When you have a personal injury claim, one of your first steps will likely be to deal with the insurance company of the at-fault party. Insurance claims adjusters use many tactics designed to increase the likelihood that they can deny your claim or pay you pennies on the dollar. If you know about these strategies ahead of time, it can help you get a better outcome on your insurance claim.
Here are 5 things an insurance adjuster doesn’t want you to know. If you work with a California personal injury attorney from the beginning, the claims adjuster will have very little opportunity to pull the wool over your eyes.
1. There is a Deadline on Your Case, and if You Miss it, You Will Not Get a Penny
California law gives you very little time to file a lawsuit seeking money damages from the negligent person who injured you. Negotiating with the claims adjuster does not extend this deadline.
Claims adjusters know about the deadline. If your claim gets near the time limit, do not be surprised if the adjuster drags out the process in hopes that you will miss the deadline. The only way to satisfy the deadline on a pending claim is to file a lawsuit. If you do not file the lawsuit in time, the law will forever bar you from getting compensation for your injuries and other losses.
2. You Will Have to Pay Your Medical Bills Out of the Settlement Check
The claims adjuster is unlikely to explain to you that the settlement is not “free money.” There will only be one check. All of your losses will have to get paid out of that one check.
3. You Will Never Get More Money for Your Injuries After You Settle
Claims adjusters often pressure people to settle their insurance claims before they complete their medical treatment. The risk of doing so is that your doctor will decide that you need additional medical treatment, like surgery, to achieve the best possible healing.
Let’s say that you enter into a settlement with the insurer before going back to your doctor for the follow-up appointment. You then see your doctor and find out that you need surgery. After you settle your claim, the negligent party’s insurer will not pay you one more cent. Your regular health insurance is unlikely to cover those costs.
You will have to pay for the surgery out of your pocket. You might have a stack of medical bills you cannot afford to pay. Also, since the cost of the medical treatment you needed for your injuries affects the amount that your claim is worth, if you had waited until after completing your medical treatment before you settled, your settlement amount would likely have been considerably higher.
4. The Claims Adjuster’s Job is to Pay You Less Than Your Claim is Worth
No matter what they say in their television ads, the insurance company’s job is not to take care of you. These multibillion-dollar corporations have one job, and that is to make a profit. Every dollar that they pay you is a dollar lost from their profits.
Insurance companies train claims adjusters to act friendly and charming but make no mistake–the claims adjuster is not on your side.
5. The Insurance Company Will Use Your Words Against You
Most likely, the adjuster will ask you to give a recorded statement. You should not do so. Instead, direct the adjuster to talk to your lawyer, who can provide all the information the adjuster needs to process the claim. Recorded statements only hurt the value of your case because the adjuster can take your words out of context and twist them.
A California personal injury attorney can protect you from these and many other situations if you got hurt because of the negligence of someone else. Contact our office today to receive legal assistance.