Look Out for these Common Insurance Adjuster Tactics and Make Sure You are on Your Guard!
If you or a family member suffered a serious personal injury, it is possible that you may have already talked to an insurance adjuster. Insurance adjusters get involved so quickly that they may have already taken what they need from you before you even think about hiring an attorney.
Just remember: no matter what they say, insurance adjusters are not your friends. Their intent is to push you into a settlement quickly and cheaply, without any consideration for your pain and suffering, or your future medical needs.
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?
Insurance adjusters look out for the insurance company, working to make them profitable. They try to lessen your damages, thereby reducing the amount they pay you in the settlement. They try to find ways to get out of paying claims, keeping the money for their company. Adjusters try to settle the case before you know that you are injured or before you get adequate medical treatment or advice from a lawyer.
How Do They Do It?
The most common tactic involves getting access to the injured policyholder’s medical records. If you have any prior medical conditions, they may claim that it – not your recent accident – is the cause of your injury.
For example, say you had a back spasm six years ago while weeding the garden. Yesterday, you seriously injured your back in a car accident. The insurance adjuster might say something to like:
“Yesterday’s accident has nothing to do with your injury! You’ve had back problems for six years and now you’re trying to take advantage of the insurance company!”
Then they call you greedy and accuse you of fraud.
Another tactic would be to ask if you are still being treated for these injuries. They might ask, “Surely you’re not still being treated for this accident?” They encourage you to cut off medical treatment, leading you to believe that any further treatment would be unreasonable and not covered so they would not pay for it. Fear of insurance not paying for medical treatment causes some people to settle too quickly, even before a firm diagnosis is obtained from their doctor.
Is There Anything I Can Do?
Yes. The insurance adjuster can’t access your medical records without your permission. They usually obtain that permission by approaching the injured party shortly after the accident, while the trauma is still fresh.
They come with a smile, a contract, and a pen. Do not give permission!
Do I Need an Attorney?
If you want a fair settlement that covers everything you are entitled to by law, it makes sense to have trained professionals looking out for your best interest. At Mitch Grissim & Associates, we have the experience and skill to help.