If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, the first move you may think to make is filing a claim by yourself with an auto insurance company involved instead of working with a car crash attorney. However, as many people have learned, this can prove to go against your best interests.
When you file a claim with an insurer, you will have to work with an insurance adjuster. This person may seem sympathetic about what happened to you and come across as affable. The adjuster may even make small talk, show concern and apologize. However, you must keep in mind that the adjuster is not your friend. He or she only has the best interests of the insurance company in mind and will do whatever he or she can to deny the claim. In fact, there are several tactics adjusters may use to try to deny your claim, so keep reading to learn more about some common approaches.
Getting Your Signature on Medical Authorization Forms
If you sign a medical authorization form for an adjuster, you’re giving the insurer the right to go through your medical records. He or she will do so looking for evidence that you had this injury before the accident so your claim can be denied on a pre-existing injury basis. On top of your physical health records, the adjuster will also receive access to any documented mental health history you have, and he or she could, in theory, use that information to try to discredit your recollection of the events.
Having Private Investigators Watch You
When you have a claim associated with a serious injury that could mean significant compensation, the insurer may hire a private investigator. The investigator’s job will be to provide evidence that your injury is not as serious or bad as you are saying. Of course, you should be completely honest about your injuries, but an investigator could take a candid video or photo that leaves a false impression about your injury due to a lack of context. Therefore, you should be vigilant during this time period. Avoid discussing the accident or your case on social media, and don’t post videos or photos that could call your injuries into question. It’s often safer to stay off of social media while your claim is underway. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, make your accounts private and do not accept any followers you don’t know; it could be an investigator using a fake profile to gain access to your posts.
Using Private Statements Against You
When you talk to an insurance adjuster, it’s likely they will ask you to give them a recorded version of what happened in your own words. This is done so they can review what you said in detail to look for reasons to deny the claim down the road. This is why it’s important to have a car crash attorney speak to the insurers on your behalf instead. A legal professional knows what to say, and perhaps most importantly, what not to say.
Trying to Deny Liability
An adjuster will try to deny a claim when they deem the injuries to be minimal and the accident itself as minor. They will take the position that the injuries you have can’t be from the accident because it wasn’t serious enough to cause them. They may even claim that you are at fault in some way. By employing these methods, the adjusters are trying to either devalue your claim or deny it altogether.
Denying liability is a common bluff that insurance companies use. They are hoping that it will discourage you from going after your claim because you are frustrated, confused and don’t know how to proceed.
Because of this, it’s important to have an experienced auto attorney guide you so you have the chance to receive fair compensation for your injuries. An experienced law firm deals with insurance companies regularly and knows all the tactics they will try to use to avoiding paying out on your claim. If you have been injured in an auto accident, don’t speak to an insurance adjuster without meeting with an attorney about your case first.