We all want to be treated fairly in life whether it is your employer or the insurance company. Here are 6 little known secrets to help you get a fair settlement:
1. Know your facts and the law
If you are trying to handle a case on your own, then you will need to know the facts of your case and how Iowa laws apply to them. Otherwise, the insurance adjuster will push you around and you will have little if any, response to them. Keep in mind that insurance adjusters are trained to use different techniques to convince you to settle your case for less than fair value. One of the most common techniques is "I am your friend". The adjuster will tell you to send the medical bills to them and they will give you a fair settlement. They will tell you that you don't need a lawyer because it will just cost you more money and take longer. What the insurance adjuster will not tell you is that it is perfectly legal for them to lie, cheat and steal from you in order to try to settle your case for less than what it is worth.
Another technique is that they will tell you how bad your case is and that you should just settle because you will never get more than what they are offering. They may tell you we only pay for 3 months of treatment after a "soft-tissue" injury because they all heal within that time. You may or may not have a good case, but the insurance adjuster is not going to help you make this decision.
2. You do not have to give a recorded statement
In most cases, you are not required to give the insurance adjuster for the other side a recorded statement. This is especially true if you were involved in a car accident where the police were called and there is a police report. Under these circumstances, you should politely decline to give a recorded statement and refer the insurance adjustor to the police report and your medical records. In some cases, it may make sense for you to provide a non-recorded statement as it may speed up the claims process. There are a few cases such as when you are bringing a claim against your own insurance company for UIM (underinsured motorist) or UM (uninsured motorist) that you may be required under the language of the insurance policy to provide a recorded statement. If you are wondering if you should give a statement or not, then it is time to call a qualified Iowa personal injury attorney for some advice. We offer a no-cost, no-risk injury evaluation so feel free to give us a call at 641-792-3595.
3. Always tell the truth
Honesty is always the best policy. Insurance companies have massive databases with information about any and all prior claims that you have made. If the insurance adjuster asks you if you have ever made a personal injury claim and you say "no", if there are prior claims in their database then you have likely hurt the value of your case.
4. In car accident and personal injury cases ask the adjuster how much insurance coverage they have available
This will often catch the insurance adjustor off guard coming from a person without an attorney. The chances are that they will not tell you how much insurance coverage because they would prefer to hide the ball and not disclose this very important information. Under Iowa law, the state minimum for car accidents is only $20,000 per person for personal injuries. If you have sustained a serious permanent injury, then you will need to consider looking at your own UIM- underinsured motorist policy for additional coverage. However, keep in mind that there are very specific requirements such as obtaining permission from your own insurance company before agreeing to a settlement, providing documentation to your own insurance company for them to review, etc.
5. Making threats will not help your case
Remember, the insurance adjuster is a trained professional whose job is to pay you as little as possible for your case and increase insurance company profits. Making threats like, "I am going to sue you" or "Let me talk to your boss", seldom will help increase the value of your case. First, the insurance adjuster will now know that they can get you angry and anger is not good for an injury case. Secondly, they have teams of lawyers standing by to defend your case so threatening to file a suit does not bother them. Also, chances are that if you file suit, then your file will be moved to another insurance adjustor reducing the number of cases and amount of work that the adjuster must do.
6. Do your research to know how much your case is worth
It is very hard to negotiate with an insurance adjuster if you do not know how much your case is worth. You should do research in Iowa for cases that have gone to trial that are similar to yours and how much the judge or jury provided. Without this vital information, it is difficult to negotiate.If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, work injury, or other personal injury accident then you should request a copy of our Iowa Injury book reveals additional information such as 5 Things to Know Before Talking to the Insurance Adjustor, Signing Forms or Hiring an Attorney · 8 Commons Mistakes Made by Injured Iowans and much more. We offer the book at no cost because since 1997 we have represented hundreds of Iowans injured in car accidents, work injuries, and other personal injury accidents and have seen many clients make costly mistakes before they knew about Iowa injury laws. Iowans injured in car, work, and other injury accidents are beginning to realize that the insurance company is not their friend and they should learn about Iowa injury laws so they do not make a mistake that could cost them thousands of dollars. Finally, you can learn about Iowa injury cases in the comfort of your own home with no cost, no risk or no-obligation request your copy now by going to www.IowaInjuryBook.com or by calling (800)-707-2552, ext. 512 (24 Hour message). For immediate assistance call 641-792-3595.