But, the reason the industry accumulates so much wealth is not that they’re devoted to ensuring you get the most compensation for your claim.
In reality, insurance companies use tactics to deny, delay, or minimize legitimate claims filed by regular people rather than pay the claims fairly. If you’re attempting to seek compensation in an injury case, your best option is to meet with a team of experienced Carrollton personal injury lawyers who can overcome the insurance industry’s underhanded practices.
In this article, we’ll outline some of the common tricks insurance companies use to avoid paying out a settlement.
Record Your Statements to Use Them Against You
Insurance adjusters often call you after an accident to find out how you’re doing. However, despite this friendly guise, they’re actually recording information in the hopes that you’ll slip up and say something that might jeopardize your claim.
Some injuries after an accident are immediately apparent, while others— like whiplash or brain injuries— might take days for symptoms to appear. Even a simple statement of ‘I’m feeling good’ can be used later to discredit any subsequent pain you develop.
Don’t give them a recorded statement until you completely understand the scope of your injuries and have consulted with a doctor and a personal injury lawyer. This will provide you with the flexibility to pursue the claim and deserved compensation if you find additional injuries later on.
Push You to Settle Quickly
It’s a standard routine with personal injury claims: the Insurance company will offer you a lowball settlement right out of the gate during the first or second phone call.
While it might seem like an obvious trick, it works. With medical bills piling up, they know that if they make a quick offer, you’re more likely to take the money and run before you have the time to understand how much your claim is worth and what your medical bills will actually be.
Don’t make this mistake. A quick resolution is tempting, but it will cost you money down the line.
Dig Through Your Medical Records
After filing your personal injury claim, the adjuster might ask to access your medical records. In some instances, this might be a reasonable request. For example, if you broke a bone and X-rays were taken, but you only provided medical records from the hospital and not from the radiologist, the adjuster might ask for the radiologist’s records.
Unfortunately, some adjusters want access to your records so they can pry through your medical history to see if there is anything they can use to deny your claim or minimize the payout.
If they find a pre-existing condition, they might argue that your injuries occurred prior to the accident and, therefore, they don’t have to pay. This happens regularly.
Never sign an agreement to give the adjuster access to your medical records. During the claims process, you or your lawyer will send the adjuster all of your relevant medical information— on your own time and your own terms.
Drag Out the Claims Process
Insurance companies want to settle your claim as quickly and economically as possible. However, there is no law that requires them to respond to you within a timely manner.
Sometimes they deploy stalling tactics, knowing that many people will simply give up to avoid the hassle. They might say they’re still processing your paperwork or outright ignore your calls. Meanwhile, your medical or damage bills are still rolling in.
The goal is to make the injured person frustrated enough that you accept a low offer.
Persuade You Not to Hire an Attorney
Some insurance companies will try to persuade you not to hire a lawyer because they know that lawyers will try to get what is fair and reasonable— which is never what insurance companies try to do.
Their representatives would rather deal with lay people who aren’t informed on various laws and are more likely to take whatever compensation they’re offered.
They might argue that hiring an attorney is a bad idea because you’ll have to share your settlement with them. While it’s true that you will have to pay your attorney after you win your case, you will likely end up with more money than if you settled the case on your own.
Contact Our Carrollton Personal Injury Lawyers Before Talking With the Insurance Company
Remember, insurance companies make money by finding reasons to deny your claim— and their tricks start when you make that initial phone call.
If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim, it is always best to contact a lawyer before speaking with an insurance representative.
The Carrollton personal injury lawyers at The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare will walk you through the claim process, communicate on your behalf, and help you avoid the traps insurance companies set out to minimize your compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our experienced attorneys to learn how we can help you receive a fair settlement from the insurance company.