How Insurance Adjusters Can Mislead YouArizona Legal News
The moment you contact your insurance company about an accident, adjusters begin scrutinizing your case for faults and missing information. At this point, many adjusters will try to rush you into accepting an unfavorable settlement, using a variety of dishonest tactics to undervalue your case and give you an unfair settlement.
Most insurance adjusters do their job fairly and properly, although, deceitful insurance adjusters are out there. You should be prepared and know what red flags to watch for, and how to respond. Note that an insurance company can never deny your claim on an altogether unreasonable or false basis, as that would constitute an illegal bad faith claim.
Rushing You to Settle
Insurance companies stand to profit the most if you settle quickly, before consulting a lawyer or doing proper research. As such, many adjusters might offer you a quick, easy sum over the phone. You should never agree to a settlement just after your accident. These initial offers are often undervalued, but more importantly, they won’t cover any future damages. Remember that generally, once you settle, that’s it—you can’t get anything more for your case, with or without a lawyer.
- Many injuries take time to set in. Soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash, might not have any symptoms or be detectable by a physician until weeks later. If you settle early, you won’t be compensated for any medical costs and pain you suffer at a later date.
- Insurance adjusters don’t want you to contact a lawyer. An experienced auto accident attorney levels the playing field, so dishonest adjusters try to prey on victims before they have a chance to consult their lawyer. They might even try to convince you that a lawyer will take most of your settlement, or that they won’t be able to help. Don’t listen to them. Even if your accident is minor and you don’t intend to hire an attorney, talking to one is still essential for clarification and advice.
Additionally, insurance companies might try to get you to provide a recorded statement, which you should also avoid doing until you’ve spoken with an attorney. These can be used to discredit your claims or call your injuries into question, and are never beneficial to you.
Convincing You It’s Not Worth the Hassle
Many adjusters will tell you that they’re acting in your best interest, trying to convince you that they’re your friend. Remember, their job is to minimize claims and maximize profit for the insurance company. Even if they don’t use dishonest tactics, they’ll still do whatever they can to devalue your settlement. An adjuster might tell you that their offer is the only one you’ll get, or that you’ll have to go to court if you don’t accept it, but that’s rarely the case. Even with over a million accident cases filed a year in Arizona, most don’t go to trial, and once an attorney is involved, a series of offers and counter-offers are common.
Contact an Arizona Auto Accident Attorney
Before agreeing to anything with an insurance adjuster, you should talk to a lawyer. The talented attorneys at Escamilla Law Group can give you guidance and secure the settlement you deserve, so don’t wait—contact us at (623) 321-0566 to schedule a free consultation today.