Tricks of the Trade: How Insurers Avoid Paying Compensation
Insurance companies market themselves as caring about their clients’ well-being. After all, we turn to our insurance providers for help with covering medical costs, damage to our cars, and even for the health of our pets. Insurance can be a lifesaver, and insurance companies want to make sure you know that.
However, when it comes time to file a claim, you may be shocked to discover that the insurance company you speak to is not just reluctant to offer compensation, but is pulling every trick in the book to get you to agree to as small of a settlement as possible.
After a serious car accident or a slip-and-fall, you will likely call up the at-fault party’s insurance company, and ask for the compensation that you are rightfully owed. During this initial phone call, the insurance adjuster may ask for a recorded statement. She may even tell you that recording a statement with them is required in order to get compensation. Do not listen to her, and do not agree to a recorded statement. These statements are not required, and they will always be used against you. Even if you don’t believe anything you say is incriminating, the insurance adjuster and the company will twist your words against you, and a recorded statement may end up being all the evidence they need to deny your claim.
A false confession is most commonly paired with a recorded statement. While you are certainly smart enough to not outright say, “The accident was my fault,” insurance adjusters have been trained to get people to admit at least slight guilt. This can range from you admitting you looked away from the road for a second before the collision, to you just apologizing for the damage caused during the accident. Any kind of admission of guilt, whether you intended it to be an admission or not, will be used against you. After all, if the insurance company can pin the blame for the accident on you, then they don’t have to provide you with any compensation.
While on the phone with an insurance adjuster, you should avoid answering any questions about the accident. Instead, inform her that they can speak with your attorney. Remember, anything you say can and will be used against you, especially if your statement is recorded. Staying silent may be your best bet for receiving proper compensation.
Twisting Social Media Posts
It seems like our entire lives are on social media these days. We all enjoy sharing with friends and family about what we’ve done during the week, and what fantastic things we saw during vacation or a night out. However, insurance companies have been known to comb through social media posts in order to find evidence that you aren’t as injured as you said in your claim. If you had a casual night out with some friends to relax from the stress of your accident, the insurance company could take your posts about it as proof that you didn’t actually suffer any injuries.
It is best if you avoid posting to social medial altogether. You should also set your account on private and ask friends and family to refrain from posting any photos of you or tagging you in anything. While this can seem like overkill, social media is incredibly easy to weaponize, so not using it all during your claim is the best choice.
Delays, Delays, Delays
After sending in your claim, the insurance company will be required to respond and acknowledge the claim within a certain time limit, usually a couple of weeks. In fact, insurance companies must adhere to time limits in every step of the process. That helps ensure that you are not left waiting for compensation for too long. However, many insurance companies will purposefully wait until the final day or two of their limits before giving you a response. The constant delays are purposeful, to leave you desperate for money. While you wait, your bills will begin to pile up, and without compensation coming in immediately, you may be left with no way to pay these bills. The insurance company knows this and is banking on you being forced to take their first offer, which is usually an insultingly low number.
So, what can you do?
How to Stop It
What is the best way to stop insurance companies in their tracks and force them to give you proper compensation? Hire an experienced personal injury attorney. Insurance companies know that the average person will not have the industry know-how or skill to stand up against their tricks. However, the moment they find out you have an attorney, they know that their chances of getting you to take a tiny settlement have dropped severely.
If you want to have the best chance at getting proper compensation, then you need to call Peters & Nolan, LLC, at (970) 243-4357 today. We will fight to win your claim, no matter what the insurance company throws at us.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.