Insurance companies serve as a financial safety net for individuals and businesses facing liability claims. There are typically two main types of insurance involved:

Liability Insurance: This type of insurance provides coverage for individuals or entities against claims alleging negligence or wrongdoing. For example, automobile liability insurance covers damages resulting from car accidents, while general liability insurance protects businesses from claims of bodily injury or property damage.

No Fault, i.e., Personal Injury Protection (PIP) or Medical Payments Coverage (MPC): PIP coverage, commonly included in auto insurance policies in Kansas, reimburses medical expenses and lost wages for the insured and their passengers, regardless of fault in an accident. MPC coverage, available in Missouri but not commonly included in auto insurance without being requested and paid separately, reimburses medical expenses for the insured and their passengers, regardless of fault.

Key Functions of Insurance Companies in Personal Injury Claims

  • Investigation: When an accident occurs, insurance companies conduct thorough investigations to determine liability and assess the extent of damages. This may involve reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses, and inspecting the scene of the incident.
  • Negotiation: Insurance adjusters negotiate settlements with claimants on behalf of their insured parties. They aim to resolve claims efficiently while minimizing financial losses for the insurance company.
  • Evaluation of Damages: Insurance companies assess the value of a claim based on various factors, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and future medical needs. This evaluation helps them determine a settlement amount.
  • Defense: In cases where the insured party is sued for damages, insurance companies provide legal defense and representation. They may hire attorneys to defend their policyholders in court and negotiate settlements on their behalf.
  • Payment of Claims: Once a settlement is reached or a court judgment is rendered, insurance companies are responsible for disbursing payments to the injured parties or their beneficiaries.

Challenges and Considerations for Claimants

While insurance companies play a crucial role in facilitating the resolution of personal injury claims, claimants may encounter challenges during the process. Some common issues include:

  • Lowball Settlement Offers: Insurance companies may offer settlements that do not fully compensate claimants for their injuries and losses. It's essential for claimants to carefully review and negotiate settlement offers to ensure fair compensation. An attorney can be vital in this aspect.
  • Delay Tactics: Insurance companies may intentionally delay the claims process to pressure claimants into accepting unfavorable settlements or to minimize their financial liability. Seeking legal representation can help expedite the process and protect claimants' rights.
  • Denial of Claims: In some cases, insurance companies may deny valid claims or dispute liability, leaving claimants with no choice but to pursue litigation. Having strong evidence and legal support is crucial in challenging claim denials and securing rightful compensation.

In personal injury cases, insurance companies do a lot—they investigate who's at fault, figure out how much money is needed to cover damages, and help reach agreements to pay for losses. This is usually skewed in favor of the insurance company so it's important for the injured person to know that there might be hurdles along the way, like getting offered less money than they deserve or facing delays. It's crucial for them to understand how insurance companies work and get legal advice to make sure they're treated fairly. With the right knowledge and support, people can handle personal injury claims better and get the compensation they're owed.

In the unfortunate event that you are involved in a car crash, it may be important that you call a personal injury lawyer. The car accident attorneys at Castle Law Office are in Kansas City and we are here, right here, fighting for you. If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, call us at 816-842-7100 or click here to contact our Castle Law Injury Attorneys right here in Kansas City.

Jason C. Amerine
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President and Owner, Castle Law Office of Kansas City
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