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Insurance Adjuster Tactics to Look Out For

January 15, 2024 Legal Team
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Car accidents are terrifying and painful, with the crash of metal and breaking glass, ambulance and police sirens, and painful medical exams and procedures—sometimes all while worrying about injured loved ones as well. But when it’s time to resolve an insurance claim to cover damages like property damage, medical expenses, lost income, and compensation for pain and suffering, all too often, the trauma only continues. Even in no-fault insurance states like Florida, insurance companies hire adjusters whose job it is to protect the company’s profits—often at the expense of a victim’s payout.

Whether you’re filing a claim against your own insurance company or that of a negligent driver who caused you a catastrophic injury, there are common insurance adjuster tactics to watch out for. Skilled personal injury attorneys understand how to anticipate and counteract these tactics to protect an injury victim’s rights.

Insurance Company Tactics In the Early Days After an Accident

The moment you report your accident and injuries to your insurance company, or when the negligent driver’s insurer receives a liability claim for damages, an insurance adjuster begins investigating the claim. The adjuster’s job is to handle the claim with the goal of paying out the least possible amount on the claim. Tactics commonly used by insurers early in the process include the following:

  • Calling very soon after the accident with a low settlement offer in exchange for signing away your right to a lawsuit before you can possibly know the full extent of your damages
  • Calling on a recorded line and using your words out of context against you later—for instance, using a simple, “I’m feeling better today, thank you,” as an admission that you aren’t as injured as you claim
  • Asking you “trick” questions so they can say you admitted fault, such as asking if you think you could have avoided the accident if you’d seen the other vehicle coming toward you sooner or if the roads had been dry
  • Asking for medical authorization to examine your accident injuries only to scour through your medical history to find a previous injury or pre-existing condition they can blame as the cause of your symptoms
  • Using your comments at the accident scene against you if you told the other driver you were sorry or said something like, “I didn’t see you until we hit,” even if the other driver was clearly at fault

It’s always best to hire a car accident lawyer or personal injury attorney soon after the accident and then direct all communication with insurance adjusters to your lawyer.

Common Insurance Adjuster Tactics During the Weeks and Months After an Accident

Insurance companies use other common strategies for lowering the amount they have to pay out on a claim during the days, weeks, and even months after the accident. Often, they simply delay and don’t return phone calls in the hopes that you’ll give up, or that you’ll accept a lowball settlement offer when they finally return a call because you’ve waited so long and are facing financial hardship due to the accident. Other tactics from insurance companies to look out for include the following:

  • Denying that your doctor’s recommended treatment is necessary for your injury
  • Asserting that you can’t be as injured as you claim due to minimal property damage to your car
  • Monitoring your social media to look for comments or photos to “prove” that you aren’t as injured as you claim
  • Assigning you a larger percentage of fault in the accident than you’re due so they can minimize the amount they pay out by your percentage of fault

Most insurance adjuster tactics remain within the law and the terms of the contract, but some insurers wrongfully deny claims or fail to live up to the terms of the insurance contract. In those cases, an injury victim may be able to file a lawsuit against the insurance company for bad-faith insurance practices.

Never settle for a lowball offer from an insurance company because you feel pressured or because they’ve stalled and delayed. Instead, hire an experienced accident attorney in Sarasota and Bradenton to protect your rights and best interests throughout the process.