Top 6 Reasons You Can’t Trust Insurance Adjusters for your Accident Claim
Unfortunately, most people are involved in at least a few motor vehicle accidents over the course of their lives. In the days after the accident, you will very likely receive a phone call from the at-fault insurance adjuster (a representative from the at-fault driver’s insurance company) in an attempt to settle your accident claim as quickly as possible. What you need to understand is that adjusters are highly trained to steer the conversation in a direction that will ultimately benefit the insurance company; not you.
Top 6 Reasons You Can’t Trust Insurance Adjusters for you Accident Claim
There are some very good reasons to be skeptical of what insurance adjusters say and any offer they make before you know the true value of your injury claim. Here are six reasons you can’t trust insurance adjusters:
- Their loyalty is to the insurance company they work for; not to you.
No matter how friendly the claims adjuster seems on the phone, you can safely assume that they are not looking out for your best interests. They work for the insurance company that you made a claim against and their intention is to protect the company’s bottom line by trying to get you to agree to the smallest settlement possible before you understand the full value of your claim. Do not sign or verbally accept any initial offer they make before speaking to an injury lawyer because you won’t be able to come back later and negotiate for more.
- They will not be honest about the true value of your claim.
You cannot trust any settlement offer made to you by an insurance adjuster until you have spoken with a car accident lawyer to confirm what your claim is worth. The reason for this is because the at-fault insurance company is not obligated to gather all the information necessary to understand the true value of your claim and they are definitely not motivated to do so. They will gladly make assumptions that benefit them.
- They will try to manipulate you into believing that their initial offer is reasonable.
Claims adjusters often make low-ball offers right after the accident has happened, hoping that you will not understand the value of your claim and that you will take their offer without asking questions or negotiating. They are intentionally preying on the fact that many people are feeling stressed and vulnerable after an accident and need money to pay medical bills or to get their vehicle repaired. It is also common for them to try to tell injured people that their injuries were not caused by the accident and use that as their reasoning for not agreeing to cover medical bills.
- Anything you say or do can, and will, be used against you to lower or deny your claim.
Anything you share can be used against you, which is why the adjuster will try to get you to share as much as possible. Follow these rules:
- Do not share anything about the accident on your social media account.
- Do not get into a rambling conversation with the at-fault insurance adjuster about the facts of the accident.
- NEVER admit to any wrongdoing on your part leading up to the crash.
- NEVER agree to their version of events, whether orally or in written communication. Do not give a recorded statement or sign any agreements until you have met with a personal injury attorney.
- They are not obligated to offer you fair payment for your totaled vehicle.
You can’t assume that the money the at-fault insurance company offers you for your totaled vehicle is fair. The amount should be based on what similar used vehicles in your area are selling for (as opposed to the Kelly Blue Book value). When you receive the offer, ask to see the “comparable” cars the company based the value on. If you think they are low-balling you, you can create your own list of comparable car sales and appeal the insurance company’s offer.
- They sometimes use delay tactics as a way to play hardball.
Generally, you have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim in Washington State. This means that legally, you are not required to settle for three years. If the insurance company suddenly stops communicating with you, “loses your paperwork”, or has stopped answering your questions; they may be trying to run out the clock on the statute of limitations, hoping that you will either give up or miss the deadline to file suit.
Why you need an experienced car accident lawyer to deal with insurance companies
An experienced car accident lawyer knows all about insurance industry tactics and is best qualified to help you fight for full and fair compensation for your injuries as well as any damages to your vehicle or property. They will also be there to help you file a bad faith insurance claim if the insurance company refuses to process your claim in a timely manner or uses any other illegal strategies to deny you a fair settlement.
Seek the help of a car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!