A personal injury lawyer knows insurance adjuster tactics used to deny, discredit or delay your personal injury claim. For advice on defenses, you can use to deal with nefarious insurance company practices, speak with an Ames personal injury lawyer.
Common Insurance Adjuster Tactics
- Getting permission to access your medical records – While on the surface granting the insurer access to your medical records may seem justified, it is yet another trick used to undermine your claim. The medical records surrounding the accident are not the only ones the insurance adjuster will have access to – he or she can access your entire medical history. This includes any doctor you have ever seen, any condition you may have had treated, as well as any physical or mental illness you have ever suffered from. Although such details may seem irrelevant to your accident, the insurer is looking for any way to minimize your claim.
- Offering a quick, low-ball offer – Insurance adjusters understand that you may be desperate for compensation of any kind and may offer you a small settlement to close the case shortly after the accident. They will ask you to sign a full release, which means that if your medical condition worsens, you will not be entitled to additional compensation.
- Placing you under surveillance – Catching you performing daily tasks, such as taking out the garbage or mowing your lawn, could damage your claim. It is easy to make someone appear healthy out of context, and this type of evidence could be used to initiate an insurance fraud case against you; and
- Discouraging you from hiring a lawyer –Adjusters may try to persuade you to not seek legal counsel. They may promise fairness in dealing with your personal injury claim. The truth is that they know that once an attorney is involved, these tactics will not achieve their goals.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Shady Insurance Adjuster Tactics
Being aware of your rights and educating yourself as much as possible will help you navigate the personal injury claims process.
Otherwise, if your insurance adjuster:
- denies your claim outright or misinforms you about your insurance policy coverage, you should evaluate your original insurance policy agreement carefully. If you cannot locate this document, insist upon having the policy submitted to you in writing. If the adjuster refuses, contact an attorney;
- asks you to authorize the release of your medical records, you have the right of refusal. Once you initiate the personal injury claim, only medical documents pertaining to the accident will be provided;
- places you under surveillance, you may not know. It is always best to assume you are being observed. Heed your doctor’s advice and do not attempt to complete daily tasks without assistance; and
- offers you a low settlement, don’t be tempted to take a quick payment. Often this amount will not cover the total costs of your injury. Be mindful and have a reasonable compensation amount in mind before negotiating. Do not sign any agreements before consulting a lawyer.
Get Help Now from an Ames Personal Injury Lawyer
When making a personal injury claim, it is important to remain vigilant. At the law offices of Walker, Billingsley & Bair, we know how to combat the bad faith practices of insurance companies and will fight on your behalf so you can focus on healing. If you are being hassled by an adjuster, we are just a phone call away. Download a free copy of our e-book, The Legal Insider’s Guide to Iowa Car Accidents: 7 Secrets to Not Wreck Your Case, or schedule a complimentary consultation by calling 515-964-5664.