It can be confusing to recover from a car accident. Many accident victims feel more vulnerable to being influenced by people or organizations they trust. Insurance companies take advantage of this situation to deny victims the compensation they deserve.
This is especially true if an accident victim isn’t represented by legal counsel. In order to minimize the liability of an insurance company, claims adjusters often attempt to deceive accident victims. The victim could lose thousands of dollars after an accident, even though the adjuster is performing the job for which they were hired. These are some common strategies used by adjusters and other employees of insurance companies to reduce your exposure in your claim.
You must make a statement.
Insurance personnel often tell victims of accidents that they have to make a statement immediately. They also say it will speed up the claims process. In order to weaken a victim’s claim, the goal is to get them to admit fault, minimize their injuries (especially if they have not yet suffered from all of them), or confuse them as to the facts. These statements are often taped so that they can be used later at trial to discredit the victim.
Pretend to be on your side
Insurance personnel and claims adjusters love to pretend that they will do everything to close the case and get you as much money as possible. They use this tact to win the trust of accident victims.
A popular strategy is to send checks for minor amounts (e.g. the cost of fixing a car) while the victim is still being treated for injuries. Medical expenses are often more costly than car repairs. An adjuster might also visit the victim to check on their health and “see if they have any other options.”
The goal is to make the victim feel comfortable long enough for the statute of limitations not to run. Accident claims must be filed within three year in many states to avoid the limitation. Victims may believe that the insurance company is in their corner and will give them small amounts of money until they can determine the extent of their injuries. However, this could be false. The victim can no longer sue the insurance company for damages after the statute of limitations expires. Also, the money that the insurance company has been transferring to the victim will cease.
One new strategy in the age internet is to follow accident victims via social media. Insurance companies are interested in seeing if accident victims post about their accidents on social media. Particularly if they say anything that might suggest you are liable. Insurance companies also want to know if you are engaging in activities you shouldn’t be able to due to the severity of your injuries.
Photos and videos that show you partying, participating in work, sports, or any other activity prohibited by your injuries may be detrimental to your claim. Even if you have a plausible explanation such as taking a photo or relying on painkillers, this could still be a problem.
Even after an accident, it is important to keep your head up. Although it might be tempting to just trust the insurance company to resolve your case and go along with their advice, it is better to consult an attorney. An attorney can help you not only deal with the insurance company but also find the right doctors to treat and reconstruct your accident.
Many attorneys who specialize in accident cases will work on a contingency basis. This means that you don’t have to pay anything upfront and you only pay a portion of any recovery. You don’t pay if they don’t get your money.