Will the Adjuster be Fair?
Many of my clients who were injured in Houston car accidents have asked the same question- can I trust the adjuster?
If the adjuster is from an insurance company that you do not pay- they owe you no duty. If the adjuster is not legally required to be reasonable with you- the chance the will be fair is slim at best!
The truth is the insurance adjuster is your adversary, and if the adjuster pays you pennies on the dollar, he or she may receive bigger bonuses or promotions for saving the insurance company money. The individual adjuster you are dealing with most likely is an employee of the insurance company and has supervisors to answer to about what they paid.
Watch out for Adjusters Tricks
When you are dealing with an insurance adjuster, watch out for the tricks of the trade.
The Friendly Adjuster
Being friendly and nice is just part of the technique’s adjusters have been trained to use. The adjuster is at first very friendly, and frankly, the more serious the injury or liability factors (such as getting hit by a drunk driver or an 18-wheeler), the friendlier the adjuster will become. how quickly things change when you start talking about money. The friendly, nice adjuster suddenly turns into a hard-cold person.
Usually the more exposure the insurance company has on the claim, the friendlier the adjuster. In very serious cases we have even seen the adjuster show up at the hospital and act like they really care!
Requiring a Statement to Process the Claim
One trick is to tell the victim that they can’t move forward on the property damage or a personal injury case without a statement. Giving a recorded statement is not required and should never be given without talking with a lawyer first.
Adjusters are trained in how to ask questions that help them deny or defend against your case. Leading questions like “when did you first see the car” are loaded questions designed to find a way to blame you for the accident.
Watch out for statements, as what you say will definitely be held against you. I recommend that you do not give recorded statements. If you do give a recorded statement don’t volunteer any information, tell the truth, and don’t exaggerate your injuries, but don’t leave any injury out either.
Consider speaking with the leading car accident lawyer nearby before talking with the adjuster.
With Serious Injury get Advice from a Reputable Injury Lawyer
If the accident was a serious one and you have lots of medical care or ongoing injury you should contact a personal injury attorney before you talk with any adjusters.
The more money at stake, the more aggressive in tactics is the insurance company. Many times, in serious injury cases, the adjuster will “accept liability” and make promises to take care of you. Do not fall for it. The accepting responsibility statement is simply another tactic to help their defense of your claim.
Accepting Responsibility Does Not Mean Fairness
One of the tricks of the trade is for the insurance company to acknowledge that they will be responsible for the claim early with the injured person and before the person has hired an attorney.
This technique is used indirectly to discourage the hiring of a personal injury lawyer. With the adjuster telling you that they “accept responsibility”, the message they are trying to send is you don’t need a lawyer.
Want to Know if the Adjuster is Going to Be Fair? Ask about money!
It is only after money is first discussed that the accident victim understands they have been duped. They really do need a lawyer and unfortunately, by delaying hiring a qualified attorney they may have damaged their claim.
The insurance company is trying to settle with you for as little as possible. If your case is serious, you can do a lot of damage to the case by trusting the adjuster. Seeking legal help after you understand you have no leverage and the insurer’s true colors are shown.
How Delay in Getting a Lawyer Can Hurt Your Case?
A common theme we see is people trusting the adjuster and expecting a reasonable settlement. But once they get an offer, quickly learn the true intention of the insurance company. Unfortunately, by trusting the adjuster, most do not take the needed steps to protect their interests, and that hurts their case. Here are a few examples:
- Letting the vehicles get repaired or totaled before an inspection takes place.
- Not fully documenting their injury with treating physicians.
- Expecting all time off work would be covered.
- Not keeping witness contact information or getting statements.
- Delaying the case for months.
Why Talk with an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney?
At the minimum, talking to a reputable personal injury attorney who offers a free consultation is a good idea when considering handling your case on your own. Most attorneys with be helpful and answer questions you have which will improve your odds of a fair settlement.
Call Baumgartner Law Firm for a no-charge injury accident consultation.