How Insurance Companies Reduce The Payout Of Injury ClaimsNew Jersey Legal News
Insurance companies hire highly-trained professionals called claims adjusters to handle personal injury cases involving the negligence of one of their policyholders. If you are involved in a collision with another vehicle, a claims adjuster representing the driver’s insurance provider is put to work immediately after the incident is reported. No matter what the claims adjuster says, he or she ultimately has a single goal, which is why they were hired by the insurance provider: to make sure that their employer pays you as little as possible, or none at all. To accomplish this task, insurance adjusters utilize a set playbook of tricks, with many common tactics. These tricks work against injured parties who are inexperienced handling these companies and injury cases. By learning to recognize these tactics and knowing how to react, you can better defend yourself from being unfairly denied your deserved compensation.
Obtaining a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster will reach out to you as soon as they know about the crash. Some adjusters even show up in the injured party’s hospital room. The adjuster will do whatever they can to seem sympathetic in order to put you at ease and create a false sense of trust and security. Don’t forget that the claims adjuster is an employee of the insurance provider, and their job is to find any way possible to deny or devalue your claim. One of the first things they will do is attempt to have you provide a recorded statement about the circumstances of the crash and the severity of your injuries. In fact, it’s safe to assume that anything said to a claims adjuster, especially over the phone, is being recorded, including your response to a casual greeting. There is a one-party consent rule in New Jersey–if the adjuster consents to record a call, he or she is able to do so.
The risk of discussing your injuries during the early stages of treatment is that serious injuries, such as those involving the back, neck, spine, and head, are not fully apparent immediately after an accident. This means that you may not understand how badly you’ve been injured. If you provide a statement and then later find out your injuries were worse than you thought, the adjuster will try to argue that you’ve changed your story in order to discredit your claim. Many adjusters won’t even wait for you to say anything inaccurate. They will blatantly misrepresent something you said to them and have you confirm if it’s correct, knowing that most people are quick to agree in these situations.
Blanket Medical Authorization
Under the law, the insurance company is not allowed to request certain medical records about your accident if you demand compensation for related injuries and the treatment you received, but as the saying goes, if you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. The adjuster will try to get you to sign an unlimited medical authorization, effectively giving them access to the records of any medical treatment you have ever received from all past medical providers. This is an extreme invasion of your privacy, and it also lets the adjuster bring up any unrelated injuries and conditions in order to attribute your current symptoms to old injuries and leverage your entire medical history against you. Never sign anything without first checking with your attorney.
Claiming You Don’t Need Legal Representation
Even though the entire premise of their job is at odds with your general interests, the insurance adjuster will attempt to convince you that he’s really on your side and wants to handle your case fairly. They’ll likely claim that hiring a lawyer is an immense hassle and an unnecessary expense, that you’re better off just settling your claim directly with the adjuster. Nothing could be further from the truth. The claims adjuster fully understands that injured victims who work with a lawyer ultimately receive much more money in the end, even after attorney’s fees are taken out, than those who fight their case on their own. This is exactly why the adjuster doesn’t want you working with a lawyer.
Lastly, you should keep in mind that there are many claims adjusters who will only gather evidence. They discourage cooperation, gathering all the information they think they’ll need in order to deny the claim. Instead of dealing with you in good faith, they are only sources of information that can be used against your case, making it difficult after you have retained the help of an attorney. Third-party claims administrators are especially known for these tactics, but insurance companies also operate this way in many cases.
The insurance adjuster relies on the injured victim’s lack of experience handling injury claims and ignorance of their rights in order to obtain an unfair advantage, using deceptive and deceitful tactics to trick those who’ve been seriously injured into signing their rights away and making statements that hurt their claim. In order to protect yourself from these tricks, you need the knowledge and experience of an experienced New Jersey car crash attorney. Once you’ve hired an attorney, the insurance company is legally required to direct all communication through your representative, allowing you to focus on your own recovery after being injured in a crash.
Auto Accidents in New Jersey
In 2016 alone, there were 273,473 reported car accidents in the state of New Jersey, which resulted in 603 deaths. These accidents often devastate their victims and have long-lasting impacts on their lives.
Being injured in a crash can result in severe injuries and other devastating damages. When these accidents happen, insurance companies will try their best to prevent paying out the full value of a resulting injury claim. That’s why injured parties need the help of an experienced New Jersey car crash attorney on their side.
The legal team at Brady, Brady, & Reilly, LLC is here to make sure you recover deserved compensation after being unfairly injured in a crash. We can help you go up against the big insurance companies to make sure your claim is handled fairly. Give us a call at (201) 997-0030 to discuss your case today.