Do Insurance Adjusters Lie to Victims?
If you suffer injuries in an accident someone else causes, you will likely deal with insurance companies and their adjusters. Although in their advertisements, many insurance companies claim that they are advocating for your best interests, nothing can be further from the truth. Many insurance company adjusters tell outright lies to try and settle claims quickly—and for as little money as possible.
Never assume that an insurance company or adjuster is looking out for you. Consequently, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side who can advocate for you, pursue your legal interests, and recover the monetary compensation you deserve.
A skilled personal injury lawyer can help you file a claim and aggressively deal with insurance companies and their notoriously dishonest adjusters. Specifically, your lawyer can negotiate on your behalf, threatening the insurance company with litigation if they are unwilling to compensate you fairly for your injuries.
Suppose your lawyer must file a lawsuit to convince the insurance company to take your case seriously. In that case, they can represent you at all stages of the litigation—including at trial, mediation, or binding arbitration. Your lawyer will work vigorously on your behalf and in your interests to pursue maximum monetary damages for you.
Accidents That Lead to Personal Injuries
When someone causes an accident that leaves you injured, you must file a claim with their insurance company. Many accidents result from negligence—or deviation from the standard of care. A person behaves negligently when doing something that a hypothetical reasonable person would not have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Alternatively, negligence occurs when a person fails to do something that a reasonable person would have done under the same or similar circumstances.
Some common accidents that lead to personal injury claims include:
- Motor vehicle collisions – Motor vehicle collisions typically happen when drivers behave carelessly or recklessly under the circumstances. They might fail to follow the law, engage in distracted driving, or operate their vehicle while intoxicated.
- Motorcycle and bicycle accidents – Motorcycle and bicycle accidents also typically result from driver negligence. However, these accidents can also result from roadway defects, such as large potholes and defective motorcycle parts, including handlebars, braking systems, and steering mechanisms that malfunction when a rider is out on the road.
- Slips and falls – Premises owners must always safely maintain their premises. If they become aware of a defect, they must warn about or repair it within a reasonable timeframe. If they fail to do so and a person slips, falls, and injures themselves, the accident victim can hold the premises owner liable.
If you are the victim of negligence, you have legal options. Your lawyer can assist you when dealing with the insurance company and will work to obtain the highest amount of compensation available on your behalf.
Types of Injuries That Accident Victims Suffer
Accident victims can sustain severe personal injuries, depending upon the type of accident and how their accident occurs. For example, in a car crash, the accident victim’s body can move around inside the vehicle, leading to severe injuries. Moreover, a part of the accident victim’s body can strike a part of the vehicle, like the window, door frame, dashboard, headrest, or steering wheel, resulting in an injury.
In the most severe accident cases, common injuries resulting from others’ negligence include internal injuries, bone fractures, soft tissue contusions, cuts, abrasions, traumatic head injuries, and even death.
Before speaking with an insurance company adjuster, you want to obtain same-day medical treatment for your injuries at a hospital emergency room or urgent care facility.
The healthcare provider on duty there can:
- Take X-rays, MRIs, and brain scans as necessary
- Determine the full extent of your medical condition
- Render emergency medical assistance or procedures, such as surgeries, if necessary
- Recommend follow-up medical care and treatment for you
After leaving the hospital emergency room or urgent care center, you should follow all treatment recommendations. For example, depending upon your injuries, you might need to see your primary care doctor, a physical therapist, or a medical specialist. Also, your lawyer can start working on your personal injury case while you complete your medical visits.
Specifically, your lawyer can begin gathering your medical records, lost wage documents, injury photographs, and other paperwork, and prepare a settlement demand package for you. Once your medical treatment is complete, your lawyer can submit the demand package to the insurance company and start negotiating with the adjuster handling your claim.
Which Insurance Company Will My Lawyer Deal With?
In most instances, when a person files a personal injury claim resulting from someone else’s negligence, they or their lawyer will deal with the at-fault party’s insurer.
However, in car accident cases, the at-fault driver might not have insurance—or their insurance might not be adequate to pay the total amount of the accident victim’s damages. In that instance, you can turn to your own insurance company and file a claim for uninsured or underinsured motorist benefits.
Your lawyer can help you determine which insurance policy—or policies—will come into play in your unique personal injury case.
What Are Common Lies That Insurance Company Adjusters Tell Accident Victims?
Contrary to what many insurance companies state in their advertisements, they are not representing you or advocating for you in any way. In fact, during a personal injury claim or lawsuit, the insurance company is your adversary. This is true even if you file an uninsured or underinsured motorist claim against your insurance company.
Insurance companies are big businesses and will do everything possible to avoid paying you money. The insurance company makes money by collecting premiums from their insureds. However, they do not make any money by paying large settlements and jury verdicts in personal injury cases. Therefore, they will offer you as little money as possible in hopes you will accept it.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf. If the insurance company refuses to compensate you reasonably, your lawyer can threaten litigation and, if necessary, actually file a lawsuit in the court system.
When dealing with insurance companies, adjusters sometimes tell accident victims deliberate lies.
Some of the most common falsehoods that insurance company adjusters spread include:
- Starting that a particular injury is not compensable – In some instances, insurance company adjusters will tell accident victims that their injuries are pre-existing and that, therefore, they are non-compensable. However, under certain circumstances, you might be eligible to receive compensation for a pre-existing injury—including for pain, suffering, and inconvenience. This is especially true when the accident exacerbates a pre-existing injury and makes it considerably worse.
- Stating that a particular settlement offer is their top offer – Many insurance company adjusters will say that a specific settlement number is their maximum offer amount when they have significantly more money available to compensate you for your injuries. A lawyer who is advocating for you can determine whether or not a particular settlement amount is, in fact, the insurance company’s highest number. Moreover, your lawyer can threaten the insurance company with litigation if they stubbornly refuse to increase their settlement offer.
- Stating that you have to provide a recorded statement to them – Many insurance company adjusters will try and convince accident victims that they must give a recorded statement. This is simply not true. The only purpose of a recorded statement is for the insurance company to try and elicit a damaging response from the accident victim. Remember, the insurance company will do everything to limit the payout in your case—or even eliminate it. You must never provide a recorded statement without having your lawyer by your side or on the phone with you during the statement. If the adjuster asks something objectionable during the recorded statement, your lawyer can note their objection while on the record.
A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your area can assist you during all dealings with the insurance company and its adjusters. Your lawyer can further help you make the best possible decisions in your case that will lead to a fair settlement amount, jury verdict, or arbitration award in the end.
Recovering Compensation From the Insurance Company Through Settlement or Litigation
Initial offers from insurance company adjusters are almost always far below the total value of the personal injury claim. Adjusters typically put these low offers on the table to see if the accident victim is in a hurry to settle and if they will accept the lowest possible offer. A skilled personal injury lawyer can negotiate back and forth with the adjuster until the parties decide to settle or they reach an impasse.
As the accident victim, you are the person who decides whether to accept or reject the insurance company’s offer. If you reject the offer, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf—but continue their negotiations with the insurance company.
Filing a lawsuit formally begins the litigation stage of a personal injury case.
During litigation, the following will occur:
- The defense lawyer will file a formal Answer to the Complaint, which the accident victim’s lawyer filed with the court.
- The court will issue a scheduling order establishing various dates and deadlines for the case, such as the discovery completion date, settlement conference date, and sometimes a jury trial date.
- The parties will engage in oral and written discovery, where the parties answer each other’s written questions—called interrogatories—and take one another’s discovery depositions to learn more about the damages that the accident victim claims.
- The parties will attend a settlement conference or mediation where the assigned judge or mediator will help facilitate settlement discussions.
- The parties will attend a jury trial or alternative dispute resolution proceeding. At a jury trial, the jury will decide the outcome of all disputed issues—including the number of damages to award the plaintiff accident victim. During binding arbitration, a third-party, neutral arbitrator will decide the total damages to award the plaintiff within certain pre-set, agreed-upon monetary parameters.
Your personal injury lawyer will advocate for you during all settlement discussions and litigation proceedings that occur throughout your case.
Talk With a Skilled Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Insurance companies and their adjusters are never on your side in a personal injury case. They also have teams of lawyers who, along with the adjusters, will try to use every tactic they have to pay you as little as possible in an injury claim. Consequently, you must involve a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer as early on in the process as possible.
In addition to representing you during settlement negotiations and litigation, your lawyer can help you decide whether you should accept a pending insurance company offer or litigate your case in the civil court system. When you retain experienced legal counsel to represent you during your case, you can rest assured that they will be looking out for your best interests and advocating for your interests only.
Never face off with insurance companies or adjusters alone. Once you have the right representation, you have the best chance of receiving a settlement that fully covers your losses. Contact the MNH Injury Lawyer team to get your consultation.