After being involved in an accident, insurance adjusters get involved very quickly – sometimes so quickly that you don’t even have time to think about talking to a personal injury attorney first. However, as personable as your insurance adjuster may seem, they’re not on your side. While you may feel desperate to prove that you weren’t at fault or entirely at fault for the accident, you want to keep your guard up when talking to an insurance adjuster.
Here, we’ll go into why you should be wary of insurance adjusters and what to do after being involved in an accident.
Understanding Your Insurance
First things first, you want to ensure that you have a thorough understanding of your insurance coverage. The better you understand it, the less likely it is that you will be taken advantage of. As much as we’d all like to trust our insurance to treat us fairly and not take advantage of us, the unfortunate reality is that this is rarely the case.
Your insurance company is looking out for ways to make as much money as possible while paying as little as they possibly can. Since you’re paying for your insurance, you may think this means that they’re on your side, but your insurance company is on their own side – not yours. Insurance adjusters are trained to be friendly and make you think you can give them a written or recorded statement, but you don’t want to do this.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t communicate with your insurance or anything like that. You need to inform your insurance about accidents within 24 hours, as failure to do so can end up complicating or even invalidating your claim.
Rather, you want to work with a personal injury attorney. This is because attorneys know how to work with insurance to ensure that you receive the best possible results. We’ll go further into the things insurance adjusters can do below so that you can better understand how important it is to have an attorney on your side throughout the insurance claims process.
Why You Should Be Wary Of Insurance Adjusters
Being involved in an accident is stressful enough, even without having to deal with insurance. Dealing with insurance adjusters can make it even more stressful. While the claims process should be simple, it’s commonplace for insurance companies to complicate matters and make it challenging to understand what you should do and how things should be handled.
Some of the things insurance adjusters can do include the following.
#1. Claiming That You Are At Fault
If you were a victim to an accident, proving this can be far more challenging than it should be. Insurance adjusters often try to pin the blame on you in order to avoid paying you. They want to give you as little as possible.
Even if you think that you are guilty or partially to blame for what happened, never admit this to your insurance. Even if you think that the accident was your fault, the other person may be partially to blame through recklessness or other such behavior. This is why taking accident scene pictures and contacting witnesses is so important.
#2. Claiming That Your Damages Aren’t Covered By Your Policy
Most people don’t really understand the ins and outs of their insurance policies – and your insurance is counting on that. They also don’t understand the amount of damages they deserve. Insurance companies often try to claim that your policy won’t cover the damages from the accident, whether they involve physical injuries or property damage. They do this by stretching the truth and trying to take advantage of you.
This can lead to your insurance not paying claims, delaying payments, not investigating adequately, and more.
#3. Trying To Pressure You Into Accepting A Low-Ball Offer
Insurance adjusters may offer you a certain amount right out of the gate in order to try to resolve your claim as soon as possible. The initial offers are seldom, if ever, the amount that you deserve. They are often extremely low, counting on you being grateful to receive anything at all, without full knowledge of how much you may be entitled to.
Personal injury attorneys fight for you to be able to receive the compensation you deserve. Typically, clients with personal injury attorneys receive 3x the amount that unrepresented clients do.
#4. Trying To Pressure You Into Giving A Statement
Your insurance adjuster may try to pressure you into giving a written or recorded statement. This may seem harmless, but remember that anything you say can and will be held against you, even offhand remarks.
Consult with an attorney before doing anything like this. Personal injury attorneys know how to prove responsibility and how to work with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the damages you deserve.
#5. Ask If There’s Anything You Could Have Done To Prevent The Accident
Your insurance adjuster seems nice and friendly, so if they ask you if there’s anything you could have done to prevent the accident, you may think that it’s fine to share. They may ask about the weather, driving conditions, all sorts of things. Do not do this. Direct them to speak with your attorney.
Dealing With Insurance Adjusters
Insurance adjusters are just doing their jobs. Their job is to prevent fraud by ensuring that you’re not lying about the accident and to settle claims quickly and for a low amount. Many insurance adjusters do not have specialized medical or legal knowledge.
Having a personal injury attorney on your side gives you a leg-up. With evidence and advanced knowledge of your case, your attorney will be able to help you deal with insurance adjusters so that you receive the compensation you deserve.