Prevent Insurance Adjusters From Lowballing Your Auto Accident Claim

by Sep 10, 2019Auto Accident

Prevent Insurance Adjusters From Lowballing Your Auto Accident Claim

by Sep 10, 2019Auto Accident

Stop Insurance Adjusters from Low balling Your Claim
Stop Insurance Adjusters from Low balling Your Claim

Fortunately, you survived your car accident. But you may regret dealing with the aftermath of a car accident if you try to reach a fair settlement with insurance companies on your own. The insurance companies know that the laws can be complicated and it is difficult for laypeople to challenge them in court when there are substantial damages involved. To reduce paying out on any claims, they will offer lowball settlements.

What is a Lowball Settlement?

A settlement is an agreement between an accident victim and an insurance company that the injured party will not seek any further compensation for their injuries. This agreement acts as a legal barrier against receiving any additional payments on your auto accident claim that are not predefined in the settlement agreement contract.

A lowball settlement is one that does not even cover the basic medical and property damage costs incurred by the accident. These offers are not backed with legitimate evidence and do not account for the pain and suffering and other long-term injuries, and are usually based on speculative calculations.

How Can an Attorney Help Me Receive a Fair Settlement?

The insurance adjusters use a lot of dirty tricks to prevent you from obtaining a fair settlement on your auto accident claim. Your attorney can help you to avoid these pitfalls and force insurance companies to settle at a fair price or, otherwise, face an expensive trial. When facing a skilled attorney, the confidence of insurance adjusters quickly deflates.

A skilled attorney can negotiate by rejecting their offers and making reasonable counteroffers. A counteroffer is based on the evidence of damages incurred and outlines reasons the insurance company is required to cover these damages under their policy. This is evidence that could, likewise, be presented to a jury.

Common Insurance Company Tricks

Putting Victims Under Surveillance

If the sum of the settlement is large enough, the insurance companies may even put you under surveillance. They will look for key opportune moments to make it look like your injuries are fabricated. They may scour social media websites for videos and photos of you enjoying your life but does not necessarily capture all pain and discomfort. They may also follow you around and attempt to video record you moving around without any apparent signs of injury.

Communication Breakdown

The insurance adjusters have a heavy workload but also want you to get frustrated. They want to hide behind their bureaucracies and give you the run around when you have a question or need prompt payment to cover medical tests, treatments, or car replacement. This communication breakdown is intended to make you give up and simply accept whatever they decide to give you to resolve your claim.

Placing the Blame on You

Insurance companies also try to manipulate you with leading questions that open up the door to imputing you with responsibility for the accident. They may ask questions about how you contributed to the accident or why you didn’t move out of the way or stop in time.

If you start entertaining the thought that you were partly to blame for the accident, this will be used to support their efforts to reduce your damages. The insurance companies never want to admit blame because that is the most debatable point for them to argue at a trial.

Malicious Contract Requests

The insurance adjusters may seek your medical records and may ask you to sign a release form. This is essentially a contract that opens up the door for them to collect lots of information about you. You have to read the fine print because they may be requesting information that goes far beyond the medical history relevant to your car accident claim.

They may be looking for evidence of mental illness to question the reality of your account or your memory. And they may be looking for any notes of doctors who think that you are malingering or exaggerating illnesses. An attorney can ensure that the scope of any record requests is very limited.

Recording Your Statements

Insurance adjusters want to catch you off-guard and some may try to fabricate evidence against you any time that you are on the phone. They will record your statements and then use them to contradict essential facts in your case. The more complicated and subjective that they make your case, the harder it is for you to prove your car accident claim.

Delayed or Denied Settlement

Delaying or denying a settlement is adding insult to your injury. The insurance companies use this to make you feel desperate, which may pressure you into accepting their lowball offer. If you have to weigh the alternative between getting 10 percent of the actual damages incurred or nothing, you may feel the need to take the lowball offer. Only an experienced attorney can strengthen your case and break the confidence of adjusters and their hopes of getting away with these tricks.

Mislead You Regarding the Statute of Limitations

An insurance adjuster’s job is to serve his employer, his master. One of these tricks is to mislead auto accident victims regarding the applicable statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the limited time, 4 years for negligence cases in Florida, that you have to file a lawsuit in the court after an accident. If your formal complaint (i.e. lawsuit) is not filed in court, you will forever be barred from filing any claim for compensation related to the claim.

Some underhanded insurance adjusters can intentionally mislead you to believe that you have to wait for the insurance company to handle and process your claims before you can file a lawsuit in court, which is never true.

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