As we’ve said on this blog numerous times in the past, an insurance adjuster is not your friend. Even if you are filing a personal injury claim through your own automobile policy, know that the insurance adjuster is there to reduce their company’s liability, which in turn reduces your claim. They have a number of different tactics they’ll use with a claimant to limit how much they have to pay out during a personal injury case.
Fortunately, if you are aware of some of the tactics they will use, you can protect yourself from giving them any information that could be used against you. Below, we take a look at four common tactics used by insurance adjusters to reduce your claim award.
How Adjusters Work To Limit Their Liability
Here are four methods that insurance adjusters may use during your claim process to justly or unjustly reduce their liability and limit how much they have to pay you in an injury claim:
1. Surveying For Inconsistencies – An adjuster will review all of the reports and testimony about an incident to look for any inconsistencies that could be used against you. Never guess when giving a recorded statement to an adjuster, and keep your answers short and sweet. Oftentimes it’s also helpful to write down names, dates and facts associated with the accident so that you don’t forget. You may assume you’ll remember everything, but if you accidentally misspeak, it can severely hurt your case if your claim is suddenly filled with inconsistencies.
2. The Stall – The insurance company knows that bills are likely piling up on your end, and while they may be on the hook for a payout, they are in no rush to complete the transaction. They know that time is on their side and that you may be more likely to jump at a low settlement offer if they can keep delaying the case or pushing a resolution down the road. Talk to your lawyer about what you can do if you feel like the insurance company is intentionally stalling in order to put you in a worse financial situation in hopes that you’ll take a low settlement offer. Prioritize your finances in the meantime, because it may take longer than you expect to get the compensation you’re rightfully owed.
3. Medical Records – The insurance adjusters may request access to all your medical records, and considering that you will need proof that injuries occurred as you claim they did, this may not seem like a big deal. However, an adjuster will then likely begin to look for underlying issues and preexisting conditions to undermine the totality of your injuries. They may argue that your back or knee pain was actually the result of a previous injury, and it can be hard for you to prove otherwise, even if that’s not the case. Talk with your attorney about how you can get the pertinent medical information to the insurance company without opening up your entire medical records.
4. The Illusion Of Friendship – Finally, as we mentioned in the introduction, an insurance adjuster is not your friend. They will likely empathize with your situation and say all the right things, but remember, their job is to save the company money. They are not there to get you the biggest payday possible, but that’s exactly what a lawyer is paid to do. In fact, since a lawyer is paid a percentage of your earnings, they get paid more when they get you the largest award possible. Your lawyer is your friend, not the insurance company, and don’t forget this during the process.
For more tips on how to navigate the personal injury claims process, or for help dealing with an insurance adjuster, reach out to Dean and the team at Margolis Law Firm today at (952) 230-2700.
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