Common Practices Used by Insurance Companies to Avoid Paying Claims
Simply put, insurance companies are in the business of making money. They collect high premiums, avoid paying fair value for valid claims and spend millions of dollars lobbying to limit personal injury claims and to convince the public that personal injury lawsuits are frivolous.
Having represented against large insurance companies in the past, our attorneys are familiar with the practices and tricks insurance adjusters use to convince you to accept less than what you deserve for your injuries, and in many cases, that your claim is worth nothing at all. Below is a list of common practices and tricks used by insurance adjusters:
- Instruct you not to speak with an attorney. Of course, the adjuster doesn’t want you to speak to an attorney, because doing so will likely open your eyes to what your claim is really worth. The adjuster wants to control the situation without any interference whatsoever from an attorney trained to evaluate your claim and negotiate on your behalf. Don’t let the adjuster bully you. Speak with an attorney as soon as possible after your injury so your rights can be protected.
- Stall tactics. The adjuster will likely make the claim process as slow and painful as possible to make you more willing to accept a low settlement offer. Adjusters are even more likely to employ stall tactics if they know you are experiencing financial problems. If they can drag out the claim process for a long time, they know you’ll be happy to receive whatever money they offer. An attorney can help speed up the process and force the adjuster to resolve the claim as quickly as possible.
- Investigate you. Insurance adjusters are not above hiring an investigator to research your background, videotape your activities, view your internet profiles, and interview your neighbors and family.
- Request unnecessary information. Insurance adjusters will demand irrelevant records and request that you provide a recorded statement before they will pay your claim. This is another stall tactic. When requesting frivolous information such as this, adjusters are simply wasting time to make you more willing to settle for a low amount. They already know what your claim is worth without reviewing unnecessary documents.
- Withholding information. Although adjusters will freely request information from you, they become very uncooperative when you request information from them. They never voluntarily produce documents and information obtained from third parties concerning you and your claim.
- Pretend to have medical expertise. Many insurance adjusters will pretend to have the medical expertise to evaluate the severity of your injuries and the value of your claim. The vast majority of adjusters have no medical experience and are not attorneys. They are simply trying to pay you as little as possible by minimizing your injuries and your claim.
Don’t let yourself be taken advantage by insurance companies when you are injured in an accident. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence and would like to speak with an experienced Austin attorney, please contact the attorneys at Briggle & Polan, PLLC today at (512) 400-3278.