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How Insurance Companies Deny Claims: Tactics and Strategies

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July 12, 2023

Insurance is supposed to provide financial protection in the event of an unexpected loss, such as a car accident or a medical emergency. Unfortunately, insurance companies sometimes deny claims, leaving policyholders in a difficult situation. 

Denying claims is a common tactic used by insurance companies to protect their bottom line. However, this can leave policyholders feeling frustrated and helpless. In this blog, we will explore the insurance companies’ tactics and strategies to deny claims, and provide tips for policyholders to avoid falling victim to these tactics. By understanding the tactics and strategies of insurance companies, you can protect yourself and your family from the devastating effects of a denied claim.

What is an Insurance Policy?

An insurance policy is a legal contract between an individual (or organization) and an insurance company in which the individual pays a premium in exchange for the insurer’s promise to cover specific losses or damages in the future. It outlines the terms, conditions, and limitations of coverage. Also, it describes the circumstances under which the insurer will pay out benefits and the exclusions and deductibles that apply. 

The insurance policy is a critical document that governs the relationship between the policyholder and the insurance company, and policyholders need to understand their rights and obligations under the policy. These are meant to provide peace of mind and financial protection in need. However, when an insurance company denies a claim, it can be a frustrating and confusing experience for policyholders. 

Insurance companies are vested in denying claims as it helps them maintain profitability and minimize losses. Denial rates vary between insurance companies and can be influenced by factors such as the type of policy, the insured’s history, and the severity of the claim.

Insurers may deny claims due to technicalities in the policy language, interpretation, or suspicions of fraud or misrepresentation. For example, if a policyholder fails to disclose relevant information during the application process, such as pre-existing medical conditions or previous accidents, this could result in claim denial. Also, insurers may deny claims based on internal investigations into suspected fraudulent activity.

Policyholders need to understand their rights and options when faced with a claim denial. This includes appealing the decision through the insurer’s internal appeals process or seeking legal assistance if necessary. 

It is also important for policyholders to carefully review their insurance policies before filing a claim to ensure they meet all requirements and obligations outlined in the policy language.

Importance of Understanding How Insurance Companies Deny Claims

Understanding how insurance companies deny claims is crucial for policyholders to protect their interests and ensure they receive the coverage they are entitled to. By understanding the tactics and strategies used by insurers to deny claims, policyholders can be better prepared to deal with insurance companies and advocate for themselves in the claims process.

One of the key reasons why understanding how insurance companies deny claims is important is that it can help policyholders identify potential red flags early in the claims process. For example, if an insurer requests excessive documentation or delays the claims process without a valid reason, it may be a sign that they are attempting to deny the claim. 

Additionally, understanding how insurance companies deny claims can help policyholders navigate the appeals process if their claim is initially denied. By knowing the strategies and tactics that insurers use to deny claims, policyholders can develop a stronger argument for why their claim should be approved and potentially increase their chances of success on appeal.

Understanding how insurance companies deny claims is an important part of being a responsible policyholder. By staying informed and proactive, policyholders can protect themselves from unfair treatment by insurers and ensure that they receive the coverage and benefits they are entitled to under their policies.

Reasons for Insurance Claim Denials

No Valid Coverage

One of the most common reasons for insurance claim denials is when the policyholder’s coverage has expired or if they failed to pay their premiums on time. Insurance companies require policyholders to maintain valid coverage, and if they fail to do so, their claims will be denied.

For example, let’s say a driver fails to renew their auto insurance policy before it expires. If that driver gets into an accident after the expiration date, any claims filed with the insurance company will likely be denied. This is because the driver did not have valid coverage at the time of the accident.

Failure to File Timely Claim

Another reason why insurance companies may deny claims is when policyholders fail to file a claim within the specified time frame outlined in their policy. Insurance policies typically require that claims be filed promptly after an incident occurs.

For instance, let’s say a homeowner experiences water damage from a burst pipe but fails to file a claim until several months later. In this case, the insurance company may deny the claim due to untimeliness.

Partial or Full Fault for Accident

Insurance companies may also deny claims if the policyholder is found to be partially or fully at fault for an accident. In these cases, insurers may argue that they are not responsible for covering damages resulting from actions taken by their own customers.

For example, suppose two drivers get into a motor accident where one driver runs through a stop sign and collides with another vehicle. If it can be proven that both drivers were at fault for causing the accident, then neither party’s insurer may cover damages resulting from that collision.

Problems with Policy or Coverage

Insurance companies may also deny claims if there are issues with the policy or coverage itself. For instance, exclusions or limitations may apply to specific types of damage or accidents.

Let’s say a homeowner experiences damage due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall but does not have flood insurance as part of their home insurance policy. In this case, the insurance company may deny their claim due to the lack of coverage for flooding.

Disputes Over Liability and Fault

Another reason why insurance claims may be denied is when there are disputes over liability and fault. This can happen when multiple parties are involved in an accident, and it is unclear who is responsible for causing the damages.

For example, suppose two drivers get into a collision at an intersection where both drivers claim that they had the right of way. In this case, insurers may dispute who was at fault for causing the accident, leading to a denial of one or both parties’ claims.

Fraudulent Claims

Finally, insurance companies may deny claims if they suspect that the claim is fraudulent. Fraudulent claims occur when policyholders intentionally cause damage to their property or stage accidents to collect insurance money.

For instance, let’s say a homeowner files a claim stating that their home was burglarized and valuable items were stolen. If it is discovered that the homeowner staged the burglary to collect insurance money, then their claim will likely be denied.

Lapsed Policy

A lapsed insurance policy is one of the most common reasons for denied claims. Insurance companies require policyholders to keep their policies active and up-to-date. If a policy lapse, any damages or physical injuries that occur during that time may not be covered. This can result in significant financial losses for the policyholder.

It’s important for policyholders to understand the consequences of letting their insurance policies lapse. Even if they have been with the same insurance company for years, failing to pay premiums on time can lead to a lapsed policy and denied claims.

Insufficient Insurance to Cover Damages

Another reason why claims are often denied is due to insufficient insurance coverage. It’s important for policyholders to make sure they have enough liability coverage to cover potential damages and injuries, as well as any property damage that may occur.

If a driver causes an accident and doesn’t have enough liability coverage, they may be personally responsible for paying any additional costs that exceed their coverage limits. This can be financially devastating, especially if there are serious injuries involved.

Damage Excluded from Coverage

Damage excluded from coverage can also result in denied claims. For example, if an excluded driver causes an accident or if the damage was caused by an event specifically excluded in the policy, the insurance company may deny the claim.

It’s important for policyholders to review their policies carefully and understand what is and isn’t covered. They should also consider adding additional coverage options if necessary.

Medical Necessity

Another common reason for claim denials is a medical necessity. Insurance companies may argue that certain treatments or procedures are not covered under the policy because they are not medically necessary. This can be a frustrating experience for those who need medical care but cannot afford to pay out of pocket.

To avoid this situation, it is important to carefully review your insurance policy and understand what types of medical treatments and procedures are covered. If you believe that a treatment or procedure should be covered but your insurer has denied your claim, you may need to appeal the decision and provide additional evidence supporting the medical necessity of the treatment.

Meeting Specific Requirements

Uninsured motorist coverage is another area where claims denials can occur due to specific requirements that must be met before this coverage can be applied. For example, some policies require that the uninsured driver be identified and located before any benefits are paid out.

To ensure that your uninsured motorist claim will not be denied, it is important to carefully review your insurance policy and understand what requirements must be met before benefits will be paid out. In addition, if you have been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, it is important to gather as much information about the other driver as possible to help your insurer locate them.

Forgetting About Deadlines

One of the most common reasons why people miss out on filing their claims on time is simply forgetting about deadlines. Many people assume that they have plenty of time to file their claims and end up procrastinating until it’s too late. As mentioned earlier, insurers have strict deadlines for filing claims, which vary depending on the type of policy you have.

For example, if you have car insurance, you may be required to report an accident within 24 hours or 48 hours after it occurred. If you wait too long before reporting an accident, your insurer may deny your claim altogether.

Not Understanding Policy Coverage

Another reason why people fail to file claims on time is that they don’t fully understand their policy coverage. Insurance policies can be complex, and it’s not uncommon for people to misunderstand what is covered under their policy.

For instance, if you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, you may assume that all types of water damage are covered. However, your insurer may only cover certain types of water damage caused by specific events such as burst pipes or heavy rainstorms. 

If you file a claim for water damage caused by flooding, which is not covered under your policy, your insurer will deny your claim.

Fear of Premium Increase

Some people avoid filing claims because they fear that their premiums will increase if they do so. While it’s true that filing too many claims can lead to an increase in premiums, not filing a claim when one is needed can result in more significant financial losses.

It’s essential to remember that the purpose of insurance is to protect against unexpected losses. If you experience damages or losses and have insurance coverage for them, it’s crucial to file a claim promptly and let your insurer decide whether the incident warrants an increase in premiums or not.

Strategies Used by Insurance Companies to Deny Claims

Insurance companies use a variety of strategies to deny claims, some of which are outlined below:

Delaying Claims Processing

Delaying claims processing is a common tactic used by insurance companies to avoid paying out on a claim. Insurance companies may delay processing a claim for several reasons.

First, they may claim that they need more time to investigate the claim or gather additional information. While some claims do require additional investigation, in many cases, the delay is simply a way for the insurer to avoid making a payout.

Second, insurance companies may delay processing claims in the hope that the policyholder will give up or settle for a lower amount. This is particularly common in cases where the policyholder is experiencing financial hardship and is in need of quick payment.

If an insurance company is delaying processing a claim, it is important for the policyholder to keep detailed records of all communication with the insurer, including the date and time of each conversation and the name of the representative they spoke with. 

This can be helpful if the policyholder needs to escalate the issue or file a complaint with state regulators. If the delay persists, the policyholder may need to seek legal advice or file a complaint with state regulators to ensure that their claim is processed in a timely manner.

Misinterpreting Policy Language 

Another tactic used by insurance companies to deny claims is misinterpreting policy language or applying exclusions that are not justified by the policy language. Insurance policies can be complex and difficult to understand, and insurance companies may use this to their advantage by denying claims based on an interpretation of the policy language that is not supported by the policy itself.

For example, an insurance company may deny a claim for water damage to a home, citing an exclusion for flood damage. However, if the water damage was caused by a burst pipe rather than a natural flood, the policyholder may be entitled to coverage under their policy.

If an insurance company denies a claim based on a misinterpretation of policy language, the policyholder should carefully review the policy language and seek legal advice if necessary. It is important to understand the specific terms, conditions, and exclusions of the policy to ensure that the insurance company is not misrepresenting the coverage.

Policyholders may also want to file a complaint with state regulators if they believe that the insurance company is unfairly denying their claim based on a misinterpretation of policy language.

Denying Claims based on Pre-Existing Conditions 

Insurance companies may also deny claims based on pre-existing conditions that were not disclosed by the policyholder, even if the condition is unrelated to the claim.

For example, if a policyholder files a claim for a broken arm, the insurance company may deny the claim if they discover that the policyholder had a previous injury to that arm that was not disclosed on their insurance application.

However, insurance companies are required to clearly disclose what qualifies as a pre-existing condition in their policies, and policyholders are typically not required to disclose conditions that are not specifically asked about on the application.

If an insurance company denies a claim based on a pre-existing condition that was not properly disclosed, the policyholder may have grounds to appeal the decision. Policyholders should carefully review their policy and consult with an experienced attorney if necessary to determine if the insurance company is acting in accordance with the policy terms.

Requiring Excessive Documentation

Another tactic used by insurance companies to deny claims is requiring excessive documentation or requesting unnecessary information. Insurance companies may ask for extensive documentation, such as medical records, invoices, and receipts, in an effort to delay or deny the claim.

While it is reasonable for insurance companies to request some documentation to support a claim, excessive requests for information can be a sign that the insurer is attempting to avoid paying out on the claim. In some cases, the requested information may not even be relevant to the claim.

If an insurance company is requesting excessive documentation or information, the policyholder should carefully review the policy to determine what documentation is required to support the claim. The policyholder should also keep detailed records of all communication with the insurer, including the date and time of each conversation and the name of the representative they spoke with.

If the insurer continues to request unnecessary information or documentation, the policyholder may need to escalate the issue or file a complaint with state regulators to ensure that the claim is processed in a timely manner. Policyholders may also want to seek legal advice if they believe that the insurance company is acting in bad faith.

By using these strategies, insurance companies can deny claims, avoid payouts, and protect their bottom line. As a result, it is important for policyholders to understand these tactics and be prepared to challenge them if necessary.

What to Do If Your Claim Is Denied

Tips for Filing a Car Insurance Claim

Filing a car insurance claim can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, especially if your claim is denied. However, there are several steps you can take to increase the chances of your claim being approved.

Firstly, it’s important to gather all necessary documents and evidence to support your claim. This may include police reports, witness statements, photographs of the damage or injuries sustained, and medical records.

When providing information to your insurance company, it’s crucial to be honest and accurate. Providing false information or exaggerating the extent of damages or injuries can result in a denied claim or even legal consequences.

Following up regularly with your insurance adjuster is also essential to ensure that your claim is being processed in a timely manner. If you feel that your adjuster is not responding promptly or adequately addressing your concerns, consider reaching out to their supervisor or filing a complaint with the state’s insurance department.

How to Appeal the Denial of Your Claim

If your car insurance claim has been denied, it’s important not to give up hope. There are several steps you can take to appeal the decision and potentially receive compensation for damages or injuries sustained.

The first step in appealing a denial is reviewing your insurance policy and the reason for the denial. Understanding why your claim was denied can help you determine what additional evidence or information may be needed to support your case.

Providing additional evidence or information that supports your claim is another crucial step in appealing a denial. This may include obtaining witness statements, medical records from additional providers, or expert opinions on damages sustained.

Consider hiring an attorney who specializes in insurance claims if you feel overwhelmed by the appeals process. These professionals can provide guidance on how best to present your case and negotiate with insurers on behalf of their clients.

How to Dispute Home Insurance Claim Denials and Settlements

Disputing home insurance claim denials and settlements requires careful review of your policy and the specific terms related to your claim. Understanding the terms of your policy can help you determine whether or not the denial or settlement is fair and reasonable.

Obtaining an independent appraisal or estimate of damages is another important step in disputing a home insurance claim denial or settlement. This can provide additional evidence to support your case and potentially increase the amount of compensation received.

If you believe that your home insurance claim was unfairly denied or settled, consider filing a complaint with your state’s insurance department. These departments are responsible for regulating insurers and ensuring that they comply with state laws and regulations.

Police Reports Can Help Support Claims

Having a police report can help support a claim and provide evidence of the cause of the damage. In many cases, it’s essential to have this type of documentation when filing an insurance claim.

If there were no witnesses present at the scene of an accident or if it’s unclear who caused the damage, having a police report can help clarify things. The report will include details about what happened, who was involved, and any other relevant information.

Can You Sue Your Insurance Company If They Deny Your Claim? 

If an insurance company denies your claim, you may be wondering if you have the right to sue them. The short answer is yes, but it depends on the circumstances surrounding the claim denial.

In most cases, insurance policies will include a process for appealing a claim denial. This typically involves submitting additional documentation or information to support the claim or disputing the decision with the insurance company’s appeals department. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the policyholder may have the option to file a lawsuit.

However, before deciding to sue your insurance company, it is important to review the terms of your policy and seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. The specific language in the policy may limit your ability to sue, and filing a lawsuit can be a lengthy and costly process.

If you do decide to sue your insurance company, there are several legal theories that can be used to support your case. These may include breach of contract, bad faith, or unfair claims practices.

  • Breach of contract occurs when the insurance company fails to uphold the terms of the policy, such as denying a claim that is clearly covered under the policy. 
  • Bad faith occurs when the insurance company acts with intent to deceive or unfairly deny a claim. 
  • Unfair claims practices involve actions that are prohibited by state law, such as denying a claim without conducting a proper investigation.

If you believe that your insurance company has acted improperly in denying your claim, it is important to speak with an attorney who can evaluate your case and advise you on the best course of action. Suing an insurance company can be a complex process, but with the right legal representation, you can potentially recover the compensation you deserve.

Best Practices to Avoid or Solve this Common Problem

Understand the Reasons Behind Claim Denials

Insurance companies may deny claims for various reasons, such as lack of coverage, pre-existing conditions, or errors in the application process. It’s important to understand the reason behind the denial before taking any action. If you receive a denial letter from your insurance company, carefully review it to determine why your claim was denied.

Review your Insurance Policy

Policyholders should review their insurance policy to ensure that the claim denial is valid. Sometimes, insurance companies may deny claims without proper justification. Reviewing your policy can help you identify any gaps in coverage or exclusions that may have led to the denial.

File an Appeal

If you believe that your claim was wrongly denied, you can file an appeal with your insurance company. This involves submitting additional information, such as medical records or bills to support your claim. Be sure to follow all instructions your insurer provides and promptly provide any necessary documentation.

Seek Legal Assistance

If your appeal is denied, you may want to seek legal assistance from an attorney who specializes in insurance disputes. They can help you navigate the appeals process and protect your rights as a policyholder. An experienced attorney can also advise you on whether other legal options are available to challenge the denial.

Know your Rights Under the Law

Policyholders have certain rights under the law; they can access their insurance information and dispute claim denials if they believe they were unfairly denied coverage. Understanding these rights can help protect yourself against unfair practices by insurers.

Consider Switching Insurance Providers

If you consistently face claim denials or network restrictions with your current insurance provider, it may be time to consider switching to a different provider or plan that better meets your needs. Before making any changes, carefully review potential new plans and compare them against what you currently have.

When dealing with claim denials from health insurance providers, it’s important to remember that there are options available to you. By understanding the reasons behind claim denials, reviewing your policy, filing an appeal, seeking legal assistance, knowing your rights under the law, and considering switching providers, you can protect yourself and your family from unfair practices by insurers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, insurance companies may use various tactics to deny claims or delay the claims process, including misinterpreting policy language, denying claims based on pre-existing conditions, and requiring excessive documentation. Policyholders should carefully review their policies, keep detailed records of all communication with the insurer, and seek legal advice if necessary to ensure they receive the coverage they are entitled to under their policies.

If you have had a claim denied by an insurance company, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. The team at Slingshot Law has years of experience dealing with insurance companies and can help you navigate the claims process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Getting Justice for a Brain Injury

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January 31, 2023

If you or a loved one have suffered a severe brain injury, you and your family are going through a lot. Between medical bills and everyday life, you may be struggling to make it through the day. However, getting compensation for a brain injury may ease some of that pain

The Austin personal injury lawyers with Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law are here to help guide you through filing a claim and taking your case to court. Our goal is to aid you every step of the way, to make sure you get the justice you deserve.

Symptoms of Brain Injuries

There are several different types of brain injuries, from mild issues to life-changing damage. Our team helps get compensation for a variety of brain injuries, including concussions, open and closed head injuries, hemorrhages, hematoma, and more. 

Traumatic brain injuries are the most severe form of brain injury. They are injuries that disrupt the normal functioning of the brain, often caused by some form of external force. These injuries could permanently impact the victim’s cognitive, physical, social, and psychological functioning.

Because of the severe impact, those who have received or have a family member who has received a traumatic brain injury will likely file for compensation. If you think you may have a brain injury after an accident, there are a few symptoms you will want to watch out for: 

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea 
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired balance
  • Memory loss
  • Loss of conscience
  • Vertigo

For more serious brain injuries, you may experience vomiting, seizures or convulsions, light sensitivity, numbness in fingers and toes, or coordination problems. Seek medical help immediately if you think you have a brain injury.

Your Next Steps After a Brain Injury

When you are considering filing a claim after a brain injury, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim. However, the further away from the date of the accident you file, the more difficult it may be to prove your injury. In this case, it’s ideal to get help from brain injury lawyers right away. 

Next, you will want to determine the reason for your or your family member’s injury. If the victim was injured due to the negligence of someone else, they will have to prove four things: duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Talk to your lawyer about proving these elements and getting the compensation you’re due.

Get Help From an Austin Brain Injury Attorney

You shouldn’t have to feel stressed and alone when going through a traumatic experience, especially a brain injury. Brain injuries may drastically change your life, but getting the compensation you deserve may ease some of the burdens you feel due to medical expenses and loss of wages. 

The Austin personal injury lawyers at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law can provide you with the information you need to file your case. Our team will work with you every step of the way to help you get the compensation you deserve. Reach out to us at 866-720-5254 or fill out a contact form below to speak to an attorney through a free consultation.

Three Questions from the Insurance Company You Shouldn’t Answer

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January 3, 2023

Insurance in some form or another is typically mandatory. You’re required to give an insurance company some of your hard-earned money each month, and in return, they promise to protect you in the event of an accident or emergency. 

Unfortunately, insurance companies aren’t your friend, and rarely have your best interest at heart. They will do anything to offer you the minimum settlement they can get away with, or, more simply, deny your claim.

Having an attorney present to help you with insurance company communications is the easiest way to avoid getting your claim denied or accepting a lowball offer out of desperation. Whether or not you choose to get an attorney, keep in mind these questions you should never answer from your insurance company.

Were You At Fault?

Even if you are not intentionally admitting fault, phrases like “I’m sorry,” or “it was my fault” can be used against you. Do not admit fault to your insurance company or law enforcement. 

Even admitting partial fault can drastically reduce the value of your claim, or even cause your claim to be outright denied. Anything you say at the accident scene can be used against you. Because of this, it’s often best to let your lawyer represent you during these conversations. 

Can You Give a Statement on the Record?

Recorded statements are never in your best interest. Insurance statements use them to search for inconsistencies and contradictions in clients’ statements. You don’t have any obligation to give a statement on the record to anyone, no matter what the insurance representative claims. The insurance company can and will use your words against you.

When describing the incident, be sure to only give indisputable facts. It’s also okay to say you’re not sure or don’t know. You can’t possibly know every aspect of the incident and giving certain answers can hurt your claim. Your lawyer can guide you through these interactions and to the answers you need. 

Are You Ready to Accept a Settlement?

When you start a dialogue with your insurance company, you may be offered a sum of money as a settlement. Typically, this settlement offer is a lowball offer that doesn’t cover what your claim is due. If a settlement comes too soon, it is a sure sign that the offer is likely a lowball. 

Insurance companies have an unfortunate pattern of attempting to get their clients to accept bad offers. Often, they’re playing on their clients’ desperation and lack of legal knowledge. Remember that you are owed compensation for your injuries, your vehicle damage, any time you had to take off work, and any current or future medical bills related to the accident.

Get Guidance from a Personal Injury Lawyer 

If you or someone you love has been battling an insurance company to get the compensation you deserve, know that you don’t have to face it alone. Having an experienced attorney to aggressively represent you with their knowledge of the law can be the difference between getting your claim denied and getting your maximum possible settlement. 

The lawyers at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law are ready to fight for you. Call 800-488-7840 or fill out the following online contact form to learn more and get your free consultation. 

Texas Negligence Laws Explained 

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November 2, 2022

Texas, as with other states, has established specific laws that define what negligence pertains to in a personal injury claim. Under these laws, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for any injuries or damages sustained because of the negligence of another. 

There are several statutes under Texas law that you should learn about if you intend on filing a personal injury claim in the state. Understanding these rules can make it more likely to recover damages for any injuries, out-of-pocket expenses, and lost wages. 

Modified Comparative Fault 

When negligence has to be established, Texas uses a modified comparative fault standard to determine who is at fault and who receives damages. This is also known as proportionate responsibility. This means that the amount you receive may be reduced if you’re found to be partially at fault, as well.

For example, if you got into a car accident while texting with a car that ran a stop sign, you may be found to be 50 percent at fault. If they award you $30,000 in damages, you would reduce this amount by half, receiving $15,000. 

There is also the 51 percent bar rule. This stops anyone who is 51 percent or more at fault for the accident and injuries from collecting damages. 

Modified Joint and Several Liability Rule

Texas followed a traditional joint and several liability rules prior to 1995. This means that the plaintiff was liable for the whole amount of the plaintiff’s damages. This is even if the plaintiff was somewhat at fault. 

In 1995, the state changed the law and now follows a modified joint and several liability rule. This makes it so the defendant is only liable for the full compensation amount of the damages if they’re 50 percent or more responsible for the accident. 

The Elements of Negligence in Texas

Personal injury lawsuits have a legal standard that means to win the case, you have to do so by a preponderance of evidence provided. In criminal cases, the standard is proving beyond a reasonable doubt, which is harder to prove.

If you’re a plaintiff in a personal injury claim, you have to demonstrate these five elements:

  • The defendant was supposed to act in a specific manner, but did not
  • There was a breach of duty where the defendant did not do something, such as focusing on the road 
  • The injuries sustained were caused by this breach of duty
  • It is obvious the act that was done or not done could have hurt someone
  • You have suffered an actual hardship that can be compensated for

If these five elements can be shown in a personal injury claim, you may be able to recover damages under the Texas negligence laws.

Collect Your Damages With an Experienced Law Office

When collecting damages, you need an experienced law office that understands negligence laws in the state of Texas. Reach out to the professionals at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law.

Call the office at 800-488-7840 today to schedule a time to speak with our attorneys for a free consultation, or fill out the following online contact form. Know your rights and understand the laws put in place to protect you in the event of the negligence of someone else. 

Suing Because of a Child Injury

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October 24, 2022

When your child is injured, this is considered to be a serious crime. You need the right legal representation on your side when you head to court. But what steps do you need to take for your claim?

Our team of injury lawyers with Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law can help you get the justice you deserve. Don’t let an injury to your child go unpunished.

Can I Sue on Behalf of My Child? 

When your child is injured because someone else was careless, your child is unable to defend their future in court. Minors, or people under 18 years old, are ineligible to sue until they’re of age. However, this can be a major problem for children because evidence can be lost or destroyed in the meantime. 

While your child has the option to wait until they’re old enough to sue, filing on your child’s behalf can help protect their best interests now, not later. You and your lawyer can speak with the judge about appointing a guardian ad litem. This allows your lawyer to represent your child in court. 

Acting now can help your child recover sooner, with the funds your family needs in the aftermath of a serious accident. Contact a lawyer about liability and what damages your child may be due

Liability for Your Child’s Injuries

When your child is hurt, determining who’s liable for the injury is vital. Your lawyer can help you determine liability depending on the details of your child’s accident.

For example, because it is the assumption that an owner or operator of a childcare facility has a duty to keep the child safe while under their care, the owner may be liable for your child’s injuries. Your lawyer can help you take the right steps to take your claim to court and get compensated for your child’s suffering. 

If your child is injured while at school, it is difficult to hold the school liable for the injury. However, you may still have the ability to get monetary compensation. According to Texas law, you may file a claim against your school or other government agencies if your child’s injury at school was a result of negligent actions

In some instances, a third party may be the reason your child was injured. In that case, the plaintiff will want to consider filing a claim against the third party with the help of an experienced attorney.

Get the Compensation You Deserve for Your Child with an Austin Attorney

If your child is suffering due to someone else’s neglectful actions, don’t leave their recovery up to chance. Call an experienced Austin attorney that can help you file a claim and walk you through all of the steps to get your monetary compensation. Our lawyers have the tools you need for your claim.

Struggling to take action on your child’s behalf? Reach out to Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law for a free consultation. Give us a call at 800-488-7840 or fill out our online contact form for more information.

Documenting Medical Expenses for a Personal Injury Claim

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September 22, 2022

Ignoring injuries that are affecting your personal life and your productivity can result in health complications and financial problems in the future. 

Documentation of your medical expenses and recovery may be vital after an injury. Receiving a fair settlement can really make a difference when other expenses keep piling up, and it could also help you recover emotionally. But ensuring you have the right documentation can be tough. Here’s what you need to know for a successful claim. 

The Importance of Medical Documentation

When you’re dealing with a personal injury, you won’t be compensated unless you prove the liable party was negligent and the accident could have been prevented by exercising caution. You’ll also need to demonstrate that your injuries exist because of a specific accident.

All of this information and any additional details required to prove liability are in your medical documentation. Here’s a list of what you need to receive a good settlement offer that includes future expenses along with current ones. 

Hospital and Ambulance Bills

A high-speed collision, a slip-and-fall accident, or any other injuries could mean a trip to the emergency room. If complications like a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or internal bleeding are found, you’ll have to stay in the hospital so doctors can monitor your progress and establish the treatment plan you’ll need once you can return home safely. 

This process can be an expensive one. Keeping your hospital and ambulance-related bills allows these factors to be included in your compensation. 

Medical Records

After an accident, your medical records can be a vital piece of evidence when providing your personal injury claim.

Medical records contain important information like your diagnosis, your treatment plan, how long your recovery takes, and the exact monetary amount of your medical bills. Once you have this evidence, these damages can be included in your compensation. 

A doctor can also put a detailed note of your conditions in this important documentation, which can be used as evidence for your injury case

Personal Notes

Injuries can compromise your ability to perform everyday tasks like you used to, which could result in emotional suffering. The amount of pain you’re experiencing because of someone else’s negligence can result in a lower quality of life. That can be a major problem for you if your recovery requires months or years.

Keeping personal notes of what you’re going through and how so many medical exams are compromising your enjoyment of life is an important step in calculating future medical expenses. Your medical journey may not be consistently better, and your journal can capture how you’re feeling as well as the costs of your recovery. 

Reach Out to a Personal Injury Attorney in Austin

Documenting medical expenses can be difficult, especially while you’re stressed and dealing with insurance companies who want to waste your time and force you to make a mistake. A qualified lawyer can take care of gathering evidence on your behalf, including medical documentation. 

Injury attorneys at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law, will fight for the settlement you deserve. You can set up a free case evaluation by calling our office at 800-488-7840 or filling out our online contact form on this page. 

Wrongful Death Claims in Texas

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September 22, 2022

The loss of a loved one may never be made up, which leaves you mourning and juggling the costs of their end-of-life care. A lawsuit may not fix this, but it can provide the funds you deserve following the accident.  

But how do wrongful death claims in Texas work? A wrongful death lawyer can walk you through every step of your case. We will help you obtain the damages you are due and make sure you’re on the right path to receive the compensation you’re due. 

The Definition of Wrongful Death

A wrongful death claim in Texas may only occur under a certain set of circumstances. You need to know what factors are looked at before you sue. Otherwise, you may find you’re ineligible for compensation while deep into your claim. Wrongful death in Texas must meet these criteria:

If you believe your case fits this description, reach out to a wrongful death attorney. They can determine the next steps in your claim and help you take action. 

Negligence Laws in Texas

In order to prove negligence was the cause of wrongful death, you must be able to prove the other party was liable for the fatal injuries that lead to the death of your loved one. The burden of proof can be difficult on those without an attorney’s support. 

These elements of negligence include:

  • Duty of Care – The defendant must have owed you some sort of care to keep the death from occurring. For example, if the defense is a doctor, you may need to prove your loved one was a patient. 
  • Breached Duty of Care – The defendant did not use reasonable care to avoid wrongful death. They were acting negligently and failed to consider the safety of others.
  • Injuries Caused by Actions – The actions or inactions of the defendant then directly resulted in the wrongful death. If you can’t connect their actions to the injury, you may not have grounds for a lawsuit. 
  • Damages Were Suffered – From there, you’ll need to prove the victim suffered from the actions or inaction of the defendant. Those injuries must have caused their death to file a lawsuit. 

Evidence for a Wrongful Death Claim

However, you will want to make sure you have plenty of evidence on your side when it comes to proving negligence in your case. In Texas, you can use a variety of evidence during your trial, including the following: 

  • Photos 
  • Surveillance footage 
  • Eyewitness accounts 
  • Expert witness testimony
  • Reconstructions of the accident 
  • Medical records and reports 
  • Police reports 

Talk to your lawyer if you need help gathering any of these key pieces of evidence. 

Make a Claim with a Wrongful Death Attorney

Nothing will replace your loved one after a wrongful death has occurred, but we will try to help you ease the pain. The Austin wrongful lawyers with Gibbs and Crivelli, Slingshot Law, get you the damages you deserve.

Ready to contact an attorney? Schedule a free case evaluation to learn how we can help you. To get started, call 800-488-7840 or fill out the contact form below.

Suing a Trucking Company: What to Know 

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August 12, 2022

When an auto accident occurs that involves a commercial truck, the process for receiving compensation is different than a standard car accident. When pursuing legal action, you want to make sure everything is done correctly, for the right payment. 

This is because suing a trucking company requires some extra steps to investigate what happened. This means hiring an attorney that has legal experience dealing with trucking accidents. Here’s what you need to know about your truck accident and how a lawyer can help you succeed. 

Determine Who is at Fault

One of the biggest questions in a case because of a truck accident is who do you file the lawsuit against? Determining the at-fault party is the first step in an accident case. The responding police officer will assess the accident and then name who is at fault on the report they write up. 

It is important that while you’re waiting for the authorities to show up at the truck accident, you gather information about the accident. This should include the driver’s name, license plate number, and any insurance, employer, or other information. 

One of the biggest questions in a case because of a truck accident is who do you file the lawsuit against? The police report can tell you who caused the accident, but not who’s liable for your damages. In truck accident lawsuits, the trucking company may be responsible for covering the costs of your injuries. Talk to your lawyer about holding the right party responsible. 

Filing the Lawsuit 

When suing a trucking company, you’re dealing with a larger group, not an individual. This makes suing the company a bit different from a typical car accident

Trucking companies are usually held responsible for the negligence of their employees. This is why determining the companies and individuals involved is essential. You may also be eligible for a lawsuit against the manufacturer or the people responsible for repairing the trucks. If a part of the truck failed, you may have grounds for a lawsuit. 

In these cases, reach out to your lawyer about filing your claim. Your attorney can help you take action on time and take your claim to court if the at-fault party refuses to compensate you. 

Seeking Compensation for Your Claim 

When you’re hurt and suing a trucking company, you may need help determining the damages you need to seek. When seeking compensation, you may be eligible for both economic and non-economic damages to cover your financial and emotional costs. 

Unsure what damages you’re due? Speak with your lawyer about the following damages you may be eligible for: 

  • Medical costs
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Seek Aid When Suing a Trucking Company

Unsure where to start when you have a case against a trucking company? The lawyers at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law are here to help.

Speak with our lawyers for help with your trucking-related incident. Find the best help and get all of your questions answered by professionals in the field, starting with a free consultation. Take advantage of yours by calling 800-488-7840 or by completing the online contact form below. 

Common Injuries in Car Accidents

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July 21, 2022

A car accident can frustrate every aspect of your life, but nothing compares to how it can affect your health and physical wellbeing. Injuries caused by a crash often depend on the impact. Some will leave minor bruises or migraines, while others lead to long hospital stays, lifelong disabilities, and even death.  

If you’re battling an injury from an accident by a negligent party, state laws allow you to seek compensation for the damages. An attorney can help you calculate the settlement you’ll need depending on the bodily injuries and other losses you’ve suffered. 

A car crash can create many types of injuries, but these are more common in cases that qualify for a claim. When calculating damages for this, remember to factor in future expenses and other ways the injury has affected you besides the hefty medical bills.

Brain Injury

A traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden impact jolts the head or body or when something pierces the brain through the skull. Most brain injuries from car accidents happen after your body is forcefully pushed forward. The head hits parts of the vehicle, or debris from the crash pierces the skull.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to know the extent of such a traumatic injury until after several medical tests. What’s clear is that the effects of a brain injury go beyond hospital bills and rehabilitative care. You might have to take a break from work, or your loved one forced to quit and take care of you.

Brain injuries can have permanent effects on your memory, speech, sight, and other everyday functions. These losses can cause pain and suffering beyond the extent of the injury, so be sure to speak with your lawyer about the impact of your injuries beyond the hospital bills.  

Spinal Injury

The spinal cord transports messages between the body’s nerves and the brain. Any spinal injury can sever these connections. Even a minor accident can inflict trauma to the spinal cord and related nerves. This may result in paralysis of all parts below the injured area. 

The neurological impacts and disability the victim will likely suffer will require lifetime care, rehabilitation, medication, physical therapy, and more. Talk to your lawyer about all these factors when filing your claim, so your attorney can be sure to include all the damages you’re due. 

Whiplash

When your neck moves back and forth rapidly during a crash, it can cause a whiplash injury. You may notice the following signs:

  • Neck stiffness
  • Pain that worsens with neck movement
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty eating or yawning
  • Headaches 

A minor case of whiplash will go away with massage therapy and pain medication, but the most severe ones may lead to herniated discs, nerve damage, and joint dysfunction. That can lead to lasting pain and damage that can be costly to recover from. 

Burns

Burns occur when the skin comes into contact with hot or corrosive substances. In a car wreck, burns result from exposure to fire, electricity, toxic chemicals, steam, and hot metals. 

Burns are categorized as first, second, or third degree, depending on how many layers of skin are damaged. All three groups can leave severe injuries that’ll take time and massive medical bills to heal, not to mention the physical pain. 

Even after healing the wound, you may still have to deal with the resulting disfigurement, which can take many therapy hours to live with. That can be a dire non-economic loss that’s difficult to calculate. Talk to your lawyer about determining what these damages are worth. 

Broken Bones

You may have a broken bone if you’re experiencing swelling, extreme pain, bruising, and skin discoloration after a crash. Also known as fractures, these injuries are common among accident patients.

While human bones are strong enough to support our bodies, heavy loads or impacts can break them. Some circumstances that can lead to broken bones during a wreck include:

  •  Hitting the dashboard
  • Failure to wear a seat belt and is ejected from the car
  • Injuries caused by the seat belt during impact
  • Sudden airbag deployment

Broken bones are painful, especially if not treated on time. To recover, you may also need X-ray tests, pain medication, and physical therapy. 

Discuss Your Injuries with a Car Accident Attorney 

These common accident injuries can be expensive to treat. Worse, some cause disabilities or lifetime conditions that require ongoing care. When you’ve suffered from a car accident, you shouldn’t have to pay for treatment and other costs out of pocket as well. 

The car accident attorneys at Gibbs & Crivelli, Slingshot Law, are ready to review the accident and gather evidence to build a strong case for your compensation. Get in touch for a free consultation by calling our offices at 800-488-7840 or completing and submitting the contact form below. 

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