accidents are often catastrophic. A T-bone involves a head-on collision for one driver and a serious side impact for the other driver. Both may sustain life-changing or fatal injuries, including broken bones, brain damage, and internal injuries. Even at low speeds, significant injuries can be caused to both parties from the impact, broken glass and deployed airbags. Deep lacerations (cuts) and facial injuries are common among the drivers or passengers who are hit broadside, no matter how fast the cars were traveling. Vehicles are, almost without exception, written off entirely by insurance companies due to the extent of damage to the car’s structural integrity.

Who is responsible for a T-bone accident?

Also known as side impact crashes, T-bone accidents are most commonly caused by:

  • Someone driving too fast for conditions
  • Driving under the influence
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Driving while distracted
  • Failing to obey traffic control signals can all cause T-bone wrecks.
  • Out of the 50,930 drivers in fatal T-bone wrecks, 8,746 drove too fast for conditions, 5,164 drove under the influence, 3,728 did not yield the right of way, 3,008 people drove while distracted, and 2,054 failed to obey a traffic control signal.

Accidents at an Intersection

The most common location for T-bone accidents is at an intersection. If one driver enters the intersection illegally, he or she can crash into another driver who is there lawfully. In this scenario, the driver guilty of breaking the rules of the road would most likely be liable for the collision. If an investigation of the side impact accident found that one driver ran the red light or rolled through the stop sign, for example, that driver could absorb liability for the crash for breaking traffic laws.

Driver Turning Left

T-bone collisions often result from left-hand turn accidents. The driver turning left may crash into the side of an oncoming vehicle, or the oncoming vehicle may collide head-on with the side of the vehicle turning left. The vehicle that failed to yield the right-of-way when making a left turn will most likely be responsible for this type of crash, unless the turning driver had the right-of-way and the other driver ran the red light.

In most cases, the driver turning left must yield to oncoming traffic. A driver that tries to jump the gap when an approaching vehicle is too close may cause a T-bone accident. Misjudging the speed or distance of an oncoming vehicle could lead to a left-turn T-bone collision. In some cases, however, the driver proceeding straight through the intersection could be at fault. This may be the case if the turning driver had a green turn signal and the other driver proceeded illegally into the intersection.

Sharing Fault

Sometimes, both drivers share fault for a T-bone accident. One driver may have turned left at the wrong time, for example, while the other was guilty of excessive speeding that led him or her into the intersection too quickly. Ohio is a ‘comparative negligence’ state, meaning a victim injured in a T-bone collision can still collect compensation even while bearing partial fault for the accident. The plaintiff would simply receive a smaller compensatory award, reduced by his or her percentage of fault.

Proving Fault

Establishing liability for a T-bone accident in Ohio takes evidence of one or both drivers’ fault. Even in cases of obvious driver error, the victim may need to collect evidence to show to an insurance company before obtaining compensation. The burden of proof rests with the plaintiff, not the defendant.

  • Police reports. A police report can establish facts such as where the crash occurred, the direction of each vehicle before the crash and preliminary determinations of fault.
  • People who witnessed the T-bone accident can give statements as to what happened and how the collision occurred.
  • Vehicle damage. An analysis of where each car sustained damage can paint a picture of how the crash happened and which driver may be to blame.
  • Crash reconstruction. Crash reconstructionists can create diagrams or computer-generated re-creations of the side impact accident to show a judge or jury which driver broke the rules.

Once the victim establishes the other driver’s fault, he or she must also prove damages. Proof can include pay stubs for lost wages and medical records documenting personal injuries. Demonstrating fault and damages may take help from an attorney after a serious T-bone accident in Ohio.

A skilled Dayton car accident lawyer with experience handling T-bone accident claims will know precisely how to navigate these cases. Call Cowan & Hilgeman Law today at (937) 222-2030 today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

I Was a Passenger in a Car Accident – Can I Claim Compensation For my Injuries?

passenger in a car accident

The answer is YES! As the passenger, you cannot be found at fault for the accident.

A passenger in a car accident will have either a claim against the driver of the other vehicle or a claim against the driver of the vehicle in which he or she was a passenger.

Regardless of who caused the accident, a passenger may file a personal injury claim to recover maximum compensation.

Ohio is an at-fault insurance state, so the driver who caused the accident is ultimately liable for all damages.

As with any accident, victims typically pursue a claim against the insurance policy of the responsible party. If the person who caused the accident is also the driver of the vehicle you were riding in, you would file a claim against his or her policy.

Presenting a personal injury claim as a passenger in a car accident can be a complicated process that requires experienced representation. The injured passenger must understand who pays for medical treatment and how claims can be presented to insurance companies so that all of his or her damages are recovered.

To make matters even more confusing, there can be restrictions on the amount of compensation available if there are multiple claimants and the at-fault party has state minimum or low insurance policy limits. Unfortunately, this may force all of the injured parties to work together to formulate a settlement that is fair for everyone.

If you are a passenger in a car accident, it is important to do the following:

  • Identify all potential avenues of recovery from those involved in the car accident and put all insurance companies on notice of a claim.
  • Consider bringing a claim for uninsured/underinsured motorists benefits under your own policy of insurance.
  • Interview a personal injury attorney that will protect your interests against not only the insurance company of the at-fault party, but also consider the claims being brought by other potential claimants.
  • If your claim is reduced due to multiple claimants and state minimum or low policy limits, make sure to consider Ohio Revised Code §2323.44 in any settlement discussions.

What If the Passenger is Related to the Driver?

If you are related to, and you live with, the driver of the car you were riding in as a passenger, you will probably not be able to pursue a claim against that driver’s liability insurance policy. In that situation, you are usually considered an insured under the policy; and insured persons cannot pursue liability claims against the policy that insures them.

If the driver was a friend, co-worker, or extended family member, you do have the right to file a suit to get additional compensation. If you choose to go down this path, you will want to seek the assistance of a personal injury attorney.

As a passenger, you need to know your rights in receiving compensation from an at-fault driver. Because your unique circumstances will determine who you can receive compensation from and how much compensation you can receive, you should always talk to a personal injury attorney about your situation.

The personal injury lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. Our lawyers create plans of attack for each case specific to the client’s needs and expectations. The lawyers at Cowan & Hilgeman handle claims involving personal injury, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, product liability and wrongful death. We routinely recover compensation on cases that other law firms reject. 

Cowan & Hilgeman offers free personal injury case evaluations and only get paid an attorney fee if we win your personal injury case. Call 937-222-2030 to get your free case evaluation.

Can I be Compensated for Anxiety After a Car Accident?

anxiety after a car accident

Car accidents can be one of the most stressful events a person can go through. Victims of someone else’s negligence or malice have so much to deal with in the aftermath of a car accident: pain, injury, medical treatments, dealing with car insurance, getting their car fixed, taking time off work, missing out on lost pay, having to pay for medical treatments… The ‘to do’ list is long and can be overwhelming, even with compassionate, experienced help from a personal injury attorney.

One problem that should never be overlooked is the anxiety and stress that can plague a person following a car accident.

Emotional trauma can stick around long after the cuts and bruises have healed, and the car has been fixed or replaced.

It is normal to feel stressed and upset after an accident. But for some people the harmful effects of emotional trauma can take many forms, including anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The effects of trauma can last for weeks, months, or even years.

According to

“For most people who are in a traffic accident, the overwhelming feelings go away over time. Sometimes those feelings don’t go away or they become stronger. They can change the way you think and act. Strong feelings that stay with you for a long time and get in the way of everyday life are signs of post-traumatic stress. If you have post-traumatic stress after a car accident, you may have some of the following problems:

  • An ongoing, general feeling of uneasiness.
  • Anxiety about driving or riding in vehicles.
  • Not wanting to have medical tests or procedures done.
  • Irritability, or excessive worry or anger.
  • Nightmares or trouble sleeping.
  • A feeling that you’re not connected to other events or people.
  • Ongoing memories of the accident that you can’t stop or control.”

Can you claim compensation for emotional distress or anxiety after a car accident?

Pain and suffering in the form of anxiety and trauma are very much possible. So if the crash affected your anxiety, you may get compensation for it. The fact that it’s not visible like a physical injury doesn’t mean that it won’t affect you. Keep in mind that you can get a claim for anything that impacts you as a result of the accident.

Compensation after an accident is meant to make you ‘whole’; to restore you to how you were before the accident. Economic damages will cover things like damage to your property and medical bills. Non-economic damages measure your other harms, including pain and suffering and emotional distress.

However, this is not an easy claim to prove. Pursuing damages and claiming compensation for anxiety after a car accident can be difficult, and it requires a skilled, experienced attorney from the very start of your claim.

If you feel as though you may have experienced emotional trauma from a car accident, and you would like to claim compensation for anxiety after a car accident, it is VITAL that you contact an attorney who is experienced with emotional distress claims immediately following your accident.

Insurance adjusters will call you right after an accident to ‘get your side of the story’. Anything you say during this phone call will be used to minimize or dismiss your claim. Even saying something as innocent as “my anxiety has been out of control since the accident” can be used to dismiss your claim, as the words “my anxiety” can be used to imply that your anxiety was a preexisting condition. (Read more about the tricks insurance adjusters use here)

If you experience emotional distress or anxiety after a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation

If you have been involved in a car accident, you deserve the help of an attorney who will help you claim just compensation for ALL of your injuries – even the injuries that are invisible. Call the experienced, compassionate car accident attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman today to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation – (937) 222-2030.

The Most Common Kinds of Dayton Accident

Dayton accident

Dayton roads see extreme congestion, though not as much as our metropolitan neighbor to the South, Cincinnati. Still, car accidents occur regularly on I-75, I-675, I-70, Highway 35, and other roadways throughout the area.

While most of these accidents prove minor, even those minor crashes can cause serious injuries. The number of car accidents in Dayton continues to increase, and unfortunately, injuries and deaths have become the norm. Even with the increased safety measures of modern vehicles, injuries continue to occur.

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a Dayton accident, you may not know what to do next. You may worry about how to pay your medical bills and how to get back to your regular life—but your legal team can help you recover physically, mentally, and financially.


Dayton drivers spend about 6 hours per year in traffic. While that sounds bad, and it is, Dayton’s average is actually well below the national average. Sitting in any amount of traffic causes drivers to feel agitated and drive aggressively. This type of driving behavior often results in accidents.

Some of the most common types of Dayton accident include:

  • Hit and run
  • Sideswipe
  • Rear-end collision
  • Distracted driving
  • Drunk driving
  • Running a red light or stop sign

By taking appropriate safety measures, drivers can prevent most of these accidents. When you suffer injuries because of another driver’s negligence, it adds to your frustration, building on top of the pain you’re already suffering from your injuries.


Depending on the seriousness of your accident, your injuries may prove severe. Even minor injuries can derail your life and require costly medical care.

The most common injuries that result from Dayton accident include:

  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Dislocated joints
  • Neck injuries
  • Back injuries
  • Concussions and other traumatic brain injuries
  • Amputation
  • Paralysis

Each of these injuries, no matter how minor, could cause you serious pain. To get better, you may need to endure numerous medical procedures and painful rehabilitation.

Additionally, you may face extremely high medical bills. The more serious your injuries, the more costly your recovery. Your injuries may also prevent you from going to work, even for a short time. That can cause financial hardship for many people, as about 40 percent of Americans are just one missed paycheck away from financial catastrophe.

We know this worries you and may stress you out. Don’t let those feelings prevent you from focusing on your health and physical recovery. You have another option. You can partner with an experienced Dayton accident injury lawyer. With the right legal team at your side, you can focus on your recovery while your attorney shoulders the burden of the complex legal process. Your legal team can help you recover maximum compensation, so you don’t have to worry about missing a paycheck.


To ensure that you pursue maximum compensation, your legal team will file a personal injury claim for damages against the negligent party. Proving that someone else caused your accident and subsequent injuries may prove difficult, but an experienced lawyer will know how to do that. The primary goal of filing a lawsuit is to collect compensation from the negligent driver so that you don’t have to worry about covering your medical expenses and financial losses out of your own pocket.

Your lawyer may try to get you compensation for:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost income
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs

The biggest expenses that you may incur may come in the future. The medical bills you see sitting on your kitchen table may only constitute a small fraction of the total amount you need to recover to ensure you do not have to pay a penny out of your own pocket.

Working with a skilled Dayton accident injury attorney, you gain access to your attorney’s experience and resources. Working with medical experts, your lawyer will work to determine how much time you will miss from work and what additional medical care you may need. Together, these costs help your legal team understand the amount of money you need to recover from your injuries.


Getting into an accident in Dayton can prove frightening, both in the moments after the crash, and for weeks and years later. You don’t want your accident to cause you financial hardship, all because of someone else’s negligence. To avoid that situation, you should partner with a trusted accident injury attorney in Dayton as soon as possible after your accident. Contact your car accident lawyer so they can help you pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

Call (937) 222-2030 today, to schedule your free, no obligation consultation with a Dayton accident attorney.

Beware of These Tricks Used by Insurance Companies

tricks used by insurance

Even if you get into a minor fender bender, you should be aware of these tricks used by insurance companies to get away with paying you as little as possible for your injuries.

Introducing: The Insurance Claim Adjuster

An Insurance Claim Adjuster‘s job is to investigate claims, determine who is at fault, and pay the smallest amount of money possible. They will always start with a low-ball offer, often far below the full amount that you are likely eligible for. At this point, most people will just accept that offer and move on with their lives. After all, who wants to drag out a scary, possibly even traumatic time in their lives?

One of the most common tricks used by insurance companies: Settle quickly, before an injury can be diagnosed.

You may later learn that you need to undergo an operation or months of physical therapy for a serious injury

When you get into a car accident, adrenaline and stress hormones dull pain. This physiological response served an important purpose during our evolution – Being able to delay pain allowed us the time and ability to escape danger. Great for when you’re running away from a bear or tiger; Not so great when trying to accurately assess injury after an accident. This is why it is incredibly important to visit a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. Some injuries like whiplash and ligament damage often take several days to weeks to make themselves known.

Insurance claim adjusters know this, and they literally make money off the fact that you do not know this.

Other common tricks used by insurance companies include:

Getting you to admit fault

When you get into an accident, you will receive a phone call from the at-fault party’s insurance company. They will ask to record your statement of events, asking you what happened, when, where, etc. on a recorded line. Anything you say during this phone call can, and will, be used to reduce, deny or even reverse your claim.

You might end up paying the at-fault driver, for an accident that wasn’t your fault!

They want you to slip up and say the wrong thing. They know which statements to use against you. Even if you argue in your own favor, they will use the slightest admittance of fault against you. Saying something as simple as “i’m sorry this happened” or “I just didn’t see the other driver until it was too late” can be used against you.

Accident victims are often in a vulnerable state, having just been through a traumatic experience, medical treatment, and the added stress of paying future bills on their minds. Don’t put it past insurance companies to take advantage of that.

It is best to tell the insurance representative that you have legal representation and any questions will be answered by your attorney.

Getting you to release your medical records

In addition to asking for a recorded statement, the insurance company will likely ask you to sign a release so they can have access to your medical records. Why would they want access to your medical records? Most likely, they plan to downplay the extent of your injuries. They will argue that your injuries are exaggerated or not related to your crash. They may also ask why you waited so long to see a doctor if your medical treatment was delayed.

Adjusters use past medical records against you by claiming that the medical treatment you had was due to a pre-existing condition or old injury, and not a result of the accident. That’s why providing documents without the advice of a lawyer first is a big no-no.

If they ask you to sign a release, simply decline. Let our experienced attorneys get a copy of your medical records so we can link your injury to the crash.

Giving you an arbitrary deadline

This is one of the most common tricks used by insurance claim adjusters. They will issue a low-ball settlement offer, then tell you that you have until a certain date to accept this offer before it is rescinded. The truth is that this deadline is completely arbitrary. They want you to feel scared and uncertain, and that if you don’t accept this offer, you may get nothing at all. This is especially true if you are receiving medical treatment – They want you to accept their offer before the full extent of your injuries, treatment and recovery is known.

You are not obligated to accept this offer. Tell them that you will be consulting with legal council before accepting any offer they make.

Acting like they are your friend who is only here to help you

One of the oldest tricks used by insurance adjusters: They’re your buddy, your concerned friend, who just wants to help you get this all figured out quickly so you can get back to your normal life.

Put quite simply, this is a lie. They may be perfectly nice people in real life, but while doing their job, they are not there to help you. Their loyalty first and foremost is to their company and to the negligent party, so this is just a manipulation tactic to make you feel like you’re in good hands. Any assertion of working for your benefit is not only false but also contradictory to their job description. If they try to convince you not to seek legal representation because they claim they’ll take care of you, do not fall for it.

Steps you can take to avoid these tricks used by insurance companies:

Don’t give a recorded statement

You are not obligated to give an on-record statement, and anything you do say may be used against you.

Don’t accept the first settlement offer

Even if it seems like a lot of money, it is not nearly as much as you may be entitled to. The fact that they are offering you money at all means that they know they are at-fault. Their only job is to get away with paying you as little as they can, and their first offer will ALWAYS be for the lowest amount they think you will accept.

Don’t provide access to your medical records

Your attorney will provide them with ONLY the medical records relevant to your case. If you sign a release for your medical records, insurance companies can obtain records from years and years ago, which they will use to try and diminish your claim.

Provide only the bare minimum details necessary

Don’t offer up any unnecessary or extra details that could be used against you. Don’t let them convince you that the medical treatment you received was unnecessary or downplay your injuries. All details about the extent of your injuries or your medical treatment should be provided by your attorney.

Hire an experienced attorney.

This one may be a bit obvious, but it’s truly the most effective antidote to use against insurance claim adjuster secret tactics. As soon as adjusters are informed that you have a lawyer, they will stop using these tactics on you because they know we won’t fall for it.

For help and advice concerning your car, truck or motorcycle accident, call the experienced accident attorneys at Cowan & Hilgeman. Your case review is completely FREE, with no obligation. If we don’t win, you don’t pay a dime. Call (937) 222-2030 today.