Many individuals are surprised when they learn that insurance companies and claims representatives are not their friends. They are often shocked to find out that some insurance companies will deny a claim even if they know their insured is at fault. You may ask: “Why would they do that?”
Our experienced insurance attorney is happy to discuss this for you. There are many tactics insurance companies use to deny claims and save money. If you believe your claim has been wrongfully denied, contact our office today by calling 816-203-0143 or contact us online through our email or chat. We will review your claim or denial letter free of charge, and develop a strategy to fight back. We're here to help, and on your side!
Common Tricks and Traps of the Insurance Company
Our personal injury law firm sees many clients who 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 our experienced personal injuryattorney before you try to settle a serious accident or injury claim on your own.
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.
How to Protect Yourself Against Insurance Company Tactics
The insurance adjuster is an employee of the insurance company who has the job of investigating claims and making a decision on how to settle them. However, the insurance adjuster works for the insurance company, which has a goal of making a profit, like all businesses. Because the insurance adjuster’s allegiance is to their employer and not you, their objective may be to find disputes that they can use to deny or reduce your claim.
If you cannot avoid talking to the insurance adjuster, you can protect your right to compensation. You should know that you are not obligated to talk to the insurance adjuster, and it is best not to. Politely obtain the person’s contact information and inform them that you will have your attorney contact them to discuss your claim. You should refrain from having a lengthy conversation with them.
Be careful who you talk to about your legal case
Insurance companies are always looking for anything that will help them reduce or refute your claim for compensation. As a result, you should be careful what you say at the accident scene to paramedics, investigators, or anyone else for that matter—even if they are close friends or family.
In general, you should not talk to anyone about your legal case except our lawyer. Your conversations with our attorney are protected by the attorney-client privilege, and you could be giving up this privilege if you discuss with others what you have discussed with our attorney. For this reason, we recommend that you do not get into conversations with claims adjusters about the accident because their chief goal is to limit the amount the insurance company pays you.
Most likely, you don’t know all the factors that went into the accident. It could have been due to someone else’s negligence, perhaps the other driver was on a cell phone or distracted. Or, it could be due to faulty maintenance, a blown tire, or a defective piece of equipment. You simply can’t know at the time of the accident all the factors that were at play because things happen quickly in an accident. This is why a thorough investigation is often necessary, especially in more complicated accidents such as those involving multiple parties.
Our attorney and our experts will help investigate and uncover the factors that contributed to causing the accident. Our attorney will also handle all communications and negotiations with the insurance adjuster on your behalf.
Contact our Kansas City Personal Injury Lawyer
Still have questions about your injury claim in Missouri or Kansas? For more information, you can instantly download a free copy of our attorneys book 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.
Call our office today at 816-203-0143 or contact us through our website email or chat to schedule a free and confidential consultation. We'll guide you through the next steps and provide a strategy for moving forward. We're here to help, and on your side.