GET MORE MONEY: 3 Things You Need to Know about the Partners Mutual Insurance Claim Process
A Guide to Getting the Most for Your Personal Injury Claim
Milwaukee Personal Injury Attorneys Advice on Navigating the Claims Process
Partners Mutual Insurance Company is a Wisconsin-based company offering auto, home and business insurance in Wisconsin and Iowa. On their website, they describe themselves as “Salt of the earth people joining together for their own mutual protection” and they pledge “Coverage when you need it most.”
It sure sounds promising, but does the company live up to their promises? Well, on one website, 80% of policyholders indicated they were “very unsatisfied” with Partners Mutual. As bad as this sounds, there are plenty of insurance companies that fare much worse in reviews. Unfortunately, it’s the nature of the insurance business to maximize profits, and one way to do this to minimize payouts on claims.
If you’re filing an injury claim with Partners Muutual, an experienced attorney will protect your right to fair compensation.
Warshafsky Law has extensive experience negotiating a good settlement for auto accident victims when insurance companies fail to make fair offers. Because we have attorneys who have worked for insurance companies, we know exactly how insurance companies operate and how to deal with their tactics.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
1. How The Partner Mutual Inscurance Claims Process Works
Like virtually all insurance companies today, Partners Mutual allows you to file a claim by phone or online. Their website says: “Our goal is to process your claim promptly and settle it fairly.” They do seem serious about moving quickly, as their website says claims are assigned to a claims adjuster no later than the next day and within 24 hours of that a claims adjuster will contact you.
After your claim has been filed, a claims adjuster from Partners Mutual will gather as much information as possible about your accident from all available sources, including:
- The police report
- Passenger witness statements
- Photos and measurements from the scene
- Researching repair estimates
- Anything you tell them
During the course of this information gathering, you may be asked to sign a medical records release form. Unless you want your insurance company rifling through your entire medical history, don’t sign anything until you’ve consulted a lawyer. If there’s anything in your history they can use to dispute your claim, they’ll use it. You feinted once in a high school gym class? Well, don’t be surprised if they say you have a history of feinting and suspect a feinting spell caused your accident.
Repeat: Do not give your insurance company access to your medical records until consulting an attorney. A good lawyer will be able to advise you on which medical records are relevant to your insurance company.
After Partners Mutual has looked into your accident, they’ll decide how much they’ll pay on your claim. Like most insurance companies, they’ll send a settlement check along with a short letter. Don’t be surprised if it’s far less than you’re expecting.
Don’t cash that check!
If your accident has kept you from working and the bills are piling up, it will be really tempting to deposit the settlement check. Don’t! At least not until you’ve had a chance to get an experienced personal injury attorney’s opinion. (Almost all firms offer a free initial consultation.)
Insurance companies are notorious for sending out settlement checks that fall far short of anything remotely fair. Their check is nothing more than an offer of settlement. It can be negotiated, but not if you run out and deposit the check. Once you do that, you’ve implicitly accepted their settlement offer and there can be no negotiations.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
2. Handling a Partners Mutual Insurance Injury Claim on Your Own
Unless you’re still laid up in the hospital, you’ll probably proceed with the claims process on your own, with the belief your insurance company will come through for you after all those years of being a loyal, bill paying policy holder. Unfortunately, insurance companies are in the business of making money—and paying out big settlements isn’t part of their business plan.
If you’re going to handle your claim without the help of an attorney, you need to know the risks you face. To get an idea of what you’re up against, we suggest reading up on common insurance company practices used to keep you from getting a fair settlement.
The initial call you get from the Partners Mutual claims adjuster is a critical point in the claims process. If you’re not prepared for the call, just tell the claims adjuster you’re not able to talk right now and ask for a callback number. You have no obligation to speak to take the call on their schedule, so just politely request to reschedule the call. Then, write down everything you remember about the accident and request a copy of the police report. Have your notes and the police report handy when you call the claims adjuster back.
DIY Insurance Claim Tips:
Be Careful What You Say.Your phone call with the claims adjuster will be probably be recorded, and any misstatement—however innocent—can be used by the insurance company to dispute your claim, or even deny it completely. Whatever you do, don’t admit to being even partially at fault for the accident. Be especially careful to not admit being even partially to blame for the accident.
Document All Your Contacts with Partners Mutual.
After every phone call with the insurance company, follow up with a short email or letter reiterating what steps they told you they’d be taking to resolve your claim. If they later try to backtrack on any promises they made, or accuse you of not being timely in following through with your claim, you’ll have a paper trail to show otherwise.
It's You Against Them…A Lot of Them.
You might think you’re only dealing with the claims adjuster you’ve spoken with and emailed, but there’s an army of managers and attorneys above the claims adjuster, and they’re the ones who are really pulling the strings. If you’re not making any progress with your contact, you can ask to speak to another adjuster or a manager. Ultimately, though, you’re never going to get the one person with the authority to make a decision.
If it seems like it’s taking forever to get your claim settled, well, that’s part of the plan. Delaying the claims process past the statute of limitations for filing suit is a common tactic insurance companies use to shut you out of taking legal action against them. In Wisconsin, the statute of limitations for filing suit against an insurance company is 3 years. This might seem like a long time, but you’d be amazed how insurance companies can drag their feet on claims. Your only bargaining chip is the threat of a lawsuit. Once your case hits the 3-year mark, though, you’re stuck with whatever lowball settlement offer they make.
3. Strategies for Getting the Most from Your Partners Mutual Injury Claim
The best way to improve your odds of a fair payout from an insurer is to contact a personal injury lawyer and let a professional deal with the legions of trained representatives and attorneys working for the insurance company.
Although a lawyer is far and away your best bet, there are some tips you can try to help you increase your settlement amount:
1. Don't lose your cool
2. Document all your expenses
Keep records of all your expenses since your accident—medical bills, travel expenses to and from doctor appointments, lost income from being unable to work, even the bandages and bottles of acetaminophen you’ve had to buy. You can also make a claim for pain and suffering, as evidenced by pain medications you’ve been prescribed and statements from your doctor, physical therapist and chiropractor.
3. Get the medical care you need
If you’re thinking about skipping out on doctor appointments or other medical care because you’re concerned about what it’s going to cost, don’t. You have every right to get the treatment you need, and your insurance company has an obligation to cover the costs.
4. Talk to a Lawyer
Any good personal injury law firm offers a free initial consultation, Warshafsky Law included. Take advantage of it. At Warshafsky, you’ll meet with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys, not a paralegal. We’ll give you our opinion on the settlement your insurance company should be offering and tell you how we’d handle your case.
5. Hire an experienced Personal Injury Lawyer
The best way to get the settlement you deserve is to hire an attorney. Warshafsky Law has a long history of winning record-setting judgments and securing massive settlements from insurance companies. Nothing strikes fear in their hearts like hearing you’ve retained Warsharsky Law.
hen people choose their personal injury lawyer based on the endorsement of a football player or actor, they risk choosing an attorney who has never won more money or pain and suffering verdicts in a courtroom. Settlement mills forward your paperwork and take a cut of your damages.
Hundreds of times we have prepared cases like yours beyond the brink of trial. Facing unlimited liability AND an expensive jury trial, insurance companies fess up what your case is worth. They HATE when you choose Warshafsky. Insurance companies know: it IS about the money.
INJURED? It IS About The Money.®
Insurance companies spend obscene amounts of money on advertising designed to lead you to believe they’ll be there for you when you need them, then do everything they can to pay as little as possible on their policy holders’ claims. It’s easy for them to give you the runaround and delay payment on your claim, but things change quickly when you’re represented by Warshafsky Law.
While many personal injury law firms boast about how many cases they settle every year, these firms are only interested in settling cases quickly so they can collect their fees and move onto the next hapless accident victim. Insurance companies know these “sign and settle” law firms never even set foot in a courtroom, so they get away with lowball settlement offers. If you have one of these firms representing you, you’re getting the short end of the stick.
Aggressive Legal Representation Makes the Difference
Unlike the sign and settle law firms, Warshafsky Law prepares every case for trial from day one, and insurance companies know this isn’t just talk. When faced with possibility of losing at trial and having to pay even more on your claim than if they had just made a fair settlement to begin with, insurance companies suddenly get real interested in working something out before the trial starts. If we can get you the money you deserve, we’ll recommend a settlement. If not, we’ll take your insurance company to court.
You don’t have to be wealthy to afford representation by Warshafsky Law. We’ll take your case and ask for nothing until your case is resolved and you have been compensated. Our No Win, No Fee policy ensures you have nothing to lose by hiring us. Take advantage of our free initial legal consultation and get a professional’s opinion of your case.