List of Things the Insurance Adjuster Does Not Want You to Know after Your Virginia Car Accident
Automobile accidents are stressful enough. Dealing with a hostile insurance adjuster can make things worse and hurt your personal injury action if you’re not careful.
Here are seven things the insurance adjuster doesn’t want you to know when you’re reporting your accident or negotiating a car accident settlement in Virginia.
1. We Admit Our Driver Was At Fault, But We’re Not Paying Fair Compensation For Your Injuries
Insurance adjusters don’t like when accident injury victims hire a car accident lawyer. It means the adjuster will likely have to 1) hire an attorney to defend against the claim and 2) pay more to the injury victim. The adjuster’s own salary and bonus may be tied to how much or how little they pay on claims, so they want to limit the amount the injured person receives.
To discourage victims from hiring an attorney, the adjuster may state that insurance company accepts responsibility or even go so far as to admit that their driver was at fault for the accident. They want the victim to think the insurance company is treating him or her fairly.
This tactic is effective because many people who should hire an attorney decide to handle the claim themselves. Only after making critical errors do they realize the insurance company will not offer a fair settlement and that it is important to hire an attorney. By this point it may be too late to recover from mistakes made.
The more serious your car accident injuries and disability, the more likely you are to need to hire a lawyer to get fair value from the insurer. Hire an attorney early so that you can begin building your case right away.
2. You Don’t Have To Give The Auto Insurance Company A Recorded Statement
Many claims adjusters will tell accident victims that they have to give a recorded statement to receive compensation for their injuries. This is not always true.
You do not have to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance company. And you shouldn’t.
Under some policies you must give a recorded statement to your own insurance company.
Consult with a car accident attorney before giving a recorded statement to anyone.
3. If You Do Give The Auto Insurance Company A Recorded Statement We Will Use It Against You
Never give a recorded statement to the defendant driver’s insurance company. Experienced insurance adjusters have taken hundreds of recorded statements, if not more. They know how to ask questions in a way that can lead to you making mistakes and admitting to facts that are harmful to your claim.
The defendant driver’s insurance company is not interested in your side of the story. It is interested in getting you to say things that will hurt your case.
When asking you questions, the insurance adjuster is looking for signs of pre-existing conditions they can blame for your current limitations, as well as any facts that will allow them to put blame on you and not their insured driver.
Here are some examples of questions asked during recorded statements taken after car accidents:
- Did you hit your brakes and try to avoid the other car?
- Were you on your phone at the time of the accident?
- What is your cell phone number?
- Who is your cell phone provider?
- Were you wearing your seatbelt at the time of the crash?
- Where were you looking when the accident happened?
These questions are designed to get answers that will allow the defendant driver’s insurance company to avoid liability.
4. The Auto Insurance Company Wants All Your Medical Records So That We Can Find Evidence to Use Against You
The insurance adjuster may tell you that he or she “needs” your past medical information or that “it will help us pay your claim if we have all your medical information.” This may sound like a request with some authority, but it isn’t. An insurance company must pay covered claims and it often doesn’t have the authority to receive all the information it may request from you.
The insurance company is entitled to some of your medical records. But you shouldn’t give the claims adjuster unlimited permission to review your entire medical history. If part of your medical history is not relevant to the car accident or the personal injuries you are claiming, the insurance company is not entitled to view those records.
5. The Auto Insurance Company Will Think Some of Your Medical Treatment Is Unnecessary
Don’t be surprised if the claims adjuster tells you the insurance company has a policy of not paying for the type of treatment you received. This is a common tactic.
When you’re negotiating with the adjuster, he or she will try to poke holes in your claim so that you receive less money for your damages. The adjuster may say that the insurer will not pay for certain procedures or therapy because they do not believe those items were helpful or necessary.
Don’t take the insurance company’s word for it! If your medical providers says that your treatment is reasonable, necessary, and related to the auto accident, don’t back down.
This is a hardball tactic. If the adjuster tries to use it on you, contact an attorney right away.
6. The Car Insurance Company Makes Things Difficult Because We Want You To Give Up On Your Claim, Not Because We’re Worried About Fraud
Insurance companies make it difficult for car accident victims to get fair compensation. They say the process is complicated so that they can avoid fraudulent insurance claims. They need to make sure the accident happened, that you suffered the injuries you claim, that you missed the time from work you claim, and that their policyholder was at fault.
Though fraudulent claims happen, they are few and far between. They may play a role in why insurance companies make it difficult to collect compensation, but it isn’t the only reason that insurance companies make the process a hassle.
Some insurance companies make it difficult for you to collect fair compensation so that you’ll give up and go away. They want you to feel like it’s not worth fighting for the compensation you’re owed so that they don’t have to pay anything to you. This is why some insurers set up obstacles to collecting a fair settlement amount for your damages and delay paying you what you’re owed.
No matter how touchy and feely the auto insurance company’s television commercials may be, it is not your friend. You must look out for your best interests. The auto insurance company won’t.
7. If You Have A Serious Injury, You Need An Accident Attorney To Get Fair Compensation
Insurance companies do not get large marketing budgets and their names on arenas and skyscrapers by paying full value for accident claims. And the more serious your injury and claim, the less interested they are in paying full compensation.
Some studies have shown that people with attorneys net much more money than those who handled their claim on their own. Besides helping with the direct negotiation or trial, an attorney can also help with healthcare reimbursements and liens so that you receive more money in your pocket.
If you suffered a catastrophic and severe injury, hire a bold and aggressive attorney early. It gives you the best chance of a favorable resolution after your auto accident.