Insurance Company Programs to Minimize Injury Claim Value: Their Tactics and Your Responses

Posted by Richard P. Hastings | Jan 27, 2012 | 0 Comments

If you have been involved in a Stamford, Connecticut car accident case you should have a number of questions regarding your CT injury claim that need to be answered right away. In fact, you will need to know about all of the problems and pitfalls that lie ahead in dealing with the insurance company and the techniques they will use to try and pay you the least amount of money possible for your CT injury claim. Get those answers now from attorneys who have decades of experience in obtaining money damages for injured people. By way of example, here is just one such way that an insurance company will try and pay you less money for your CT injury claim and what you can do about it.

An increasing number of liability insurance companies have started using a new program with the goal of reducing the amount of money they pay you for your injury claim, for example, a motor vehicle accident.  Under this new insurance program, insurance companies are offering very low settlement on all soft-tissue injury claims involving low-speed crashes and minor vehicle damage.

The new program is referred to as DOLF (Defense of Litigated Files) or MIST (Minor Impact Soft Tissue) cases.  These injury claims typically involve a low-impact crash that results in minor property damage. The injured party typically receives injuries to the neck or back- what insurance adjusters refer to as a classic whiplash case.

One of the major factors that insurance company adjusters look at in these cases is the nature, extent and amount of property damage, because the insurance adjuster will allege that the less damage there is to a motor vehicle, the less significant of an injury the claimant will have suffered.   Automobile and truck manufacturers are now making vehicles safer than ever and they are designed to have impact absorbing bumpers and other parts that do not evidence obvious outward damage to the vehicle.

Whiplash, or soft tissue injury, has been the subject of a great deal of medical and engineering research and study.  Roughly one million whiplash injuries occur each year, many of which happen in low-impact crashes.  Studies have shown that even in an impact at only 5 miles per hour, the sudden movement results in g-forces (gravitational and acceleration forces) that is high enough to turn the average human head into a 150-pound load resting on the spine. One study showed that the less a car is damaged in a collision, the higher the acceleration of the impacted vehicle and the greater the risk of injury to the spine.  This is because a motor vehicle that compresses or collapses in a collision absorbs more of the force of the impact than one that remains undamaged. In other words, a low impact motor vehicle accident can result in significant life altering injuries despite the fact that a great deal of physical damage to the vehicle is not obvious.

So in order to improve the value of your injury claim, especially with an insurance adjuster who is using the DOLF or MIST program you can do one very easy thing.  One factor that many insurance adjusters look at to determine if an impact was minor is the amount of the repair bill to fix the property damage to the motor vehicle. In other words, the amount of money that it costs to repair your car could have an impact upon the ultimate settlement value or jury verdict of your case.

So because property damage estimates can vary by hundreds or even thousands of dollars, you should take your damaged vehicle to the dealership for that make of your motor vehicle.  Generally speaking, dealerships will charge more to repair your damaged vehicle than will the local body shop.  You should also insist that new factory parts, not after market, reconditioned or used parts, be used to repair your vehicle.  If the estimate to your vehicle is higher, you stand a better chance of defeating the DOLF or MIST strategy used by many insurance adjusters.

Do not hire a attorney, say anything to anyone from the insurance company or sign any type of documents regarding your injury claim until you read a copy of our FREE book "The Crash Course on Personal Injury Cases in Connecticut". Learn what you need to do and how an injury claim is developed and put together. Learn how injury claims are evaluated and what insurance adjusters look for before making offers of money or the injured party. Call us at (888) 244-5480 for free and valuable legal advice. Get the answers you need today!

About the Author

Richard P. Hastings

Attorney Hastings concentrates his practice on personal injury and litigation. Devoted to helping those who have suffered some type of wrong, Richard P. Hastings concentrates his law practice on personal injury law.


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