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Car Insurance Claims Process: Adjuster Tips and Tricks

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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

Updated May 24, 2020 | Auto Accidents |

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Car insurance providers charge their customers monthly premiums and advertise their wide variety of services. Unfortunately, while many auto insurance adjusters work to find the best possible situation for all parties involved, others avoid paying fair settlements to car accident victims.

Putting profits over people may not be personal, but since the compensation you receive affects your daily life, financial security, and physical health, it turns out to be quite personal after all.

Five Auto Insurance Claims Secrets

Insurance claims adjusters may use secret tactics and tricks to avoid paying damages to car accident victims. An experienced Indiana car accident attorney will stop you from falling into one of these traps.

You Don’t Have to Give a Recorded Statement

After a car accident, the insurance company of the person responsible will contact you and ask for a statement. Some insurance adjusters will even tell you that you are required to give a statement or that not giving a statement will hurt your case. This isn’t true.

We strongly advise against giving a statement without legal representation.

These recorded statements are an opportunity for some insurance agents to ask leading questions and trick you into saying something that they can use against you later. Even an interaction as simple as an adjuster asking “How are you feeling today?” can cause you to automatically respond with “fine,” “good,” or “okay”— statements the adjuster could use to say that your injuries are not as serious as you claim.

When speaking with insurance adjusters, keep responses to a minimum and only provide basic identifying and contact information. Better yet, let your lawyers handle all communications with the insurance company.

Medical Records Can Be Used Against You

To justify reducing or denying a claim, insurance claim adjusters may look deep into your past in the hopes of finding information they can use against you. Some agents may request decades of medical records, which they will carefully search through to discover any preexisting conditions they can use to limit their payouts.

Never give an insurance company the power to request medical records on your behalf. Instead, have your legal team review all requests for medical records. An experienced attorney will make sure adjusters only receive medical records relevant to your accident.

Insurance Companies May Take Their Time

After an accident, you are likely overwhelmed. Medical bills and vehicle repair costs are piling up at the same time you cannot work due to your injuries, leaving you without the ability to cover everyday expenses and making it difficult for you to be patient.

Car insurance adjusters know that you are under a lot of pressure, and they may use your uncertainty and fear to their advantage. Insurance companies know that you need financial relief, so some adjusters will wait until you are desperate enough to accept a low settlement offer.

What victims may not know is that there are options to manage pre-settlement expenses. There is no need to rush or accept an unfair settlement offer. Your legal team can help you make the best financial decisions for your case.

The First Settlement Offer May Not Be the Best Settlement Offer

Insurance agents may want you to accept the first settlement amount they offer, but there are lots of reasons not to accept the first offer you receive: Not only can the first offer often be extremely low, but agreeing to a settlement also waives your right to seek additional money. Symptoms of several common car accident injuries may not show up right away. If you experience pain days, weeks, or months later and need compensation for additional medical expenses, you’re out of luck.

Don’t accept a settlement offer without reviewing it with a lawyer. Your attorney will negotiate on your behalf until you receive a fair offer or take your case to trial.

Adjusters Don’t Want You to Hire an Attorney

Some insurance adjusters will do everything they can to stop you from hiring legal representation, including claiming that doing so will reduce your settlement amount. This is another falsehood. Even factoring in attorney fees, hiring a lawyer may result in more compensation for victims.

Insurance adjusters are backed by insurance companies staffed with legal teams and expert negotiators who are ready to avoid paying a fair claim by any means necessary. You need an attorney to advocate for you in these negotiations.

How an Experienced Car Accident Lawyer Can Help

Car insurance adjusters work for the insurance provider, not for you. Without the experience of an attorney by your side, it can be challenging to successfully file a claim. That’s why you need legal representation—so that you have the support you need to get the compensation you need.

Here’s what an experienced car accident lawyer can do for you during the car insurance claims process:

  • Fully protect your rights
  • Handle all communications with the insurance company
  • Determine the actual cost of your damages
  • Attempt to negotiate a fair settlement offer, if possible
  • Take your case to trial, if necessary

Don’t go through this alone. We’re here to help.

Contact an Automobile Accident Attorney Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact an Indianapolis car accident lawyer of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The lawyers at WKW can help you and your family fight for the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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