The strategies auto insurance companies use against you
I believe that an important part of my job is to inform the general public about the different strategies used by Washington insurance companies to deny or lower your claim. If you have dealt with insurance companies before, you may recognize some of these tactics looking back at your case, and if not, be on the lookout. Before you talk to an insurance adjuster or sign any forms, it is crucial that you are informed about how insurance companies work, and if at all possible, that you get a free consultation with an attorney before speaking to the insurance company. Here’s my list of top five strategies used to prevent you from receiving the compensation you deserve from your claim:
- Quickie Low Ball Settlement: If you have a strong case, but have not yet gone to an attorney for legal advice, the insurance company you are seeking money from will likely try to quickly offer you a low settlement. The reason they do this is because you aren’t likely to know the extent of your injuries until much later in your recovery process, and once you agree to this offer, you cannot try to get more money from the insurance company. Do not blindly accept their early agreement, unless you have already consulted an attorney who strongly advises you to do so. Chances are, though, that most attorneys will tell you to wait until you understand the full extent of your injuries and what the potential cost of medical bills.
- Recorded Statement: Shortly after you file a claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, you will likely receive a call from them to have a recorded conversation. They do this to try and get you to say something that may hurt your case or conflict with your argument further along in the process. Under no circumstance do you have to agree to this, and you should not talk to the other insurance company until you have sought advice from a lawyer. Almost every personal injury lawyer offers free initial consultation, so you have nothing to lose by meeting with one for advice.
- Records Release and Review: As you become more serious about pursuing your case and have hired a lawyer, a claims adjuster will likely ask you to release your medical records to be reviewed by one of their specialists. This specialist is paid big bucks by the insurance company to agree with them, so their job is to prove that the damages you are seeking were not caused in their entirety by the negligence of the at-fault driver.
- Independent Medical Examination: If your case shows that it has some weight behind it, then the insurance company will have you undergo an “independent” examination from a doctor whose job is basically to side with the insurance companies. This independent medical exam is by no means “independent,” but will be used by the insurance company as evidence to lower or deny your case. (Download our free special report on independent medical examinations from our website.)
- Secret Surveillance: A lot of people do not understand the extent to which the insurance company will fight their case, but the fact that they may secretly video tape you in public settings should show how far they are willing to go. If you are caught doing something that an injury you are claiming should prevent, they will use it against you in court. For this reason in particular, you should listen to your doctor and not try to do anything that will make the injury worse.
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Experienced Seattle personal injury lawyer Jason Epstein has seen every trick in the book from insurance companies — and now he has written his own book exposing them, as well as helping you prepare yourself buy purchasing the right insurance to protect you and your loved ones in the event of an accident. The Truth About Buying Washington Auto Insurance is yours for FREE by ordering on our website. Find out how protecting your family and assets is more affordable than you think by ordering now.