The time following a car accident is seldom easy. Disoriented, overwhelmed and unfamiliar with the legal process, you may find yourself more vulnerable to influence by people or businesses that seem trustworthy. An unfortunate reality is that insurance companies often take advantage of this scenario to avoid paying out what their clients are entitled to.
This is especially true for those who lack legal representation. In order to minimize their potential liability, insurance companies employ claims adjusters who often try to delude the victim through several common tactics. While they might just be doing their job, it can result in you losing thousands of dollars. Here are four tricks to watch out for.
Asking for a Statement
Insurance personnel often ask you to present a statement with your injuries and damage. This is supposedly necessary to speed up the claims process. However, the truth is that they want to impair your right to recover. Their goal is to:
- Get you to admit partial fault
- Confuse you about the facts of the accident
- Downplay your injuries (particularly when they are yet to manifest)
These statements are typically audio recorded so that they can be used at trial in the future to potentially discredit you.
Taking Their Time
After experiencing a car accident, you can safely expect to be bombarded with messages from insurance personnel saying that they’re doing everything in their power to close the case and maximize your payout. Of course, this is done to gain your trust.
A popular tactic is to send payments for relatively small amounts, such as to cover the vehicle repair, while you’re still receiving medical treatment that inevitably costs far more. Claims adjusters may also check up on you to “make sure you’re doing alright” and ask for records to be “analyzed” by the insurer.
This is almost always done to reach the expiry date of the statute of limitations. In most states, you have three years to file an accident claim before reaching the maximum time within which legal proceedings can be carried out. As detailed on this website, having an attorney by your side will ensure that you avoid this fate.
A newer strategy is to see if you reveal anything that’s relevant to your accident on social media. This can include saying something that suggests your liability. It can also be done to see if you’re engaging in activities that don’t correspond with your injuries. It’s therefore a good idea to avoid posting any information for a few months.
Avoiding Medical Bills
If you haven’t found out already, you’ll soon see that medical treatment providers send bills in usual ways. For instance, the ambulance company, surgery doctors and anesthesiologist can all send their own separate bills. Insurance companies aim to capitalize on this by only providing payouts for one or two of the bills and not all of them.
Make sure to perform due diligence at every stage of the claims process. Remember that enlisting the help of a legal expert will go a long way in ensuring a winning outcome.