Most accident victims believe that they don’t need to worry about their medical expenses so long as they have accident insurance. Even if they don’t, the insurance company of the at-fault party will help them, right? Wrong. The reality is that insurance companies want to make profits, just like any other business, and their adjusters will work tirelessly to deny or devalue your personal injury claims in order to increase their profit margins. To do this, they employ several tactics that often work well against victims, especially if they do not have a car accident lawyer by their side.
Be it a car accident or a slip-and-fall incident, if you are waiting for compensation from an insurance company, be prepared to deal with the following four tactics.
4 Tactics Used by insurance Companies During a Personal Injury Case
1) Contacting You Soon After the Accident
One of the most common tactics adjusters use after receiving a claim is to call the victim right away. You might think that it is just standard procedure to pay the claim. Actually, it isn’t. The primary goal of this call is to catch you off guard in a vulnerable spot in order to gain your trust. They will try to take advantage of this situation as you are in pain and have no time to determine the full extent of your injuries. We understand that it is comforting to hear ‘we’re with you’, ‘you can trust us’, ‘we’re sorry’, and ‘we’re on your side’, but don’t believe it. Their real motive is to protect their bottom line and pay you as little as possible.
2) Asking for a Recorded Statement
Once the adjuster believes they have earned your trust, they will ask to hear your side of the story. They may ask you to give a recorded statement, saying it is just a part of the claim settlement process. However, it is a tactic, as these statements never benefit the victim. Instead, the insurance company will try to use this statement against you later to show inconsistency in your testimony and prove that you are lying. Make sure you contact your personal injury lawyer before giving a statement or agreeing to give one.
According to Brennan Brar, a car accident lawyer in Mississauga, “a statement serves no legal purpose, and if the claimant isn’t careful, it could ultimately harm their personal injury claim.”
3) Offering a Quick Settlement
A typical strategy many insurance companies use, especially if you have a strong case, is to make a quick settlement offer. Their aim is to persuade you to accept the offer and minimize the claim before you have a chance to contact a personal injury lawyer. If you agree to a quick settlement and sign a full release, they can settle the case before you fully realize the extent of your injuries. As a result, you will be at a loss and the insurance company will successfully be able to pay you less than what you deserve.
4) Misrepresenting the Coverage Amount Available
A deceptive tactic followed by insurance companies is to misrepresent the amount of coverage available for your claim. There is often more coverage than they will lead you to believe. For example, an adjuster may tell you that there is a certain amount available for a specific claim and urge you to stop treatment at a certain point because the company won’t pay for it. However, this may be a misleading statement to save them money and pay out less to you.
Do not fall prey to these strategies of insurance company adjusters. Be vigilant instead. Thanks to new changes in Ontario’s auto insurance system, the government is trying to prevent these types of activities. If your insurance company is trying to devalue your claim with the above-mentioned tactics, consult a personal injury lawyer near you who specializes in motor vehicle accidents; slip and fall; pedestrian hit accidents, and other similar cases.
Published by Eric Foley