Colburn Law

No Fees Unless We Win   206-919-3215

click for free consultation

The Top Insurance Claim Adjuster Tactics to Be Aware Of

Colburn Law

Navigating the aftermath of an accident can be an overwhelming experience, especially when it involves dealing with insurance companies. While these companies may present themselves as supportive allies during your time of need, they often seek to minimize the amount of money that they provide—and they may employ several tactics to devalue your claim. Before speaking with any insurance representatives after the accident, contact a Seattle insurance claim lawyer who can represent your best interests.

Below are some of the most common tactics used by insurance providers. With this knowledge, you can better protect your interests and present a stronger claim for your injuries, property damage, and pain and suffering.

#1: Making an Early Settlement Offer

One common strategy insurance adjusters employ is to make an early settlement offer. Often, this occurs before you fully understand the extent of your injuries or the long-term impact they may have on your life.

These initial offers may seem appealing, especially when facing immediate financial pressures, but they rarely reflect the true value of your claim. Accepting an early offer will prevent you from seeking further compensation, which can lead to financial hardship if your condition worsens.

#2: Minimizing the Severity of Your Injuries

Adjusters frequently attempt to minimize the severity of your injuries. By downplaying the impact these injuries have on your daily life and long-term health, they can justify lower compensation amounts for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other losses.

To counteract this tactic, it is essential to have a comprehensive medical evaluation, follow up on any recommended treatments or assessments, and avoid speaking to the insurer about your injuries unless you have an attorney present.

#3: Attempting to Access Your Social Media

In today’s digital age, it seems as if almost everyone has an account on one if not multiple, social media websites. However, insurance companies often scrutinize claimants’ social media accounts, looking for evidence that contradicts claims of injury or emotional distress.

Posting photos, updates, or comments that suggest you are more physically capable or less affected than you claim can undermine your case. Make sure to keep your accounts private on social media, never post about your accident, and never accept any new followers or friend requests.

#4: Asking Leading Questions

During conversations or official statements, adjusters may ask leading questions designed to elicit responses that could be used against you. These questions often aim to trick you into admitting partial or full responsibility for the accident or to downplay your injuries.

Even responding “fine” to a question such as “How are you?” could be harmful. To protect your case, be mindful of the questions that are being asked and seek legal advice before providing answers.

#5: Requesting a Recorded Statement

Insurance companies often request recorded statements under the guise of expediting the claim process. However, these recorded statements can be used to find inconsistencies in your account of the accident or to elicit information that could be used to reduce your compensation.

For example, say that you suffered a broken bone in an accident and believe that is your only injury. You provide a statement where you affirm this fact, but later on, you learn that you suffered a concussion. If you attempt to claim compensation for the concussion, the insurance company can point to discrepancies in your statement to diminish your credibility.

It is generally advisable to consult with an attorney before agreeing to provide a recorded statement. A lawyer can sit with you, while you provide this statement and help you prepare beforehand, minimizing the impact of this strategy.

#6: Shifting Liability onto You for the Accident

Another common strategy is to shift some or all the liability for the accident onto you. By questioning your account of the accident and suggesting that your actions contributed to the event, insurers aim to reduce their financial obligation. It is important to remain firm in your case and to gather strong evidence that proves otherwise, such as police reports, surveillance footage, and witness statements.

#7: Questioning the Validity of Your Lost Wages

If your injuries have forced you to take time off work, adjusters may question the validity of your lost wages claim. They might suggest that you could have returned to work sooner or that your claim for lost earnings is exaggerated.

Remember, you have the right to recover compensation for all lost wages related to your injuries—including future earning potential if the accident prevents you from returning to work. Keeping detailed records of your employment, income, and the medical advice you received regarding work can help substantiate your claim and counteract this tactic.

#8: Minimizing the Pain and Suffering That You Experienced

Compensation for pain and suffering is often more subjective and difficult to quantify than other types of damages. Adjusters may attempt to minimize these aspects of your claim, arguing that the emotional and physical distress you experienced was less severe than you have reported.

Although pain and suffering can be difficult to prove definitively, there are ways that you can demonstrate the impact of the injury on your life. Documenting your experiences, including pain levels, emotional distress, and how your injuries have affected your day-to-day activities, can provide crucial evidence to support your claim.

#9: Asking for Authorization to See All of Your Medical Records

Insurance adjusters may ask for broad authorization to review your medical records, ostensibly to verify the extent of your injuries. However, this can also give them access to your entire medical history, which they might use to attribute your injuries to pre-existing conditions.

With access to your full medical records, the insurance company can justify a lower settlement for medical expenses and other damages. When providing this authorization, make sure that the insurance company can only see the records that are relevant to your case.

#10: Downplaying the Value of Hiring a Lawyer

Finally, insurance companies might suggest that hiring a Seattle car accident lawyer is unnecessary or that doing so could reduce the amount of compensation you receive. This tactic aims to dissuade you from seeking legal representation, which could significantly improve your chances of receiving a fair settlement.

An attorney can navigate the complexities of insurance claims, negotiate with adjusters on your behalf, and advocate for your rights. They can also help you counteract many of the tactics that insurers use to downplay the value of your claim.