Insurance companies will often go out of their way to avoid helping an injured victim pay their claims. Insurance companies are like any other business: they want to make money. And they’re not going to make money by paying claims.
If you have suffered a serious injury or if a family member has been killed because of the negligence of another party, you can expect to hear from the insurance company that wrote the liability policy for the person who was the cause of the serious injury or wrongful death.
In order to try and catch you off guard, insurance adjusters will usually contact you immediately and will try to move fast before you have contacted a lawyer to represent you and before you have had a medical professional thoroughly examine you to figure out how extensive your injuries are.
Insurance adjusters will usually come across as trying to be helpful and expressing concern about your well-being, but in truth, they do not actually want to help you. They are working in the best interest of the company that pays their salary.
There are 10 common strategies that an insurance company will use in order to deny or diminish your case:
- They will ask you if they can record your statement. Insurance adjusters want to find something that they can use against you. Even if you have absolutely nothing to hide, it is very easy for something you say to be taken out of context and twisted. Even a simple conversation such as them asking you how you are, and you responding that you are “okay,” can be used against you. They now will have a recorded statement of you saying that you are “okay,” and they can therefore say that you are not actually injured. It is important that you never give a recorded or written statement until you have contacted a qualified personal injury attorney.
- They will tell you that it is not necessary to hire an attorney. They may try to also convince you that hiring an attorney would be more expensive. This is simply not true. You need an experienced and qualified personal injury attorney to help you navigate through the process and make sure that you are not being taken advantage of. Only your attorney is going to have your best interest at heart and will work hard to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
- They will say that they are on your side and that they will do everything to get you a settlement that is fair. It is very easy to be fooled by an insurance adjuster, because they can come across as very friendly and compassionate. It is important to remember that they are being paid by the insurance company and that their loyalty is to their company and not to you.
- They will ask you to sign a medical authorization that will give them complete access to all of your medical records. This gives them the opportunity to look for things you have been treated for previously and they will try to find something that shows that your injury was pre-existing. A medical authorization should not be signed until you have contacted a personal injury attorney and they have advised you that it is okay to sign.
- They may argue that medical treatment is not necessary or they may claim that your injury was the result of a pre-existing condition. Medical treatment should not be determined by an insurance adjuster. Medical treatment should only be determined by a doctor, who is qualified to decide what your treatment and recovery should be.
- They will deny that they are liable for your injuries. It may seem very obvious that an insurance company is liable for your injuries, but insurance companies work hard to deny or limit their liability for a claim. They will usually try to place the blame back onto you or may say that another party was involved and that that party is at fault.
- They will offer you a quick settlement in order to get a signed release. Adjusters will usually offer small amounts of money, but in exchange, they want a full release. This will often occur before you have had time to go to the doctor and find out how extensive your injuries are. There are many injuries that are not obvious right away and those injuries can be incredibly serious, such as internal bleeding. You should never sign anything until you have contacted a personal injury attorney and until you have been thoroughly evaluated by a doctor.
- They will delay the payment for your claim. When you have suffered serious injuries, the medical bills can be extensive and you may also be experiencing loss of income. Insurance companies will not pay for any of your expenses until you have signed a release. Insurance companies know how extensive these expenses can be for you, which is why they work to delay the processing of your claim until you have become very desperate to accept any offer they give you.
- They will conduct an investigation into your claim. Insurance companies may go as far as to search for any social media pages you have or may even hire a personal investigator to follow you and try to catch you engaging in some sort of activity that could show that your injuries are not as extensive as you have stated. Once again, it is very easy for a photograph or video to give a false impression and twist a situation, such as how a recorded statement can also be taken out of context. You should be aware that an insurance company might be watching you.
- They may distort how much insurance coverage is available in order to pay for your claim. An adjuster might tell you that the party who is responsible for your injuries only had the minimum required liability insurance, but you should not just take them at their word. There are instances in which there is more coverage than the adjuster is saying. The Law Office of Brian Hargrove will investigate and identify all coverage that is applicable. Insurance policies are usually written in confusing legal language, but our vast expertise allows for us to analyze the policy and establish the coverage that is actually available.