Anyone who has ever experienced an accident can tell you that working with insurance adjusters on an insurance claim is about as much fun as getting a root canal. The fact is that an insurance adjuster is not on your side. They are not there to help you get the most from your claim, but to reduce it and wittle it away. That is why they employ a number of tactics to try and get you to slip up so that they have to pay you less.
Tell You That You Don’t Need an Attorney or that One Will “Cost too much”
Many adjusters are very nice in the beginning and appear to be on your side so that you don’t use an attorney or put off using an attorney until it’s too late. Always remember who pays their salary and do what is best for you.
Rush You to Record a Statement
Rushing someone to record a statement without an attorney present is the easiest way to manipulate the claimant into saying something that they didn’t mean or phrase their answer in a way that can be interpreted against them—especially when emotions are running high post-accident. People get confused, excited, and will sometimes say the wrong thing. Then they have that recorded for all time.
Exclude Pain and Suffering
Adjusters aren’t there to get the most out of your claim and won’t ask you the right questions to help you receive funds for pain and suffering. Oftentimes, people will pass right by those adjustments because they were never informed that they had these options in front of them.
Ask You to Sign Over Medical Authorization
Most adjusters will do this quickly, before you get an attorney so that they can get into your records and find places where you’ve had previous injuries that will account for some of the pain or harm done to you.
Hire Private Investigators
Unfortunately, sometimes in a larger accident claim they will hire people to follow you around and take pictures of you doing things that may or may not disprove your medical claim.
Try to Convince You That Others Have Gotten Smaller Settlements or Entice You with a Quick Settlement
The old “you’re doing better than a lot of people in similar circumstances” is used by every snake oil salesmen alive, whether they are offering a lower sales price on a car or adjusting your insurance claim. Never believe it from a salesperson or adjuster. Moreover, they will couch these bad deals with other incentives like quick settlements. The adjusters will often be able to offer you a much smaller settlement than your claim is worth if you will take it right away before any attorneys can be involved. Of course everyone wants money now instead of money later. They know an attorney will get you more money in the long run.
Deny Your Claim
This happens more than you know. If they think they can prove that the accident was partially your fault, they will deny the claim altogether.
Play Hardball with the Old “This is your final offer”
When people hear final offer in an ominous tone, they often think that’s the final offer. Attorneys know that the final offer is still usually 3-4 final offers away from a real settlement.
Again, insurance companies are a for-profit business. They don’t want to pay out on claims and they don’t care about you. You are a number that prevents them from reporting more profit that year. People who understand this usually get an attorney. We are able to assist with these types of tactics to get you what you deserve, not what they want to give you.