Contrary to what their advertising might have you believe, insurance companies are for-profit businesses with a focus on maximizing profits. They generate money by selling premiums rather than paying claims.
What Insurance Adjusters Do
The insurance adjuster represents the insurance provider when you submit a claim. Their primary goal is to refute your claim or to minimize its significance. Insurance adjusters become your adversaries the moment you file a claim against their employer.
Be careful what you say and do around insurance adjusters since they are knowledgeable about personal injury law and adept at negotiating. It’s best to let your personal injury lawyer negotiate on your behalf if you want to collect the maximum compensation for your claim.
Continue reading to find out how to recognize insurance adjusters’ various tactics to undervalue and reject claims.
What Methods Do Florida Insurance Adjusters Use To Deny Liability?
An insurance adjuster brings a hidden toolbox into all settlement negotiations. Without adequate representation, your claim could perish as a result of their ethically dubious strategies. If you appear in court, the adjuster might further undermine your claim.
The following are some tactics you may encounter if you represent yourself.
Denying That the Other Party Was at Fault
Simply claiming that the insured was not at fault for the accident might be all that is required of the adjuster. That leaves you to prove it, and you may not know how to do that. Remember, the burden of proof is on you to prove your claim.
Accusing You of Comparative Fault
The insurance adjuster will almost certainly assert that you share some of the blame for the accident. In Florida, your financial recovery will be reduced (or possibility eliminated) based on your portion of comparative fault.
Downplaying the Severity of Your Injuries
The adjuster may minimize the value of your claim by downplaying how serious your accident-related injuries are. This can be a big problem if your injuries don’t appear on medical scans (whiplash is an often-cited example).
Sending You ‘Friend’ Requests on Social Media
The insurance company might examine your social media accounts to find material they can use against you. If you make it public, the insurance company can probably use it against you.
They may look for your commentary on the accident, a recent photo of you having a good time at a party, etc. Your best bet is to abstain from social media until you have been compensated. If you can’t do that, at least refuse to accept friend requests from people you don’t know.
You can come under the in-person observation of insurance adjusters while walking down a sidewalk or parking your automobile. Do not let them see you raking leaves or engaging in any other vigorous activities. The more claims you make, the harder the insurance company will seek to gather evidence to refute them.
Mailing You an Unsolicited Settlement Check
Due to financial need, it might be tempting to cash an unexpected settlement check for a paltry sum. The moment you cash it, you might have consented to accept the check’s amount as total payment.
If the words “payment in full” appear on the check, you almost certainly cannot cash it without abandoning your claim. Don’t cash the check, however, even without such a notation.
Seeking Your Recorded Statement
If you consent to a recorded statement, the insurance adjuster will ask you questions to deceive you into making a statement they can take out of context and use against you. Never give a recorded statement without your lawyer present. In fact, your lawyer will probably advise you not to give a recorded statement at all.
Asking You To Release Old Medical Records
If the insurance company can persuade you to sign documents without reading them first, they may be able to collect your entire medical history (which is never a good idea). Once they have these, doctors can attempt to link your current injury to one or more past illnesses or injuries. This defense might disprove your claim if it succeeds.
Causing Unreasonable Delays
A personal injury lawsuit in Florida must typically be filed within two years of the accident (with occasional exceptions). The insurance adjuster might make you feel at ease with a series of delays in an effort to get you to stop thinking about it. Should you miss the deadline, you will no longer be able to file a lawsuit.
Telling You a Lawyer is Unnecessary
This tactic is the most dangerous one of all if you fall for it. Once you have a good lawyer, the insurance company’s games will likely stop. If any more re-emerge, your lawyer can warn you about them.
Contact a Fort Walton Beach Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Dealing With an Insurance Adjuster
A personal injury lawyer can help you if you need to file an insurance claim. Get a free consultation even if you are unsure about the value of your claim. Remember that under the contingency fee system, you won’t be charged for legal services unless you win. Even in that case, nothing comes due until the insurance company or defendant distributes the funds.
At Brannon & Brannon Personal Injury Attorneys, we offer a free consultation and are available 24/7 at (850) 863-5297.