How Insurance Companies Try to Devalue Your Personal Injury Claim
After you’ve been injured as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, don’t be surprised if you get a phone call from their insurer in short order. Although seemingly friendly and concerned, the insurance adjuster on the other end of the call isn’t there to help you. His or her job is to protect their employer’s bottom line and pay out as little as possible or even nothing on claims. That adjuster will try to whittle away at your claim in attempts to devalue it. Adjusters are highly trained and skilled at this. Here are some common attempts at devaluation that they employ.
Calling You When You’re “Still Bleeding”
Quick calls shortly after a victim has been injured are made for a number of reasons, including catching them when they haven’t had an opportunity to learn the full nature and extent of the injuries and before they’ve had an opportunity to consult with a personal injury attorney. Adjusters might even admit to victims that their employer’s insured person was at fault for an accident.
The Request for a Statement
After dispensing with the social pleasantries and gaining your trust, that insurance adjuster will ask you to provide a recorded statement regarding how the accident and injuries occurred “just for purposes of confirming liability.” People might think that’s a perfectly reasonable request, but it’s a ploy. The actual purpose of that statement is to obtain information that can be used against you sometime in the future for purposes of calling your credibility into question and attempting to devalue their claim. Personal injury law doesn’t require a claimant to give an opposing insurance adjuster any type of a statement. Politely refuse to give one, end the call and contact a reputable personal injury attorney right away to arrange for a free consultation and case review.
The Request for a Medical Authorization
Expect the other insurance company to forward you a medical authorization to be signed by you and returned with a stamped self-addressed envelope. You might think that the authorization allows the insurance companies to obtain medical bills and records related to your claim, but beware of that authorization. It isn’t restricted in time or scope, and it allows the opposing insurance company to obtain unlimited health information about you that is wholly unrelated to the injuries that you suffered in your accident. The real purpose of that authorization is for the insurance company to ascertain whether you had a pre-existing injury at the site of your present injury. Then, it will argue that the present injury wasn’t caused by it’s insured person crashing into you.
Arguing the Injury and Treatment Necessity
It’s not at all uncommon for an opposing insurance company to try and paint you as a malingerer. It will argue that a person couldn’t have possibly been injured to the extent that you claim. It might also try to show that you missed doctor or rehab visits. If you’ve been injured in an accident, get to an emergency room right away. Don’t wait and go a week later. That delay in treatment will be used against you. Missed appointments and gaps in treatment will be used against you too. Your doctor and rehab specialists can testify as to the necessity of treatment.
These are commonly used by insurance companies in personal injury cases. In serious cases, they know that the injured person is out of work while the medical bills continue to pile up. Because of that, they also know that the claimant is probably facing financial difficulties. The insurer’s strategy in delaying a meritorious claim is to try to force the claimant into a situation where he or she becomes desperate and will take just about any settlement offer that is made. Some claimants have been known to simply give up entirely.
You Don’t Need an Attorney
Injured claimants are also told that they “don’t need an attorney for this.” Nothing could be further from the truth. A seasoned las vegas personal injury lawyer has overcome each of the above types of tactical barriers to claims countless times in the past. With a quality personal injury attorney representing you, it’s highly likely that the value of your case will increase substantially.
Always remember that the adjuster on the other side of a claim is there to protect his or her employer’s financial interests. Rather than pursuing your own claim and falling victim to an insurance company’s tactics, place your claim in the hands of one of our experienced and effective personal injury lawyers at Gina Corena & Associates. You’ll be doing yourself a favor.