One of the first things that happens after a claim is made against car insurance, homeowner’s insurance, or any other form of personal injury liability insurance, is that a claims adjuster will attempt to contact you to “learn more about” what happened. Understand that insurance companies are for-profit businesses that make money in a variety of different ways. One of the most obvious ways to reduce their client’s liability and, by extension, your settlement.
As Winder personal injury attorneys, we always caution our clients about the perils of giving too much information to claims adjusters. We’ve seen it all. Here is a short list of some of the tricks we’ve seen insurance adjusters pull.
#1. Pretend They Are There to Help You
Insurance companies are not trying to help you. They’ll try to contact you and they’ll ask you loaded quasi-questions like: “I hope you are feeling better…” in the hopes that you’ll respond by saying that you are. That’s a natural response to a very human interaction. At the same time, they’re interpreting this information to their advantage. They’re assuming that you don’t have any lingering injuries. They’re going to use this conversation against you during litigation. Be very careful of anything you say to an insurance adjuster.
#2. Get You to Sign Over Personal Information
So you’re contacted by an insurance adjuster. They say that they’ll need access to your medical record from your doctor in order to compensate you for your injuries. They send you a document to sign. What they didn’t tell you is that they included a clause that gives them access to all of your medical records going back to your childhood. Now they’re claiming that the accident merely aggravated a pre-existing condition from an old injury. Just like that, the value of your case has been reduced.
#3. They May Spy on You
If the insurance company has a lot to lose on a settlement, they’ve been known to hire private investigators to go to your house and take pictures of you mowing your lawn. They’ll use this information to say that your hip wasn’t as badly injured as you claimed it was in the slip and fall accident. Meanwhile, your doctor said activities like these would help you to restore function and quality of life as you return to daily life and activities.
They’ll also be scouring your social media account. If grandma asks how you’re feeling after your car accident and you tell her that you’re doing great so she doesn’t worry, you can bet that piece of information will be used against you during litigation.
#4. They Tell You That You Will Not Need a Lawyer
When a claims adjuster reaches out to you, their job is to make you feel at ease. They want you to believe that you can confide in them and that any information that you give them will only help your case. The truth is just the opposite. You’re in a negotiation. A strong lawyer will help you get the evidence you need to force the insurance company to pay up or roll the dice in front of a jury. Of course, that is a very costly option for an insurance company and they tend to avoid it when possible.
If you have a serious claim, then you need personal injury attorneys who will advocate tirelessly on your behalf. The Winder personal injury attorneys at Mitchell & Crunk have helped our clients get excellent settlements for their injuries. Give us a call at (770) 809-3757 or contact us online for a free consultation.