Defenses Used By Insurance Companies When Fighting a Auto Accident Claim
I found the following over at the Taradash Law Firm web site which lists 72 common defenses used by insurance companies to avoid paying money to those injured in motor vehicle accidents. A big thank you is in order to the Taradash Law Firm – an Illinois law firm dedicated to representing injury victims – for compiling such an exhaustive and impressive list. Here are the common insurance defenses in connection with motor vehicle accident claims:
1. Plaintiff vehicle not equipped with headrest. seat belts, rearview mirror. or other safety device and it is plaintiff’s responsibility to provide his vehicle with such devices.
2. Seat belts or other safety devices available in vehicle but not used by plaintiff.
3. Equipment defects in plaintiff vehicle: Tires bald. brakes not working, tail lights not working, turn signals not working.
4. Plaintiff driving ability and perception impaired by use of alcohol, medication, or drugs.
5. Plaintiff had hearing or vision defect and wasn’t wearing glasses or hearing aid.
6. Plaintiff had other physical defect, i.e., epilepsy, headaches, sickness, etc., which impaired his driving ability and perception.
7. Plaintiff under doctor’s orders not to drive.
8. Plaintiff not licensed to drive or driving with suspended license.
9. Plaintiff didn’t notice defendant until impact or immediately before impact and therefore inattentive.
10. Plaintiffs recollection of times. speeds distances is so inaccurate as to indicate inattentiveness or incompetence in driving and at the very least diminishes his credibility.
11. Plaintiff exaggerates defendant’s speed and other facts surrounding accidents so as to diminish his credibility which makes him an unreliable or unbelievable witness.
12. Plaintiff had warning or danger within a sufficient time to avoid accident if paying attention.
13. Plaintiff could have avoided accident if not exceeding safe speed for conditions.
14. Plaintiff made unnecessary and unexpected stop.
15. Plaintiff made unsafe lane change without warning.
16. Plaintiff gave no stop or turn signal.
17. Plaintiff backing up under circumstances and/or at location where reasonable person wouldn’t have anticipated same or where it was difficult for defendant to see same.
18. Plaintiff not in intersection first.
19. if plaintiff and defendant in intersection at same time, plaintiff was to defendant’s left or exceeding speed limit or safe speed or inattentive.
20. Plaintiff makes poor appearance as witness.
21. Plaintiff has verbal difficulty describing events surrounding the accident
22. Defendant acting as “reasonable person” in the operation of his vehicle including safe speed for conditions and therefore not negligent, i.e., defendant conducts not probable cause of accident.
23. Act of God or unknown reason was responsible for the accident.
24. No independent witnesses found substantiating plaintiff’s version of accident or witness cannot be found (plaintiff, not defendant has legal duty to prove by a “preponderance of the evidence” each element of his case.)
25. Witnesses dispute plaintiffs version of facts or substantiate defendant’s version.
26. Investigating police officer makes errors in his report or erroneous conclusions disputing plaintiff’s version of accident.
27. Physical evidence (lights. brakes. tires. etc.) was lost and it was necessary to have it examined by an expert to substantiate plaintiff’s version of the facts.
28. Plaintiff didn’t obtain the services of an expert to substantiate negligence of other parties.
29. Police not summoned to scene inferring minimal or no injury.
30. No complaint of pain at scene of accident by plaintiff to anyone.
31. No indication on police report that plaintiff complains of pain at scene.
32. No objective signs or injury at scene of accident like cuts, bruises, etc.
33. No mews! by plaintiff at scene for ambulance.
34. Plaintiff not examined at emergency room day of accident or soon after.
35. Minimal property damage to either or both vehicles involved.
36. Plaintiff vehicle equipped w ith shock-absorbing bumpers, headrests, seat belts, which were being used and which made injuries impossible or improbable.
37. No other persons involved in accident had injuries.
38. Plaintiff received no treatment for substantial period of time following the accident.
39. Plaintiff made errors in recalling his medical and/or employment history to insurance company which can be’ discovered’ by defense during litigation.
40. No medical opinion substantiating medical causation between accident and plaintiff’s medical complaints.
41. Shortly after the accident plaintiff’s physical/health condition returned to what it was immediately prior to the accident
42. Plaintiff had made prior complaints and received prior treatment to the same areas of his body
allegedly injured in the accident and his complaints after the accident hadn’t changed.
43. Plaintiff had a subsequent injury, which was cause of continual problems instead of subject
accident and so treatment between first and second accidents.
44. Plaintiff exaggerates complaints related to the accident per his medical records.
45. Plaintiff’s complaints to doctor were minimal.
46. Plaintiff’s complaints to doctor were bizarre, exaggerated, and lengthy per medical records.
47. Plaintiff’s complaints to one doctor different from his complaints to other doctor(s).
48. Plaintiff had full range of motion at physical examination.
49. Plaintiff had no complaint of pain at physical examination.
50. Plaintiff observed moving normally while not being examined by doctor.
51. Plaintiff’s family doctor had opinion of minimal injuries, did not prescribe physical therapy or any other treatment nor did they give an appointment for plaintiff to return or tell plaintiff to “return in a month if plaintiff experiences pain.” Plaintiff did not see doctor again.
52. Plaintiff’s injuries totally “subjective” i.e., no indication of injury from x-rays, orthopedic tests or observation.
53. Plaintiff received minimal treatment for minimal time period after accident.
54. Plaintiff’s doctor no longer in area or otherwise unavailable.
55. Plaintiff was examined by doctor recommended by insurance company soon after accident and was found uninjured and not in need of treatment.
56. Plaintiff had chronic-type complaints per past medical records or has unrelated medical problems as such as arthritis or congenital problems such as spondylosis.
57. Cost of treatment was excessive and period during which plaintiff was treated was excessive in light of standard charge for such services in the community and normal period of disability for such injuries.
58. Plaintiff went to work contrary to his doctor’s advice and thereby aggravated his injury and/or caused prolonged period of disability and/or treatment.
59. Plaintiff’s doctor did not recommend time off of work yet plaintiff took time off work.
60. No doctor has stated that plaintiff would lose work time in the future.
61. Plaintiff had poor attendance record at work prior to accident.
62. Plaintiff would have been terminated, on strike, or laid-off even without accident.
63. Plaintiff had no job at the time of accident and can’t substantiate that he was applying at various places.
64. Plaintiff’s earnings per W-2 and tax records indicate smaller earnings history than claimed.
65. Plaintiff paid by cash for prior employment and can’t document past earnings and/or has no tax returns.
66. Plaintiff’s alleged employer has no official record (i.e., W-2 Fonn) or other means to substantiate plaintiff’s employment.
67. Plaintiff lets various “Statutes of Limitations” run, thereby foreclosing possibility of recovering anything for his claim.
68. Plaintiff was partially at fault and should recover less.
69. Plaintiff has history of filing lawsuits for the purpose of collecting compensation.
70. Plaintiff has history of mental illness or emotional problems making him unreliable.
71. Plaintiff made statement to insurance company that he was not injured in the accident.
72. Plaintiff failed to give proper and timely notice to governmental bodies, thus plaintiff s claim is barred.