If you were hurt in an accident, be it a car crash or while receiving medical care, you should know that the law is on your side. In most cases, you’ll be eligible to file a personal injury claim against the liable party seeking compensation for your physical, financial, and emotional damages.
Unfortunately, far too many individuals attempt to go about this process on their own. It seems straightforward: you file an insurance claim, give the adjuster your statement, provide evidence, and collect your settlement. Sadly, though, it almost never goes like this. The following guide outlines some of the most common tactics adjusters will use to avoid paying your claim.
Tactic #1: Avoiding a Conversation
If you’ve ever tried to get in touch with an insurance adjuster regarding a claim you’ve filed, you know all too well how difficult it can be to get someone on the phone. Most often, this is simply because the companies are highly busy. However, in other cases, the radio silence is a bit more nefarious.
Sometimes, insurers will flat-out refuse to have a conversation with a personal injury victim. They will either tell you that they aren’t going to speak with you, or they’ll go to any measure necessary to avoid having a conversation, sometimes going so far as to hang up on you when you call.
This goal with this tactic is to try and wear you down. The hope is usually that with enough radio silence, you’ll eventually tire of waiting and drop the claim altogether. Unfortunately, many people fall victim to this tactic, because they don’t know the most effective way to get in touch with a representative.
Tactic #2: Holding Up the Process Unnecessarily
In the event you are actually able to get someone on the phone, you might find that the insurance company representative finds other ways to keep your claim and the associated proceedings from moving forward. For example, they might try and create excuses about how your paperwork hasn’t moved through the funnel, state that they don’t have new information about your claim, or create unnecessary roadblocks to prevent your claim from moving forward.
This tactic is very similar to the one previously stated. Insurers often bank on the idea that you’ll grow hopeless, feeling as though your claim is never going to move forward. Their goal is one of two things. First, to make it so that you get so frustrated that you either drop the claim altogether. Or, second, if the process does eventually move forward, their hope is that you will be so grateful to finally receive a settlement, that you’ll accept whatever they offer, even if it isn’t even close to the true value of your claim.
Tactic #3: Lowballing Your Settlement Offer
Piggybacking off tactic two, if you do finally receive an offer from the adjuster, it will almost always be for a fraction of what your claim’s true value is. Typically, insurance companies will state that the settlement they’re offering is the absolute maximum they’re willing to provide, and that you can either accept it as-is or walk away with nothing.
The goal of this tactic is to make you fearful about recovering anything for your damages. Insurers will usually bank on the fact that you’re eager to recover some kind of compensation, and they think that by threatening you with something small or nothing at all, you’ll be willing to accept less than you deserve.
The most effective defense against these ruthless negotiating tactics is to hire a car accident attorney. This person will be highly knowledgeable about the common tactics used by insurers and will fight against them to help you get the settlement you deserve.