The insurance company wants you to believe that they are on your side from day one. Their commercials feature a friendly gecko or tell you they are a good neighbor, that they are going to help you. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just had a car crash, or it happened months ago and you’re already negotiating with the insurance company, you know that their claims are far from the truth. They use a lot of different tactics to try to get you to accept the lowest offer possible. If you want to know how to fight an insurance claim to get the most money possible, you need to know common insurance industry trucks. Here is what the insurance industry does not want you to know, no matter what stage of negotiation.
The Insurance Adjuster will act like your friend
If you make a claim on your insurance policy after an accident, you can expect to get a call from the claims adjuster who represents the insurance company. If you are still waiting to hear from the claims adjuster, you need to know – they are friendly. The claims adjuster will express concern and ask you how you are doing. Don’t be fooled; their kindness is often part of their employee training. They know that they can get more information to use against you by being sympathetic, courteous, and kind. The formation you share with the claims adjuster can be used against you to reduce your settlement offer.
Settling the claim may not be as urgent as it seems
If you’re talking with the insurance company,
- Do you feel like you need to settle fast?
- Are they telling you that the offer is only available for a limited time?
- Do you feel rushed to make a decision?
All of this is by design. While it is true that you can not wait forever to claim damages after a car crash, you have to abide by the statutes of limitations in your state. In New York, you have up to two to three years to file a case, and in Vermont, you have up to three years to file a claim. However, insurance adjusters would have you think that you need to accept an offer within weeks. Generally, they will try to settle the claim as fast as possible to avoid litigation, a lawsuit that will likely force them to offer more money. No matter if your damages are incredibly minor, or if you have extensive damage and medical costs, do not settle quickly. It is best to speak with an attorney and get another set of eyes on your case. Many personal injury lawyers will give you an honest assessment of your situation. This point is especially true if you’ve been fighting or plan on fighting the insurance industry on your own. You may be ready to accept their offer, but are unsure if it’s all your case is worth. Contact a personal injury lawyer who can give you an assessment and probably move your case further than you could alone.
Their settlement offer is low, and they know it
If the insurance adjuster is quickly putting an offer on the table, you can bet that it is a much lower offer than what you are owed. It is probably a lot less, and they know you would rather have money now than fight for the money you’re owed. Some insurance companies have adopted a ‘deny first’ strategy. This strategy means they may outright deny your claim even though your claim is valid. Insurers can get in legal trouble for using a deny the first strategy; they still do it because it saves them money. If they’ve made the low ball offer and you’re trying to fight on your own, you are in an uphill and nearly impossible battle. Insurance companies have an entire legal team that denies and delays claims like yours every day. Their job is to keep as much of your money in their pockets for as long as possible, in the hopes you give up. Remember, insurance companies are among the wealthiest companies in the world. They know denying and delaying claims keeps money in their pockets. Even if they have to bump up the offer throughout the negotiation process, they are earning interest on your money and making a profit on you.
The Insurance Company is Required to Assess Your Claim in Good Faith
The legal doctrine of “Good faith” is complex, but it’s based on a pretty simple notion: people should treat each other reasonably, fairly, and honestly by law, that is how insurance companies are required to assess your insurance claim. If you believe the adjuster is investigating or negotiating your claim in bad faith, they could get in trouble. If the adjuster is found guilty of acting in bad faith they might even have to pay you (the victim) a lot more money in the form of punitive damages. Your contract with the insurance company states that they will act in “good faith.” If you’re not moving your case forward the insurance adjusters on your own, call a lawyer. A personal injury lawyer fights against insurance companies to get you the money you deserve. Our personal injury lawyer can file a “bad faith” lawsuit for you to make the insurance company pay you the money you deserve.
They will use what you say against you
Remember how they will act friendly to get you to make statements? A common insurance adjuster trick is that they plan on using your comments against you to deny or reduce how much they offer. Adjusters are trained to look for any signs of “admissions of liability” or “acts inconsistent with” the claims your initially made. If you say anything that can be construed as contradictory, they will likely use it against you. Even short conversations with insurers can be tricky. You have an obligation to talk to your insurance company and cooperate after you’ve made an insurance claim. You should be especially wary of speaking openly with the other driver’s insurance company.It is best if you feel that you have a case, to find a lawyer to speak on your behalf. Even the smartest people fall into the traps of the insurance industry. Don’t let them trick you out of the money you need.
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They Are 100% Capable of Paying You a Lot of Money
You know that insurance companies exist to make a profit. You’ve paid your bills faithfully to protect you in case of a moment just like the one you are in now. However, the way insurance companies make a profit is denying and low balling client claims just like yours. Not every claim is worth a million dollars. However, any costs associated with the crash and the significant lifelong injury should be covered by the insurance company.
Unless you are an insurance adjuster or personal injury lawyer, it can be hard to know how much your case is worth. If you settle early, you may not have received all of your medical treatments and achieved your recovery potential. If a surgery’s outcomes are not as successful as the doctors initially hoped, you may need to take a new medical direction with future complications. For this reason alone, you should avoid being rushed into accepting the first offer(s) from the insurance company.
If you still help, give our legal team a call.
Call Attorney Drew Palcsik and get the Champlain Valley Law team on your side today. Our experienced law firm can help evaluate your case and help you fight the insurance industry adjusters for the money you deserve. We serve clients located on both sides of Lake Champlain. Get highly rated legal help today, contact us today.