Were you hurt in an accident that wasn’t your fault? An injury can derail your life, require ongoing medical care, and incur expensive bills. Dealing with the insurance adjuster might seem straightforward, but they can make the process challenging. You must remember the adjuster isn’t your friend. They don’t want to pay you, no matter what they say or act because they are trying to save money for their employer. They aim to obtain evidence they can use against you to justify a low settlement or deny your claim.
Dirty Tricks Insurance Adjusters Use
Don’t allow an accommodating or seemingly friendly insurance adjuster to fool you. They likely want you to let down your guard and say something damaging to your claim. The adjuster doesn’t work for you. They work for the insurance company, and their job is to avoid a significant settlement.
Tricks insurance adjusters commonly use include:
Wait you out
You want to complete the claims process quickly to recover compensation and move forward with your life. However, the adjuster has a different plan. They might not return your calls or emails, hoping you’ll get frustrated and give up on the claim.
Force an admission of fault
The adjuster doesn’t want to accept liability for their policyholder’s actions. That would require them to pay the claim. They might ask confusing or vague questions about the accident to get you to admit fault. If you’re partially responsible for your injury, the adjuster can reduce your compensation based on your percentage of shared fault.
Ask for medical authorization
The adjuster can try to get a signed HIPAA form to request copies of your medical records. It seems harmless, but the authorization request might include records dated before the accident. They can use the information to blame your injury on something else.
Use social media against you
Believe it or not, insurance adjusters will comb the internet for digital evidence that works in their favor. That includes browsing your social media accounts. Anything that contradicts the extent of your injury can ruin your chance of a favorable outcome.
Delay paying the claim
The insurance adjusters know the financial burden of an accident. They can take advantage of that by offering a lowball settlement and refusing to negotiate for a higher number. They know you’re desperate to settle, and any amount of money is enticing.
Discourage you from hiring a lawyer
What Not to Say to an Insurance Adjuster After an Accident
There are some statements you should never make to an insurance adjuster, such as:
You must avoid admitting fault for the accident even if you believe you’re partially responsible. Discovering your actions might have contributed to the accident is the ammunition the adjuster needs to bolster their arguments against paying your claim.
Describing your injuries as minor
You might think you have a minor injury, especially days after the accident. However, you shouldn’t downplay how you feel. Symptoms can appear days or weeks later and indicate a severe injury. If you initially say you’re okay and change your story later, the adjuster will assume you’re lying to get more money.
Speculating about the accident
Forgetting some details is normal. The traumatic experience can skew your memory of how the accident occurred. If the insurance adjuster asks for your version of events and you can’t remember, don’t speculate or offer an opinion. The information you provide might work in their favor.
Agreeing to a recorded statement
A recorded statement allows the adjuster to record everything said during a conversation about the incident. You’re not legally obligated to comply with their request. If they ask for a recorded statement, politely decline.
Accepting the first settlement offer
Consult an Experienced New York Personal Injury Lawyer
Communicating with an insurance adjuster can be overwhelming. You don’t have to take on this responsibility alone when you hire Harris Keenan & Goldfarb. We will talk to the adjuster about the accident so you can focus on getting better.