Many accident victims are under the mistaken belief that insurance companies exist to help with their claim. In stark contrast, insurance companies sustain themselves by bringing in more premium payments than payouts for claims. Therefore, their adjusters work tirelessly to devalue or deny claims in the interest of increasing the insurance company’s profit margin.
If you were injured in an accident, the experienced Windsor personal injury lawyers at our firm are ready to assist you with every aspect of your claim. We can explain common tactics that insurance companies may try to devalue or deny your claim and how to confront these challenges.
Offering a Quick Settlement
One common tactic that insurance adjusters may use is to contact you quickly after an accident. They may express sympathy and try to make you think that they are on your side. However, the deception behind this tactic is the motive. They are not really concerned about you; they just want to get in touch with you and get you to agree to a quick settlement before you have a chance to contact a lawyer and learn about the real value of your claim. If they can get you to agree to a quick settlement, they can settle the case before you fully realize the full extent of your injuries at a significant discount.
Asking for a Recorded Statement
An insurance adjuster may ask you to give a recorded statement and act like it is just part of the protocol. However, these statements are never for the benefit of the accident victim. Instead, the insurance adjuster will try to tie you down to specific information in the statement to later use against you to show inconsistency or imply that you are lying. For example, they may try to get you to admit to being distracted or say how fast you were going. It is typically best to decline giving a recorded statement unless a personal injury lawyer recommends that you agree to give one.
Making You Sign a Medical Authorization
The insurance adjuster may send you a variety of documents to sign including a medical authorization. However, this authorization may extend well beyond the records associated with the accident and the injuries you sustained from it. However, the insurance adjuster will send this information to uncover more information about your medical history, such as other medical services you have had performed or other injuries you sustained so that the insurance company can try to deny the claim based on a pre-existing injury. Avoid signing any document without a lawyer first reviewing it.
Insurance companies know that accident victims often face significant financial difficulties. Mounting medical bills and lost wages from time off work create a terrible combination that adversely affects the financial security of victims. Insurance adjusters use this situation and the related stress against accident victims. They may delay payment so that accident victims will become desperate and accept a settlement for far less than they are owed just so they can get some compensation faster.
Disputing Liability and Your Damages
Insurance adjusters may try to dispute liability by claiming that you, and not their insured, are responsible for the accident. Alternatively, they may try to attribute a portion of the fault to you so that they can reduce your settlement award by your degree of fault.
Insurance adjusters may tediously pour over medical bills, accident repair reports and other documents you submit to try to dispute your damages or certain bills. They may claim that you were not injured, received unnecessary medical treatment or were treated for too long.
Misrepresenting the Amount of Coverage Available
A deceptive tactic that the insurance company may use is to misrepresent the amount of coverage that is available for the claim. For example, an adjuster may say there is a certain amount available to pay on a claim when the actual amount is higher.
Advising You Not to Seek Legal Help
The insurance adjuster may tell you that you do not need to get a lawyer, but this is because he or she is protecting the insurance company’s bottom line. Insurance adjusters know that experienced personal injury lawyers will factor in all compensable damages and demand the full value of the claim.
The insurance adjuster might try to convince you to handle your insurance claim on your own and state that a personal injury lawyer will get part of your settlement. However, what they will not tell you is that accident claims that involve a lawyer’s negotiations typically settle for a much higher value than when victims are not represented by a lawyer.
Learn More About Your Rights Today
When you are going up against an insurance company, it is important you have a legal advocate on your side who can defend you against these practices. Contact our legal team at Greg Monforton and Partners for assistance with all aspects of your claim. We offer free consultations and there are no upfront fees for our services unless we help you win your case.
Get started today by calling (866) 320-4770 for your free case evaluation.