Despite their witty or even heartwarming television commercials, insurance companies are really just like any other business. They exist to make money and boast about high profit margins, and that comes at the expense of their clients and the victims of their clients’ negligence. If you’ve been involved in a car accident and thought about how nice the insurance adjuster was, the facts listed below may come as a surprise to you.
The sooner you contact a personal injury attorney after an accident, the sooner you can start pursuing the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call Hodges Trial Lawyers at 256-539-3110 to set up a time to talk now.
1. You can expect a lowball settlement offer
When the other party’s insurance company comes to you with an offer, they aren’t going to tell you it’s embarrassingly low. In fact, they’ll tell you it’s a great offer—perhaps even the best they can do. Simply put, that isn’t true. They are putting out feelers to see just how much they can get away with.
2. They aren’t on your side.
The other party’s insurance company is not your friend. They have no obligation to you, and they do not care what happens to you. They have their own best interests in mind and any friendliness they show to you is part of trying to protect those interests.
Don’t let a shockingly friendly insurance adjuster get you to open up about your life story or talk at length about the accident. Behind the scenes, they’re writing down what you’re saying so they can pin your injuries on preexisting injuries or your own driving mistakes.
3. Even if you are their client, they may treat you unfairly
While the other party’s insurance company isn’t your friend, that doesn’t mean yours will always do right by you. It is unfortunately common to see insurance companies act in bad faith. Although they should process claims quickly and assume that you are making your claim in good faith, some will look for any possible reason to deny or delay your claim. They will even try to use your own statements against you.
4. You should have an attorney check any agreement you sign after a crash
The other party’s insurance company is in communication with you, and they’re ready to give you what seems like a healthy settlement check. They just need you to sign this one form and you’ll get your money. Wait! First off, don’t talk to the other party’s insurance company. Hire an attorney and let them handle it. Second, don’t sign anything without letting an attorney review it first. You need to know exactly what you’re agreeing to and giving away.
5. You shouldn’t take their claim valuation at face value
Insurance companies have a tendency to act with authority they simply don’t have. They don’t say that they’ve valued your claim at x amount—they tell you that your claim is worth x amount, even though they may be wrong. It’s always wise to talk to an attorney before agreeing to anything.
6. What you say may hurt you
During your chat with the insurance adjuster, you casually mention an old soccer injury from your college days. It doesn’t matter how long that injury has been healed or how irrelevant it is to the matter at hand. They can and will try to use it to show that your current injury is actually the result of something else. That’s why you shouldn’t communicate with them directly. Insurance companies certainly have financial incentives to try to get a statement that is damaging to your case.
7. You probably will benefit from hiring an attorney
If you even seem like you might consider an attorney, expect the insurance adjuster to go on a tangent about how useless attorneys are in cases like yours. Attorneys won’t get you more than what they’re already offering; attorneys just slow the process down; attorneys don’t really care about getting you fair compensation. These are all common things to hear. The reason that insurance adjusters push back so hard against getting an attorney involved is that they know you’ll likely walk away with more money.
Reach Out to Hodges Trial Lawyers—We’re Here to Help
You need a dedicated advocate on your side as you pursue the full and fair compensation you’re owed. We’re here for you. Contact our team online or call us at 256-539-3110 to take the first step.