Forbes has reported that everyone gets in a car accident every 17.9 years. If this is your first accident, you should know that you’ll likely speak with an insurance claims adjuster after the collision. However, the adjuster is not your friend and will do anything to minimize your compensation or even nullify your claim to save the insurance company money. But just how far will insurance adjusters go?
What exactly does an auto insurance adjuster do?
Auto insurance adjusters, who typically work for the insurance company of the person you filed a claim against, inspect the damages that are stated in the at-fault party’s claim. They use that information to determine how much the auto insurance company will pay. On top of inspecting damages, they can interview the claimant and witnesses, look at police reports, and even review your medical records.
Shady tactics adjusters use
Auto insurance claims adjusters will use any of the following to disprove you:
- Comb through all details in your story to find inconsistencies in an attempt to discredit you. An insurance adjuster may ask for an official recorded statement that will later be used against you. A claims adjuster will try and find any small detail that doesn’t fit in with your story’s overall narrative or may twist your own words so that you are seen as unreliable. One such example is telling the insurance adjuster that the crash only injured your leg. Later you find out you suffered from a concussion, but you weren’t aware you were affected at the time of your statement. However, the adjuster may argue that the accident didn’t cause the trauma but a different event.
- Record all conversations. Insurance adjusters will call right after the accident (even within 24 hours of the accident) to speak with you, knowing you’ll likely be in shock and won’t have a full evaluation of your injuries. During these conversations, the adjuster will record every word so that they will have ammo to use against you later.
- Request access and obtain medical records. A claims adjuster may ask for your permission to see medical records under the guise that they will obtain medical bills related to the collision. If you accept, the adjuster will have access to all of your medical records and use it against you.
- Delay and outright avoid contact with you. Some adjusters may stall the claim (e.g., ignoring your phone calls) so that you’ll feel the pressure of unpaid bills. They figure that if bills are piling high, you’ll become more desperate to accept a lower settlement. Stand your ground and continue to contact them, no matter how exhausting and stressful it gets.
- Intimidate you. There are insurance claims adjusters who will attempt to intimidate you into low-balling the settlement amount. For instance, since the adjuster handles many claims daily, they may tell you that they see cases like yours a lot and that it’s not worth it to pursue a claim. Ignore their words and continue your pursuit.
- Pressure you to settle without consulting a lawyer. They may attempt to get you to settle without a lawyer because a personal injury attorney has the tools to ensure that you are compensated fairly.
- Force you to admit fault, regardless of the truth. An insurance adjuster may try to “strong-arm” you into admitting liability by asking you such questions like, “Were you going the speed limit when it was storming?” Do not say anything to an adjuster that will be used against you. Just provide the straight facts and avoid saying anything about your personal life.
- Deny liability. This isn’t so much a shady tactic, but claims adjusters will almost always try and deny liability. After all, their goal is to save the insurance company money. Admitting fault not only forces the insurance company to pay a settlement but will also maximize the settlement amount you’re owed.
- Scour your social media. Insurance claims adjusters will go through your social media, looking for anything that may discredit you. They may find out, for instance, that you have a pre-existing condition, which they could then use to state that the injury you suffered from was not due to the car accident but instead because of your pre-existing condition.
Consult a personal injury attorney
Auto insurance claims adjusters will strive to discredit you to nullify your claim. They may attempt to intimidate you, deny liability, browse every social media post, delay communication, get you to release your medical records, and record all of your conversations. Their goal is to save their affiliated insurance company as much money as possible.
To dodge their traps, you’ll need to refuse to speak with a claims adjuster until you consult a personal injury attorney. A personal injury attorney will help you navigate these traps and successfully secure a fair settlement for your injuries.