Dealing with your own insurance company for a claim or an issue is usually a piece of cake. Dealing with an adverse insurance company or insurance adjuster on a claim against another driver is usually a nightmare for most victims of personal injury.
This article is written to give you an idea of a few of the tactics commonly used by adverse insurance company adjusters.
Probably the biggest single issue that personal injury victims have who deal with adverse insurance adjusters is dealing with the rude attitude of the adjusters. Not all adjusters are rude and some only become rude and abrupt when the subject of actual money comes up.
- Issues with medical treatment
Many personal injury victims are lured into a false sense of confidence when the adjuster indicates that they are “accepting responsibility” and will take care of the medical when appropriate. But as soon as the victim supplies the medical records or gives the adjuster and authorization to obtain the same, they soon learned that the adjuster has some “issues” with the medical treatment.
People should know that finding issues with your medical treatment and actually “disallowing” some reasonable and necessary charges is just part of their game. Common complaints by the adjuster include, it was too long after the accident, it’s too much treatment, the treatment was too soon and therefore unnecessary, on and on and on.
- Never intended to make a fair offer
Most personal injury victims who are handling the claim themselves only find out that the adjuster never intended to make a fair offer when the subject of actual compensation comes up. Then the adjuster will typically surprise the unsuspecting victim with a lowball offer that is all part of their game plan. People are lured into believing the insurance adjuster will be fair early on in the process when the adjuster suggests that they are “accepting responsibility”, and assuming that means they will be made a fair offer. That is not part of the game plan.
- Suggesting a statement is necessary for handling the claim
Many times adjusters will tell unsuspecting personal injury victims that if they do not give a recorded statement the adjuster cannot process the claim. While adjusters always want to obtain recorded statements, most the time the intent is to defend the claim and not just gather necessary information. Particularly in clear liability cases, where independent witnesses and establish the liability or negligence of their driver, a recorded statement is not necessary and we always advise victims not to give the same.
- Suggesting no attorney is necessary
Often insurance adjusters will infer that the personal injury claimant need not contact an attorney to obtain a reasonable settlement. Some will outright come out and say ‘you don’t need to get a lawyer” and some will imply the lawyer will get money that would otherwise go to the victim. But personal injury victims should understand is that the vast majority of the time, they will get more money in their pocket hiring a highly regarded personal injury attorney. For very serious personal injury or wrongful death, an attorney almost always is critically important. Likewise, if you are injured in an accident with an 18-wheeler, retaining the best 18 wheeler attorney is a good start.
It is only after the person tries to handle the claim on their own do they learn that they really needed a lawyer and in some cases, they have already done damage to their claim to the benefit of the insurance company.
- Devaluing pain and suffering
After a car wreck or other serious accident, insurance adjusters routinely will devalue and deflate the true value of the human damages of the victim. In some cases suggesting the medical expenses are much greater than the suffering or disability of the personal injury victim during the recovery process. Lowballing human damages such as pain and suffering and permanent or temporary disability is a very common tactic with insurance adjusters.
If you have questions regarding a personal injury insurance claim contact the Baumgartner Law Firm for a no-obligation consultation regarding your rights and options – call us at 281-587-1111.