After being injured in a Tampa car accident, expect to be contacted by an adjuster from the insurance company of the individual who caused the accident. Insurance companies hire insurance adjusters to investigate a specific case and determine how much the claim is worth- and almost always use tricks to try and limit any recovery. It’s the objective of an adjuster to devalue a legitimate claim and settle or dispose of it as quickly and inexpensively as possible while avoiding a lawsuit. Doing so contributes to keeping the adjuster’s employer profitable. In turn, that keeps shareholders happy. Don’t ever believe that an adjuster is calling “just to see how you’re doing.”
The fact that the opposing insurer’s adjuster wants to speak with you doesn’t mean that liability won’t be contested. Even if the opposing insurer admits that its insured person was at fault, that doesn’t mean that they won’t strenuously contest your damages. They work for the insurance company, not the accident victim. Whatever you say to the insurer, however formally or informally, can be used against you in your personal injury case. Therefore, you should ALWAYS consult with a personal injury attorney prior to speaking with an insurance adjuster.
Here are 5 Tricks Insurance Companies Use After a Car Accident to Not Pay You what You Deserve:
Knowing the adjuster’s job, you now know why he or she wants to speak with you. That adjuster wants to take control of your case by having you make statements or admissions that operate against your own interests. Those statements or admissions will then be used against you in the future. Here are some common strategies that insurance adjusters employ to get claimants to devalue their own cases:
Acting Like The “Good Guy”
The adjuster might act like a nice guy who is your friend. They want you to relax and feel comfortable talking about your accident and injuries. They are trained to be “nice” because insurance companies know that they can get more information out of you by showing sympathy and courteousness. Your words will then be twisted, distorted and used against you. Even a friendly response such as, “I’m fine Mrs. Smith, how are you?” can appear in a written report as “Victim says she is feeling fine.”
Getting a Recorded Statement
Adjusters commonly ask for accident victims to provide a recorded statement “just for purposes of confirming that our insured person was at fault.” The adjuster already knows that the insured person was at fault. He or she already has a statement from their insured person and a copy of the detailed police report. Never give an opposing insurance adjuster any type of a written or oral statement without consulting a personal injury attorney first. Florida law doesn’t require you to give one, and it’s the intent of that adjuster to use your own words against you in the future. Your credibility will be attacked, and it might even be implied that you’re malingering. Rather than taking the risk of hurting your case, arrange for a free confidential consultation and case review with a Tampa car accident lawyer from our offices.
Getting a Medical Authorization
You can also expect to receive a medical authorization from the insurance company to sign and return, and it will seem like you are required to. Don’t sign it, and don’t return it. Just keep it in your file. The adjuster is looking for a prior injury to the same part of your body that your symptoms can be blamed on, even if the injury occurred 15 years ago.
Saying You Don’t Need an Attorney
Many adjusters tell personal injury claimants that they “don’t need an attorney for this.” in some cases, you don’t, but you might not have enough experience to navigate the complex legal process successfully on your own. Selecting the right attorney to represent you can drastically increase any sums that you might receive in a settlement or award. When we think that someone will recover more by not hiring us, we tell them so, but we also give you the advice you need, for free to handle it.
Arguing You Did Not Recieve Enough Medical Treatment, Or Received Too Much
Insurance adjusters might try to argue that whatever medical treatment you have received is too much or too little dependant on the injuries. It’s a double-edged sword. Either they try to say you are not that hurt and you are faking your injuries and getting to much treatment, or they say, well, “you say you are hurt” but your medical records don’t show that you are getting adequate treatment or following your doctor’s recommended treatment. So what do you do? Follow your doctor’s recommendations, get the medical care you feel you need and consult with your injury attorney about your treatment.
Make the Insurance Company Give You What You Rightfully Deserve
The insurance company has the money that you deserve, but unless you are an attorney or an adjuster you might not know what your case is actually worth. No matter what, any costs that occur because of the crash including permanent injuries should be covered by the insurance company.
Unfortunately, when a personal injury claim is presented, the burden is on the injured victim to prove their case. The party allegedly responsible for the injury doesn’t usually have to prove anything at all. When you work with Hancock Injury Attorneys, you don’t have to worry about being taken seriously, constantly hounding their insurance companies to get a response, or dealing with any of the other frustrating details of a personal injury case. We will work through the legal process so that you can focus on getting back to being you again.
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Mike Hancock’s firm handled my personal injury lawsuit. He and his
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