Insurance companies are in business for one reason—to make a profit. They sell insurance policies, collect premiums, and invest profits. Insurance company executives are responsible to their stockholders for paying dividends—not paying claims. It’s nothing personal; insurance companies find it’s better for their business to pay out as little as possible in settlement claims.
Shortly after your accident, a claims adjuster will be assigned to your case. In theory, the adjuster’s role is to resolve complaints and make reasonable settlement offers to accident victims. The harsh reality is, adjusters are servants to billion dollar industries. As paid employees, adjusters try to settle for the lowest dollar possible; often a fraction of the amount you should recover. Their loyalty lies with the people who pay them. Neither you, your rights, nor your well-being are the primary concern of the claims adjuster. In the adjuster’s eyes, you’re just another “open case” and nothing more. They’ll try every way they know how to discourage you from hiring an injury lawyer while encouraging you to make a hasty, ill-informed decision. The allegiance adjusters have pledged to their employer is where your battle begins.
Insurance adjusters are highly skilled in the fine art of negotiation. Extensively schooled in psychological tactics, adjusters know just how to approach you. They know the right questions to ask, the right buttons to push, and the right words to use. Their training includes subtle interrogation techniques that will often, unbeknownst to you, give them the upper hand in one-on-one encounters with naive accident victims. They investigate cases day in and day out, every day of the week, every week of the year. Without a skilled injury lawyer on your side, the advantage is always with the adjuster.
Beware: Never talk to the claims adjuster over the telephone; and, absolutely, positively never give a written or recorded statement to anyone without your lawyer’s permission. You may say something, no matter how innocent, that can later be used against you. Just because an insurance adjuster calls you on the telephone does not mean you have to talk. You should simply ask for his or her name, claim number, and listen. When the adjuster finishes talking, simply say, “I’ll get back to you.” Say nothing more. Hang up. Call your lawyer and convey the essence of your conversation.
Important: Your insurance claim settlement is a once and done deal! Don’t jeopardize your entire case by innocent ignorance of the law. Your first call, after medical treatment for your injury, should be made to a qualified injury lawyer.
Think About This: If insurance companies and adjusters truly cared about you; if they were responsible, sincere and honestly interested in your long-term health and welfare, why do they protest, prolong, and often refuse to pay legitimate claims? And, why are so many injury lawyers so busy?