Insurance adjusters have one job: close out your claim quickly and for as little money as possible. Many injury victims mistakenly believe that insurance adjusters are there to help them.
After all, you’ve been paying insurance premiums for years or the at-fault party responsible for your injuries has been paying the premiums. And now it’s time for the insurance company to make good on their end of things.
As you go through the claim process with your insurance company, remember that they are a business. Their goal is to limit expenses and protect their employees’ time. So if you’re working with an insurance adjuster, watch out for these five tricks they might use to reduce your claim.
Offers a Settlement Quickly
Many accident victims are vulnerable right after suffering an injury. You might be worried about how you’ll pay for your medical care or deal with being off work for an extended time. But you shouldn’t accept a settlement that an insurance adjuster offers right away.
That’s because you don’t know the extent of your medical care yet. Ideally, you should wait until your doctor has signed off that you’ve improved as much as possible or that you’ve fully recovered. Early settlements are low offers that insurance adjusters use to close out claims and move on.
Twisting Your Words or Using Them Against You
Insurance companies often take things that you’ve said out of context to misconstrue them and use them against you. They might find ways to make it sound like you took partial responsibility for the accident or that you minimized your injuries or originally said you weren’t injured.
This is one reason why it’s best to avoid recorded statements entirely. You’re under no legal obligation to submit to a recorded statement.
Setting Up Surveillance on a Victim
Insurance adjusters try to capture proof that you are not as injured as you claim to be or that you aren’t following your doctor’s orders. They do this by setting up surveillance without telling you that they’ll be checking up on you.
They might record your activities on your front lawn as you mow or clean up your flowerbeds. Or they might catch you out and about enjoying a day of shopping or outdoor fun with friends.
This is why you should always follow doctor’s orders, even when you think no one is watching. Be careful what you post on social media or what you tell friends and family about your claim. What you think is private could become public easily.
Telling You That You Don’t Need a Lawyer
The insurance adjuster will likely try to convince you that there is no need for a lawyer. They might say things like, “your case is extremely simple.” Or “we’re here to help you.” These phrases are ways they help victims feel more comfortable to get them to accept low settlement offers.
Call for a Free Accident Injury Consultation
An insurance adjuster is not a good judge of whether you need an attorney. Instead, schedule a free consultation with Stewart & Stewart. Our team will review your case and guide you as to whether we think we can help strengthen your claim and protect your rights. In rare cases, it’s true that a situation is simple and we can provide you with the tools you need to work directly with the insurance company. But often, victims benefit immensely from legal representation.