After a car accident, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed and confused. Accidents can cause physical injuries, property damage, short-term loss of wages or worse. All of this results in extensive bills and, unless you’re extremely financially secure, can cause a lot of stress and worry. However, when an accident isn’t your fault, you have the legal right and option to seek compensation for your losses.
Often, after an auto accident, you’ll hear people advising you to notify your insurance company immediately. This is not necessarily your best option. Although every car insurance company purports to be on your side, or your neighbor, or your friend, you need to remember that their first priority is their bottom line. Our years of experience in the industry has taught us a few lessons, and we’d like to pass our knowledge on to you in order to help you build the strongest case possible when you’re injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault.
Whether you use State Farm, Alfa, Allstate, Progressive, Geico or another Alabama car insurance company, read on to learn how to protect yourself after an accident – then call an experienced accident attorney.
Top insurance claims adjuster secrets
Following are some of the most popular and most commonly-used insurance company and claims adjuster tactics:
Paying out as little as possible in claims
Just like any other business, insurance companies are in the business of making money. Their bottom line relies on collecting premiums and minimizing the number of claims they actually pay out. This means their adjusters must work to pay out the smallest amount possible or deny even valid personal injury claims. Your insurer has built-in incentives to convince policyholders to settle for less than their claims are worth.
Insurance claims adjusters often request policyholders to make a statement after an accident. Although many will tell you that this recorded statement is required, it is not and you shouldn’t make any kind of statement without an attorney. Adjusters are trained to ask leading questions designed to garner statements they can use against you. For example, if they ask you a seemingly harmless question such as, “How are you feeling today?” and you respond, “Okay,” they can use that response when assessing your injuries.
You have no obligation to provide a statement and can instead refer the insurance company to your attorney.
Another common car insurance company tactic is handing your claim over to “team adjusters.” We recommend avoiding these adjusters, as they have the least amount of authority to pay you – meaning their job is to prove that your accident and injuries were minor. Team adjusters strive to get you the lowest possible payout. An attorney can help you file a personal injury action that can move your claim to an individual adjuster with more power and financial authority to handle your claim.
Your attorney will instead help you file a car accident lawsuit to gain proper payments. Your claim may then be assigned to an individual adjuster who has more authority and can pay you more.
Delaying as long as possible
Your car insurance company understands all too well that, after your accident, you’re accruing bills every day – from medical expenses to lost wages from being unable to work. Often, if you don’t accept their lowball settlement offers, they will take as long as possible to process your claim, hoping that you will eventually give in and accept any offer they extend. It’s crucial you understand all your options and don’t sign away your rights to compensation.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault, talk to the personal injury attorneys at Mezrano Law Firm before making any agreement with your insurance company. Let us help ensure you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries. We serve the citizens of Birmingham, Mobile, Florence, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden, and Montgomery for your convenience. To schedule your free case evaluation, reach out to us through our contact page or call 205-635-4470 today.