It is common for the insurance adjuster to call after an accident, and to even ask for a recoded statement regarding your injuries, they can seem very nice and concerned for you, however,
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: The day you were injured you entered a war zone – and the insurance company is NOT on your side of the battle NOR are you on an even playing field with them!
Here is why:
Insurance claims adjusters receive extensive training in how to save their company money and not necessarily in how to examine a claim and pay a fair settlement. They do this every day and all day. It is their job! It is the way they feed their families and pay for their homes. In short, they are the professional in this field and you are not. It has nothing to do with how smart or successful you are in other areas of you life. Insurance adjusters have the advantage because they settle claims for a living. In fact, many insurance companies reward their adjusters with bonuses or promotions based on how much money that person saves the company rather than how may claims they settle. They are not bad people; they are just doing their job.
Here are a just a few of the common tactics used by insurance companies that you should be aware of:
The Insurance Adjuster may: To read more common tactics, go to the Library article, 8 Clever Tactics Used by Insurance Adjusters.)
- Call you immediately after your accident to take a recorded statement regarding your injuries.
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: Be careful, the objective of the adjuster is to get you to make statements that may hurt your case later on! It is best to simply thank the adjuster for calling, tell them that you don’t want to make any statement ask for their name and number and your case claim number and tell the adjuster that you will call back when you are ready. You do not need to be rude, but you do need to be firm!
- Tell you not to hire an attorney. They often suggest that, if you hire an attorney, any money you receive will just go to the lawyer. Adjusters have even been known to threaten to “deny” or to “low ball” your claim if you hire a lawyer. Before deciding to settle the case on your own, you should ask yourself this question: Why is the insurance adjuster telling me not to consult with an attorney?
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: Remember, adjusters get paid for making low settlements and they know that on average the injured party recovers 3 ½ times more when represented by an attorney.
- Ask you to sign medical authorization forms to obtain all of your medical records. This is common and these forms are drafted to allow the insurance company to obtain all of your medical information and will not be limited to medical treatment resulting from your accident. Rather, it allows the insurance company to go on a fishing expedition. While some of your medical records may be relevant to your personal injury case, many are not and the insurance company may not be entitled to them under the law.
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: An experienced personal injury attorney knows what medical records to provide to the insurance company and when to present them.
- Misrepresent your insurance policy benefits. This misinformation could come from both the adjuster of the at-fault person as well as your own insurance company. The insurance adjuster may use this misinformation to entice you to accept a lower settlement than would other wise be warranted.
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: If you have serious injuries, make sure you consult an experienced Florida personal injury attorney who can investigate all the insurance benefits available before agreeing to any settlement and signing any papers.
Jeffrey Meldon Tip: The world of insurance is very complex and complicated; it takes an experienced personal injury attorney to find all possible insurance coverage’s.
I am local accident attorney Jeffrey Meldon and I strongly believe that public education is the first step in the prevention of and/or recovery from a serious accident. My office and I take pride in our work, and the results we get for our clients.
Meldon Law is a regional law firm that is located in Gainesville, Florida. We are personal injury lawyers, litigators and trial lawyers that have been working to get accident victims the justice they deserve for over 40 years throughout North Florida and all over Florida. Accidents involving a car crash, truck wreck, motorcycle, ATVs, bicycle, pedestrian accidents, and dog bites, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and criminal defense are all included in our practice.
For more information on how we can help you, or with any other question you may have, feel free to contact our office at 800-373-8000.