The Most Common Insurance Tactics to Avoid High Settlements
Insurance companies rarely play nice, especially when they are being asked to pay out money. While we turn to insurance companies to help us recover from catastrophic accidents, they tend to put their own profits over their duty to their clients. That means that they will do everything they can to undervalue your settlement, and give you as little in compensation as possible. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make sure you receive proper compensation following an accident.
Receiving Proper Compensation
After being involved in a serious car accident, you will probably assume that the at-fault driver’s insurance will cover the costs of your injuries and the damage done to your vehicle. Sadly, that is rarely the case. Insurance companies put their bottom line over what you are actually owed, which means they will always be looking for a way to give as low of a settlement as possible. Here are a few tricks most companies employ in order to do this. Knowing these tricks can help you avoid them and get the compensation you actually deserve.
Asking for a Recorded Statement
One of the first things that the insurance company is likely to do is demand a recorded statement. They may tell you that making a recorded statement is a requirement of accident claims, but that simply isn’t true. All these recordings are is potential evidence on the side of the insurance company. During the statement, they will try to get you to admit some level of guilt. That could be something as small as you saying, “I’m sorry,” to the insurance adjuster. Allowing the adjuster to record a statement is a mistake, as anything you say will be used against you later.
Pushing for Delays
While insurance companies are required to respond to your claim within a certain deadline, they will commonly use as much of that time as possible, often only giving you an answer within the last day of the deadline. This is because they want to make you nervous. The longer they take, the more complicated your case may seem. Even if your claim falls well within the policy, they want you to believe that your case may not be worth as much as you initially believed. That way, you will be more likely to take their initial offer, which will always be lower than what you deserve.
Making a Lowball Offer
The first offer the insurance company makes will always be far lower than what you should actually receive. By starting low, the insurance company puts the pressure of negotiating up on you. This will make you feel obligated to take whatever small concessions they give. They may only increase the initial offer by a few hundred or thousand, but because it is more than what they first offered, it will seem like a win. Never accept a settlement that is less than what you are actually owed. Remember, the insurance company isn’t working off of what would be fair: they are working off of what would bring them the most profit. Accepting the first, or even the second offer would be a mistake.
Combing Social Media
Social media is a way of life for most people these days. It is incredibly common to update friends and family on your life via social media posts. However, if you are in the middle of a claim, a social media post could be damaging. Insurance companies are known to comb through every social media account associated with your name, as well as through the accounts of your friends and family. They do this in order to find posts that they can use to prove that you aren’t as injured as you say in your claim. A simple night out with some friends could end up costing you thousands. It is best to simply take a break from social media until your claim is finished and ask that friends and family do not post photos of you for the time being.
What You Can Do
When dealing with an insurance company that is determined to offer you a pitiful settlement, it can seem like an uphill battle. However, there is one step you can take to ensure that you get as much compensation as possible: call an experienced attorney. We at Breyer Law Offices, P.C., fight for our clients and their right to compensation. If you have been involved in an accident and need help receiving proper compensation from a personal injury attorney, call our firm at (602) 267-1280 today.
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During a free consultation, we will look at the important aspects of your case, answer your questions, and explain your legal rights and options clearly. All submissions are confidentially reviewed by Mark Breyer.
Confidentially reviewed by Attorney Mark Breyer