Do Insurance Adjusters Lie?
October 14, 2021 | Insurance Negotiation
When you purchase an insurance policy, you know you will have to pay premiums regularly to maintain the policy. In exchange for your premiums, you expect to receive benefits from the insurance company when something goes wrong. For example, if you suffer injuries in a car accident on I-270 or the Poplar Street Bridge and you file an insurance claim, you expect the insurer to cover your medical expenses and other losses.
In reality, insurance companies are less than forthcoming when it comes time to pay benefits to claimants. This is true no matter what type of insurance claim is in question. Following a personal injury, you may face an uphill battle to get coverage from your own policy or that of a negligent party. Insurance companies will go to great lengths to minimize payouts, but will the adjusters lie to you? Unfortunately, the answer can be yes.
To best protect your rights following an injury, you should allow an experienced personal injury attorney to handle the insurance process. A lawyer who knows all the tricks and tactics that adjusters use—including telling lies —can stand up to them, protect your rights, and secure the compensation you deserve.
Here are four of the many lies that insurance adjusters might tell injured claimants.
Lie #1: The Adjuster Is on Your Side
Insurance companies train adjusters to be extremely friendly and convince you that they have your best interests in mind. While they may be friendly, the reality is that they work for the insurance company and have no duty to help you get the compensation you deserve under the law. In fact, they have the insurance company’s best interests in mind because their job is to pay you as little as possible to get you to settle your claim and go away. In fact, if they can find a way to deny your claim completely, they will.
Lie #2: You Have No Choice But to Accept an Initial Settlement Offer
Insurance adjusters may put immense pressure on you to accept their initial offer. They may tell you that the offer is only good for a certain time and that subsequent offers will decrease.
Not only are statements like these almost always false, but initial offers are also invariably for much less compensation than claimants deserve. The adjuster is well aware of the fact that once you accept a settlement offer, it is next to impossible to obtain more compensation, so they have nothing to lose and everything to gain by making you think that you have no choice but to take their first offer.
Fortunately, a personal injury lawyer who understands how the process works can protect your rights and take steps to pressure the insurance company to treat you fairly. For example, an attorney can conduct a thorough analysis of your accident-related losses, including those hard-to-prove non-economic damages like pain and suffering and lost quality of life.
Next, your lawyer can draft a demand letter spelling out your losses, complete with supporting documentation like medical records, repair bills, and expert opinions. Finally, if the insurance company still refuses to make you a fair offer, your lawyer can file a lawsuit on your behalf and take your case to court.
Lie #3: Your Claim Is Not Worth as Much as You Think
Another favorite tactic of insurance adjusters who are trying to save their employer money is telling claimants that their claims are not worth as much as they think they are. Sometimes, this takes the form of making general lowball offers that do not account for non-economic losses.
For example, let’s say you were injured in a car accident and had $10,000 in property damage and $10,000 in medical expenses. In this case, the insurance adjuster may offer you $20,000 and suggest that is all your claim is worth. The problem with this hypothetical offer is that it does not take into account any of your pain and suffering, the inconveniences that you have had to deal with as a result of your accident, any lost quality of life you experience, or current and future lost income.
In some cases, an insurance adjuster may tell you an outright lie and suggest that you are not entitled to certain classes of damages like pain and suffering or lost future income. Fortunately, when you retain an attorney who is familiar with Missouri and Illinois personal injury law, he or she will ensure that you are aware of your rights and ensure that the insurance company does not pressure you into taking a settlement offer lower than the actual value of your case.
Lie #4: You Do Not Need a Lawyer
Insurance adjusters also may tell you that you do not need a lawyer. They may say things like “a lawyer is just going to take part of your settlement” or “it’s just easier and quicker to figure it out between us.”
What the insurance adjuster is actually trying to do is prevent you from speaking to someone who knows what your claim is worth and that can represent your rights. It’s no surprise that insurance adjusters do not want to deal with lawyers, as lawyers make getting injured victims to settle their cases for less than they are worth much, much harder.
When you retain an attorney, you will get a clear idea of what your case is worth and how much a reasonable settlement offer should be. Also, once a lawyer represents you, there is a much greater chance that you will go to court if the insurance company does not make a fair offer, putting more pressure on the adjuster to settle for a reasonable amount.
Speak With a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you have suffered injuries in an accident caused by another person, you should contact an attorney as soon as you can to get the compensation you deserve. Reputable St. Louis personal injury lawyers offer free consultations and work on contingency—they only get paid if you do—so you have nothing to lose by calling one today.
The Dixon Injury Firm
9666 Olive Blvd #202,
St. Louis, MO 63132