Insurance Companies Don't Make Money Giving Away Money
Dec 02, 2014
Insurance…..even if you don’t use it you have to pay for it. We know how the standard auto insurance company works. Drivers pay a monthly premium so the insurance company will pay to repair any damage incurred and to pay anyone who is injured if an accident happens. The insurance company hopes that an accident does not happen so they can make a profit. If an accident does occur, the insurance company pays the injured person the amount they deserve, right? WRONG!
Insurance companies, like any other company, make their money by increasing their profits and lowering their expenses. For them, paying injured parties is a huge expense and one the insurance company would like to avoid if possible. If you are an injured driver, you have no choice but to deal with the insurance company’s tactics. That being said, here are a few things you need to know.
What you say can and will be used against you!
If you are injured, the insurance company will ask you for a recorded statement. The point of the recorded statement is not to get your side of the story. The point of the recorded statement is to get you to make a statement that can be used against you. The adjuster will ask you questions and skew your words in ways that make you look bad and take your statements and later use them out of context. For instance, the adjuster will ask you how far above the speed limit you were traveling. If you answer even one mile above, their report will reflect that you were speeding and driving recklessly. If you were injured in the accident, the adjuster may try to minimize your injuries or even imply they were preexisting, if not corrected, they will be documented as he described.
You will be requested to sign a medical release. You think the adjuster wants to see your records from the auto accident. Really what they are looking for is a preexisting condition. For example, if your back was injured in the current accident, the adjuster wants to comb through your old records to find anytime you have been to a doctor or chiropractor that treated your back. That treatment might have been a simple adjustment, but the insurance adjuster will argue that you had a previous back injury and the accident was not the cause of your current condition.
Car Repair Adjuster
The insurance company will usually assigned two different adjusters to your case: one for your injuries and one for the car repairs. The car repair adjuster is likely to meet you at your home to evaluate the car damage and discuss the repairs needed. Remember, these adjusters talk to one another. If you come to the door holding your 35 pound 3 year old child, the adjuster may note that you are not following your doctor’s 15 pound lifting restriction.
Their Negotiation Strategy
The insurance company’s best friend is time. They know that the longer they drag their feet the more likely you are to accept less than you really deserve. Prior to the very first offer you receive, the insurance adjuster has a maximum settlement amount he is not allowed to go above. In an attempt to prolong the process the adjuster starts with a horrendously low offer. Many times this offer will not even be enough to cover your medical bills. During negotiations the offers will go up in very small increments causing the entire process to take even longer. While this is going on, you are stuck with unpaid medical bills and possible lack of income depending on the severity of your injuries. The insurance company uses your need for a timely settlement to their advantage.
An experience personal injury attorney knows how the insurance game works and how to fight against it. Your attorney will give the adjuster a statement of events on your behalf but will not allow the adjuster to manipulate your words. The attorney knows what medical records are important and how to combat medical records that show prior treatment. Lastly, your attorney knows what your case is worth and will not settle for anything less.
Pedersen Law Office offers free consults in all of our areas of practice and will meet with you personally to discuss your specific circumstances and see what options are available for you. Our law office serves the communities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Oshkosh, Green Bay and their surrounding areas.