Every day, auto accidents happen on Kentucky roadways. In 2018, about 23,000 motor vehicle accidents occurred in the Bluegrass State. And in those crashes, more than 34,000 drivers and passengers reported injuries.
Fraudulent personal injury claims
However, insurance companies know that not every injury reported in an auto accident is legitimate. In fact, it’s not uncommon for some people to:
- seek a personal injury claim for an injury that doesn’t exist
- exaggerate how serious an injury is
- make a claim on a prior injury – one not caused by the recent auto accident
- ask for pain and suffering costs that far exceed what’s necessary
When insurance companies work with an insurance defense attorney, they can collaborate to investigate if a personal injury claim is fraudulent. This investigation will include:
- Reviewing the accident evidence
- Reviewing the plaintiff’s medical records
- Investigating through surveillance or social media if the plaintiff’s injury is as severe as claimed
If someone is seeking compensation because of a serious neck injury, but doesn’t have the medical records to back that up, that can be fraud. Or if someone seeking medical costs for an injured neck, but posts a photo of themselves bungee jumping, the severity of the injury is questionable.
When the injured fails to mitigate the damages
Another way insurance companies may face a contested personal injury claim is if the person injured doesn’t follow their treatment plan or makes their injuries worse. This is known as a plaintiff failing to mitigate the damages of their injuries. In these cases, an insurance company can reduce the amount of damages the plaintiff recovers. An example of this is if a plaintiff’s doctor recommends surgery to fix the injured person’s ligaments after an accident. However, the plaintiff opts not to have the surgery.
Providing a defense against fraudulent claims or when plaintiffs fail to mitigate injury damages is necessary because they drive up the cost of insurance for everyone. They make it difficult for insurance companies to maintain their bottom line. That’s why working with an attorney with experience in insurance defense is important: to help your company reduce excessive claim expenses.