If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, there’s a good chance that you’ll have to be in contact with an insurance adjuster. They are representatives of the insurance companies, whose job is to manage insurance claims and make a settlement offer.
Insurance adjusters can sometimes come across as very friendly and personable – as if they were a good friend or close confidant that will help you out in this time of need.
The reality is that insurance adjusters only have the best interests of the insurance companies in mind. They will use one of several tricks to try and limit or deny an insurance claim.
We’re going to look at how insurance adjusters will try to limit your claim, tricks they can sometimes use, and what you should do if you’ve been involved in an accident.
After an insurance adjuster contacts you, they’ve been trained to get you to give them a recorded statement. Sometimes they will call multiple times in a single day, trying to pressure you into giving them a recorded phone statement.
Don’t do it.
The adjusters are looking for anything they can use to deny your claim. One of the more popular questions they ask is “Are you feeling any pain?” This is a trick question, as pain from car accidents can sometimes take a while to manifest itself.
If you go on record saying that you’re not feeling any pain, then your back or neck suddenly hurting in the next following days or weeks, they can use that statement against you.
Watch what you sign. If you sign a Medical Authorization Form, you’re giving the insurance adjuster permission to dig through your medical files. Nothing good can come from giving an insurance agent permission to dig through your medical records.
If you have a pre-existing condition or went to the doctor three years ago due to a sore back that resulted from helping a friend move into a new house over the weekend, the insurance adjusters can attempt to use that against your claim. They will say that you already had a pre-existing condition and that you should not be entitled to full compensation.
If you are unsure of any documents to sign, it’s best to verify with a licensed attorney.
Insurance Companies will often look to make a low-ball offer in an attempt to get you to agree to a quick settlement. As tempting as cash-in-hand may be, you have to think about whether it’s going to be enough to cover your injuries or repair to your car.
Injuries can take days or even weeks to manifest, and you might be suffering from a chronic, long-term disability. A low-ball settlement offer will not even come close to covering the costs of prolonged medical care. The insurance companies realize that if you were to retain an attorney, you would be advised to reject any and all first offers.
There are many other tricks that insurance adjusters will try to pull in an attempt to get you to settle for a low-ball settlement offer. Some of which include:
“Similar claims” excuse – Another trick they will use is to tell you that claims similar to yours have been settled for less. Do not believe them! No two personal injury cases are alike, and you may be suffering from injuries and other chronic pain problems that a low settlement offer will not cover.
Surveillance – If you’ve been seriously injured, the insurance companies have been known to hire private investigators to follow you around to take pictures in an attempt to try and prove you’re not as injured as you claim. If you think you’re being followed while out in public, contact your personal injury attorney immediately for advice.
“This is our final offer” – Insurance companies love to tell people that the offer they’re being given is final and there is nothing they can do about it. It’s a stall tactic to get you to agree to their settlement offer. There is no such thing as a “final offer,” as you can still take them to court if negotiations fail or stall.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident and the insurance adjusters are calling you constantly, hang up the phone and call us immediately at (253) 472-6000 or contact us via our website.
At Evergreen Personal Injury Counsel, we can help you deal with the insurance adjusters. We’ve seen and heard it all and know exactly what to say to the insurance company representatives. Our only interest is to get you the fair financial compensation you deserve for the injuries you suffered.