Common Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters to Devalue Your Claim
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When you're involved in an accident that results in a personal injury, seeking compensation from your insurance company is a natural step. After all, that's what insurance is for, right? Unfortunately, insurance companies often prioritize their own financial interests over fairly compensating their policyholders. This is where insurance adjusters come into play.
Insurance adjusters are individuals hired by insurance companies to investigate claims. Their primary goal is to minimize the impact of your claim and settle it as quickly and cheaply as possible. To achieve this, adjusters often employ a range of tactics that can devalue your claim. In this article, we'll explore some of the most common tricks used by insurance adjusters and provide guidance on how to navigate these situations.
The Role of Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters, also known as claims adjusters, work on behalf of insurance companies to evaluate and investigate insurance claims. They are typically involved in personal injury claims and property damage claims, which tend to be the most expensive types of claims for insurance companies.
It's important to remember that insurance adjusters are not on your side. Their job is to protect the financial interests of the insurance company by settling your claim for as little money as possible. With this in mind, it's crucial to approach interactions with insurance adjusters cautiously and to seek legal advice when needed.
Rushing You Into a Conversation
One common tactic used by insurance adjusters is to rush you into a conversation soon after the accident or incident. They may approach you while you're still dealing with the shock and confusion of the situation, hoping to take advantage of your vulnerable state. During these initial conversations, they may offer a quick settlement in exchange for a release agreement.
It's important to resist the urge to sign any legal paperwork or accept any deals without consulting with an attorney first. Injuries from accidents can take time to manifest, and you may not immediately notice the full extent of your injuries. By rushing you into a conversation and offering a quick settlement, insurance adjusters aim to settle your claim for far less than it may be worth. Always prioritize your health and consult with an attorney before making any decisions.
Using Statements Against You
Insurance adjusters are skilled at using your own words against you. They may engage in friendly conversations to gather information, hoping to catch you off guard and elicit responses that could be used to devalue your claim. For example, they may ask how you're feeling, and if you respond with "fine," they may later use that statement to argue that your injuries are not as severe as you claim.
Remember, insurance adjusters are not your friends, and they are not looking out for your best interests. It's crucial to exercise caution when speaking with them and avoid discussing the details of your case without legal representation. Anything you say can potentially be used against you, so it's best to let your attorney handle all communication with the insurance company.
Trying to Get You to Avoid a Lawyer
Insurance adjusters often try to convince accident victims to handle their claims without legal representation. They may downplay the need for an attorney and suggest that involving a lawyer will only complicate the process. However, research has shown that claim payouts are significantly higher for individuals who hire attorneys to represent them.
Having an attorney by your side can level the playing field and ensure that your rights are protected. Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to navigate the complex legal landscape and negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf. They understand the tactics used by insurance adjusters and can help you receive the full compensation you deserve.
Asking for Authorization to See Your Medical Records
Insurance adjusters may request authorization to access your medical records as part of their investigation. While it's standard procedure for them to verify the extent of your injuries, they don't need unrestricted access to your entire medical history. Sharing unrelated past injuries or illnesses can potentially be used against you to discredit your current injury claim.
To protect yourself, it's important to discuss medical record authorization with your attorney before granting access. Your attorney will ensure that the insurance company only sees the medical records necessary to verify your claim and prevent any misuse of your personal health information.
Putting Surveillance On You
It may come as a surprise, but insurance adjusters have the legal right to conduct surveillance on you during the claims process. They can monitor your activities, both in public and potentially even outside your home. The purpose of this surveillance is to gather evidence that can be used to dispute the severity of your injuries or question the validity of your claim.
To protect yourself, it's important to follow your doctor's instructions and avoid any activities that could undermine your claim. Be cautious about what you post on social media, as insurance adjusters may be monitoring your online presence. If you suspect that you're being surveilled or if you encounter any attempts to discredit your injuries, inform your attorney immediately.
How Your Attorney Can Help
Dealing with insurance adjusters can be overwhelming, especially when you're already dealing with the physical and emotional aftermath of an accident. That's where an experienced personal injury attorney comes in. Your attorney will be your advocate, fighting to protect your rights and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries.
Personal injury attorneys are well-versed in the tactics used by insurance adjusters. They understand the complexities of the claims process and can navigate the legal landscape on your behalf. By hiring an attorney, you level the playing field and increase your chances of obtaining the compensation you rightfully deserve.
Insurance adjusters play a significant role in the claims process, but it's important to remember that they are not on your side. Their primary goal is to minimize the impact of your claim and protect the financial interests of the insurance company. By being aware of the tactics they use, such as rushing you into a conversation, using statements against you, trying to discourage you from hiring an attorney, requesting broad access to your medical records, and conducting surveillance, you can protect your rights and increase your chances of receiving fair compensation.
When dealing with insurance adjusters, it's crucial to consult with a personal injury attorney. An attorney will fight for your rights, handle all communication with the insurance company, and negotiate on your behalf. With their expertise and guidance, you can navigate the claims process with confidence and secure the compensation you deserve.