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Boyce Holleman & Associates

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Insurance Adjusters Personal InjuryWhen you file an insurance claim after an accident or incident, you might expect the process to be straightforward. After all, you’ve been paying your premiums, and now it’s time for the insurance company to hold up their end of the deal. However, the reality is often more complex. Insurance companies are businesses, and their primary goal is to minimize payouts and maximize profits. To achieve this, they employ insurance adjusters who use various tactics to devalue claims.

One of the most common tactics an adjuster employs is offering a quick, lowball settlement shortly after the incident. This strategy preys on your vulnerability and desire for a swift resolution during a stressful time. The adjuster might present the offer as a generous gesture to help you put the matter behind you. However, these early offers are often significantly lower than the true value of your claim.

The problem with accepting an early settlement is that you might not yet fully understand the extent of your damages. Some injuries, such as whiplash or traumatic brain injuries, may not manifest symptoms immediately. If you accept a lowball offer and later discover that your injuries are more severe than initially thought, you’ll be stuck with insufficient funds to cover your expenses.

To protect yourself:





Another common tactic is asking you to provide a recorded statement about the incident. The adjuster might frame this as a routine part of the claims process, but it’s essential to be cautious. Adjusters are trained to ask leading questions that can trip you up and elicit responses that can be used to minimize your claim’s value.

For example, the adjuster might ask, “You didn’t see the other car coming, did you?” If you agree, even if you simply misspoke, your statement could be used to argue that you were partially at fault for the accident.

To protect yourself:





Requesting Broad Medical Authorizations

To investigate your claim, the adjuster might ask you to sign a broad medical authorization. This document gives the insurance company access to your entire medical history, including records that may be irrelevant to your current claim. The adjuster’s goal is to find pre-existing conditions or prior injuries that they can use to argue that your current injuries are not solely the result of the recent incident.

For instance, if you suffered a back injury in the accident, but your medical records show that you had a back strain five years ago, the adjuster might contend that your current pain is due to the old injury, not the accident.

To protect yourself:





Shifting Blame and Disputing Liability 

In cases where liability is not clear-cut, adjusters may attempt to shift some of the blame onto you. This tactic, known as comparative negligence, can reduce the amount the insurance company has to pay. Even if you are found only 20% at fault, that is a 20% reduction in your potential compensation.

Adjusters might ask questions like, “Weren’t you speeding just a little?” or “Did you do anything to try to avoid the accident?” They are looking for any admission that could put a portion of the fault on you.

To protect yourself:





Denying Valid Claims

In some cases, adjusters may outright deny claims that should be covered under your policy. They might argue that your situation does not meet the policy criteria or that certain exclusions apply. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when you believe you have a valid claim.

For example, if you have water damage from a burst pipe, the adjuster might try to claim that it is not covered because it is the result of poor maintenance, even if that’s not the case.

To protect yourself:





While not every insurance claim requires legal intervention, there are certain situations where consulting an attorney is in your best interest:

An experienced personal injury attorney understands the tactics adjusters use and knows how to fight back. They can handle communication with the insurance company, gather evidence to support your claim and negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. If necessary, they can also represent you in court.

Dealing with insurance adjusters can be a daunting and frustrating experience, especially when you’re already coping with the aftermath of an accident or loss. However, by understanding the tactics they use to devalue claims, you can take steps to protect your rights and maximize your compensation.

Remember, the adjuster’s goal is to minimize payouts, not to ensure you receive fair compensation. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and advocate for what

you deserve. Gather evidence, be cautious in your communications, and don’t hesitate to seek legal help if needed.

Insurance companies have teams of adjusters and attorneys working to protect their interests. You deserve to have someone in your corner fighting for yours. With knowledge and the right support, you can navigate the claims process with confidence and secure the compensation you’re entitled to. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 228.338.2691 or fill out this online contact form.


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