3 Big Ways Insurance Companies Fool You After Your Personal Injury

By Peter DePaolis

It is bad enough when you get hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, but then you have to deal with the insurance company on your personal injury claim. Reaching a fair and reasonable settlement shouldn’t be so stressful, but if you try to handle your own personal injury claim like a DIY project instead of working with a lawyer, the insurance company is likely to use every tactic they know to fool you into a lowball settlement.

When a DC personal injury attorney handles your personal injury claim or lawsuit, the lawyer deals directly with the claims adjuster so that you do not have to do so. You get to focus your energy on getting better. Here are three big ways insurance companies fool you after your personal injury. 

Misleading You About Recorded Statements

The insurance company’s claims adjuster might ask you to give a recorded statement, supposedly as your opportunity to tell your side of the story. The adjuster might tell you that the recorded statement is in your best interest, even though the truth is the opposite. The recorded statement only benefits the insurance company because they can “cherry-pick” the transcript and splice your words into something you did not intend.

Discouraging You from Getting a Lawyer 

Many claims adjusters badmouth attorneys and tell injured claimants that they do not need to get a lawyer. In reality, the insurance company does not want you to have a lawyer because having legal representation will even the playing field. The insurance company has dozens if not hundreds of lawyers working for them, but they do not want you to have even one attorney fighting for you.

Making False Claims About How Long You Have to Accept Their Settlement Offer

Claims adjusters often throw out a lowball offer and pressure the injured claimant into accepting the offer immediately. The adjuster says that the offer is “take it or leave it” with no room for negotiation or counter-offers and that the offer is only good for 24 hours. If you had any doubt before about having a lawyer handle your claim, this tactic should convince you to get legal representation. 

A legitimate offer will be good for a reasonable length of time. When a claims adjuster demands that you accept an offer within an unreasonable amount of time, he does not want you to have the opportunity to talk to a lawyer and find out how much a jury would likely award for your injuries.

These are just three examples of the many strategies the insurance company might use. The bottom line is that insurance companies, like other businesses, are in business to make a profit. The way they make a profit is to pay as little money as possible on claims. Every dollar that they do not pay you goes into their profit margin. Understanding that fact can be your best defense against the claims adjuster’s attempts to trick you.

You will want to keep in mind throughout the claims process that the claims adjuster is just doing his job, which is to find a way to pay you less money than you deserve. A claims adjuster who consistently settles personal injury claims well below the amount that a jury would likely have awarded will have job security. A DC personal injury attorney can protect you from the tactics that the insurance company uses to try to pay you less money than they should. Contact our office today for legal help, we offer a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.