10 Tricks Insurance Companies Use to Deny Your Injury Claim
Most people believe that insurance companies exist to help injured people through payment of claims. This could not be farther from the truth. The reality is that insurance companies exist to profit, just like any other business.
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Insurance Adjusters Are Not Your Friend
When an accident occurs due to another party’s negligence and you are seriously injured or a loved one is killed, you expect that the insurance company will reach out to you regarding your claim. This is true for the following types of accidents:
- Auto accident
- Premises accident
- Product liability
- Dog bite
- Medical malpractice
- Other accident involving someone else’s negligence
Insurance adjusters do reach out quickly, but not to help you. They act so fast because they want to get through to you before you have had time to think about your accident, related expenses, or hiring an injury lawyer. They want to resolve the issue before you have had time to realize the extent of injuries you have suffered.
Adjusters are hired for their personality. They are often engaging, conversational and approachable. They may seem friendly and concerned about you, but do not be fooled. The last thing they care about is your condition or well-being. They are not there to help you or your situation. They work exclusively to maintain the best interests of the company that employs them.
Ten Most Common Tricks Used By Insurance Adjusters to Deny Your Case
Below are the ten most common tricks used by insurance adjusters to devalue, diminish or deny your case:
- Promising to get a fair settlement for you while claiming to be on your side.
The adjuster is working in his or her own best interests, as well as those of the insurance company. Their salary, security and future with the company depend on the outcome of their cases and how much money they have saved their company. This means that your needs are not a priority, as your needs and what the company needs are opposed.
- Advising you to not get a lawyer and trying to get a settlement before you get one.
The adjuster knows that an attorney will make their job more difficult, as a lawyer will not let them get away with paying you less than you deserve. Negotiating a settlement is never easy and the insurance adjuster knows that as long as you do not have an attorney, they will get what they want out of your case.
- Asking for a recorded statement.
Adjusters want you to say something that will derail your side of the case, even if it can be taken out of context. Even just saying you are “fine” when asked how you are doing in regular conversation with the adjuster can be used against you, if you are claiming injuries after a car accident.
- Asking you to sign authorization for the adjuster to obtain your medical records.
By signing the authorization for your medical records, the adjuster can learn all sorts of personal details about you. Whatever they find can be used against you, even creatively. They want to discredit you and show that your injury is false or from prior issues. You should never sign records over without your lawyer’s advice to do so.
- Having you agree to a quick settlement with signing of a full release.
You may be offered an on-the-spot small settlement in exchange for signing a full release from other damages. Because this often happens even on the scene of the accident, you will not have had time to realize the full extent of your injuries.
- Delaying payment of your claim.
By delaying payment of your claim and making you endure the struggle of lost wages and medical expenses without compensation for a period of time, adjusters know that you will likely “crack” under the pressure and sign for a lesser amount than you deserve, just to gain the quickest payment possible.
- Conducting surveillance.
When you claim injury, the insurance company will most often hire investigators to watch you and even videotape or photograph your movement and activities. They do this to disprove your injuries. Of course, honesty is key in such a case and you should not claim injuries you do not have. But even in fully honest circumstances, creative photography can provide a false impression that you are not injured.
- Misrepresenting the insurance policy’s coverage available for your claim’s payment.
Adjusters are sometimes deceptive in downplaying the amount of insurance available for a claim. There is often more coverage than they lead you to believe. Your insurer may deny that you have uninsured motorist coverage, something everyone in Arizona is offered when acquiring insurance. But if they cannot provide signed proof that you rejected this offer at the time of signing up with that insurance company, they must provide this coverage for you.
- Denying liability for paying a claim.
There are a multitude of ways in which an insurance company may deny or limit their liability for paying a claim. The insurance company may try to say the accident was your fault, that you contributed to the accident, or that another party under another policy was at fault.
- Disputing your damages and medical needs or trying to attribute these to a pre-existing condition.
Adjusters will often try to step into the role of licensed medical doctors and claim that provided treatments were unnecessary or took too long to provide. Insurance adjusters are not medically trained and are unqualified to make such claims.
Top 10 Insurance Companies for Claim Denial Trickery
According to the American Association for Justice, below are the nation’s worst insurance companies in regard to claim denial:
- State Farm
- United Health Group
- Farmers Insurance Group
- Liberty Mutual
Whether the injuries may appear to be minor or catastrophic, everyone that has been injured in an accident deserves to be treated fairly and compensated for damages. This is why having a personal injury attorney fight for you is critical.