After a serious car crash, you will likely work with an insurance adjuster on the road to receiving compensation and benefits. Unfortunately, the insurance company does not have your best interests in mind, which can sometimes make the process of filing a claim overwhelming.
The good news is that you don’t have to go into negotiations unprepared. In this article, we’ll share nine industry secrets to help you navigate this complicated process.
1. The Insurance Adjuster Is Not There to Help the Victim
Insurance companies are for-profit, and they make money by denying claims. The job of a claims adjuster is to close the claim as soon as possible, and pay you as little money as possible. With this in mind, you can more easily recognize and prepare for the tactics an insurance company will use to downplay your case. Remember: the insurance adjuster has the company’s interests in mind, not yours.
2. You Don’t Have to Give an Insurance Adjuster a Statement Before Contacting a Lawyer
After a car accident, an insurance adjuster will want to collect a statement with your version of events. What they don’t want you to know, however, is that most lawyers recommend that you withhold from providing a statement before seeking legal counsel, since the insurance company will likely use your words against you. An insurance adjuster knows that the average person will have trouble navigating the legal landscape surrounding a case, and will use this to their advantage.
3. Any Statement You Give the Adjuster Will Most Likely Hurt Your Case
The sole purpose of a recorded statement is to provide the insurance company with evidence to use against you. Insurance adjusters are trained to look for anything that could potentially support a claim denial, including medications you’re taking, doctor visits, and how quickly you sought medical care following your accident or injury. They know how to ask questions in a way that skews the answers in the insurance company’s favor.
Keep this in mind if you are considering giving a statement before contacting legal counsel, and know that the outcome of this interview will affect whether or not you get the compensation you deserve.
4. The Insurance Company Will Look for Any Way to Use Your Pre-Existing Conditions and Medical History Against You
When the insurance adjuster takes your statement, they are looking for reasons to deny your claim. So, if you have a pre-existing condition, the insurance company could use this as a reason to deny your claim.
Even if your medical history has no bearing on the current situation, the insurance company can and will try to blame everything on the pre-existing condition.
5. The Adjuster Will Underestimate Your Pain and Suffering Damages, Which May Be Significant
After an accident or personal injury, one of the factors to consider is pain and suffering damages. These are different from hospital bills and other medical expenses, and refer to conditions like PTSD, anxiety, depression, and panic attacks.
The cost of these conditions is hard to pin down and depends largely on circumstances, and an insurance adjuster may take advantage of this subjectivity to severely underestimate your compensation. This is why the first offer an insurance company presents to you will often be far less than you deserve.
6. The Adjuster Wants to Prevent You from Contacting a Lawyer Because They Know It Will Help Your Claim
It can be difficult to calculate exactly how much your case is worth, and when to turn down or accept an offer from the insurance company. Insurance companies are not legally required to disclose every benefit for which you qualify, and they rely on the fact that you will not know how to negotiate for a fair settlement. The job of a personal injury lawyer is to thoroughly understand the worth of your case, and to advocate for the compensation you deserve. Working with an experienced attorney can make all the difference when it comes to receiving a fair settlement.
7. Contacting an Attorney Will Never Hurt Your Chances of Getting the Compensation You Deserve
While negotiating a claim, an insurance adjuster may try to talk you out of contacting an attorney. For example, you may be asked to wait to seek legal counsel until you are presented with an offer.
What they will likely not tell you is that it actually costs more for the insurance company to handle your settlement if you are represented by an attorney. Consulting a lawyer poses no threat to your chances of receiving compensation. And unlike the insurance company, your lawyer will be your advocate, not your adversary.
8. The Adjuster’s First Offer is Rarely the Best Offer
The insurance adjuster’s job is to get to the lowest possible settlement, regardless of how well your expenses are covered. That means that if the insurance company offers you a payment, it will pressure you to accept a much smaller amount than you deserve. Oftentimes, you can increase the amount of compensation you receive by simply waiting out the insurance company, and not accepting the first offer they send your way.
9. A Lawyer Can Evaluate Your Case for Free
Dealing with the aftermath of an accident or personal injury is never easy. A free consultation with a lawyer can bring the details of your case into focus and shed light on the best possible settlement outcome. Call our offices today at 888-376-2889 or fill out the contact form on our website to schedule your free consultation with us. We’ll use this time to get to know you, learn about your case, and inform you about your legal options so you can go forward with confidence.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.