Common Tricks and Traps of the Insurance Company
At our personal injury law firm in Kansas City, many clients are surprised when they learn that insurance companies and claims representatives are not their friends. Clients are often shocked to find out that some insurance companies will deny a claim even if they know their insured is at fault. We are often asked: “Why would they do that?”
Insurance adjusters know that they can deny some claims, and if people are not aware of their rights, they will choose not to fight the insurance company’s decision. Those decisions add millions (perhaps billions) to the bottom-line of the insurance company.
If you talk with the opposing insurance adjuster on your own, they will use different tactics to get you to settle your case before talking with a lawyer. Some of those tactics are highlighted below. All of these tactics underscore the importance of seeking legal representation with an experienced personal injury attorney before you settle a serious accident or injury claim.
1. Acting Like They Are Your Friend and Pretending They Care
Our firm had a client recently tell me that she thought the insurance company was more pleasant before our firm was hired. I’m sure they were! They were really nice until they offered to reimburse her for just a small fraction of her total medical bills, which is why she hired us. After we got involved, she received more than enough to pay her bills and for pain and suffering.
Let me state the obvious: the insurance adjuster for the negligent party is not your friend. They do not care about you. They want this claim closed for the smallest amount possible. This is a tactic to stop you from hiring an attorney and getting the legal advice that you need.
2. Arguing About Your Medical Treatment
Insurance adjusters suddenly become medical experts when they talk to you on the phone about your accident. Of course, the treatment the adjustor “recommends” is much, much less than what your doctor suggests. They may try to make you feel guilty for seeking the medical care recommended by your doctor because “most people are better by now.”
3. Disputing Medical Charges
Insurance adjusters will complain about the cost of medical treatment and that the hospital bills are too high. Everyone agrees that medical care is too expensive, but that is not your fault. You were injured by their insured! You should not be penalized because the care was expensive – that is why people buy insurance. Just imagine how much the insurance adjustor saves if he is able to get everybody to accept a 25% discount.
4. Delay, Delay and More Delay
The insurance company knows you have missed work (and may still be missing work) and that bills for deductibles and medical care are piling up every day. The more delay by the insurance company, the more pressure on you to get some cash. They are well aware of this financial leverage and will use it to get you to settle your case for much less.
5. Requesting Meaningless Information
By making you find every little piece of information, even if it ultimately does nothing to your claim, insurance companies add unnecessary delay to your case and continue to earn interest on the money they are not paying you.
6. Misrepresenting Available Insurance
Insurance companies may misrepresent the amount of insurance available to you. In certain circumstances, insurance policies and coverage can be “stacked”, and there may be more insurance available than you are aware. If you knew this, they know you would fight harder. This is another reason why you must be careful if you are attempting to settle your own claims.
Contact our Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer
Still have questions about your injury claim in Missouri or Kansas? For more information, please download a free copy of Crash Course: An Insider's Guide to Accident & Injury Law in Missouri & Kansas. This book is packed with information to help you deal with the insurance company after an injury accident in Missouri and Kansas, including the nine mistakes that can wreck your injury claim.
You can also contact our law firm by calling (816) 203-0143 or by filling out a form below. Contacting us is free and confidential, and there is no obligation to hire our firm. We would be happy to try to assist you.