Insurance Company Tactics that Could Cost You a lot of Money
WARNING: In general, dealing with insurance companies is like going down a “one way street” because the adjuster wants you to give him information and some of your legal rights and the general strategy for insurance companies is to try to figure out a way to pay you nothing or if they have to pay you something, settle your case as cheap as possible. Delay in settling your case is always a benefit to the insurance company and not to you.
Here are 10 of 29 common insurance company tactics that could cost you a lot of money:
- Adjuster is not calling you within a week of your accident. If you do not hear from an adjuster within one week of the accident, it could mean that the company is understaffed, ignoring your claim, or that the other party wasn’t insured after all.
- Adjuster does not want to put anything in writing. Insist that the adjuster provide you with a letter identifying himself and his company. That letter should indicate the policy and claim numbers and, this is extremely important, confirm that his company provided coverage for the wrong-doer on the day of the accident.
- Adjuster refuses to tell you policy limits. Request that the adjuster disclose the wrong-doer’s auto policy limit in writing. If the adjuster refuses, call me and let’s talk! If you are seriously injured, you need to know the limits. If you don’t know the limits…it could cost you a lot of money.
- Adjuster refuses to confirm that the wrong-doer was at fault. Ask the adjuster to provide you with a letter stating that the person his company insures was at fault and caused the auto or truck accident. If the adjuster does not believe that his insured was completely at fault, request that the adjuster explain, in writing, why you or someone else are partially at fault. Always see a lawyer about comparative fault laws in New Jersey. This can be tricky.
- Adjuster wants to “tape record” you. Don’t let anyone tape record you…If you give incorrect answers…it could cost you a lot of money. Before you give a statement, you should talk to a lawyer first. Most adjusters already know how the crash occurred based upon the police report, witness statements, and the wrong-doer’s report. One reason the adjuster wants to tape-record your statement is to get you to say something that may hurt your claim and to give the insurance company grounds to reduce or deny your claim. A tape recorded statement can be used as “evidence against you!” It takes just a minute to call our office and discuss the details of your case. Maybe you are ready to give a tape recorded statement…and then again…maybe you’re not ready. Why take a chance? You can talk to me for free.
- Adjuster wants you to sign a written medical release. This can be tricky. Most insurance companies want you to sign a “general wide-open release” for more information that they are entitled to. You have every right to contact a lawyer before signing anything. Remember, you can talk to me over the phone for free…even before you become my client. You may be signing away super valuable legal rights.
- Insurance company wants “their doctor” to examine you. You have the legal right to talk to a lawyer before being examined by the insurance company doctor. It is always smart for you to talk to a lawyer first. There are some legal traps that you should know how to avoid. If the insurance adjuster for the wrong-doer tells you he won’t settle your case unless you are examined by “their doctor”, call me and let’s talk. You may be walking into a trap. (Did you know that you have the legal right to tape record the doctor during the examination…and there are more rights that you probably don’t know.)
- Adjuster refuses to put settlement offers in writing. Ask the adjuster to put all offers of settlement on your case in writing. If he refuses, you might be concerned. Verbal settlement offers are sometimes forgotten by the adjuster.
- Adjuster is dodging you. If it is difficult for you to contact the adjuster or he seems to be putting you off, he may be using “a delay tactic” on your case. Delay can cost you money.
- Surprise, unannounced visits from the adjuster. If the insurance adjuster shows up without an appointment at your home, you should be concerned. The purpose of such visit may be to catch you doing something that hurts your case or shows that you are not injured. Refuse to discuss your case and tell the adjuster to call back for an appointment.
Jersey City accident lawyer Anthony Carbone can protect you from the tactics insurance companies will use to take advantage of you. If you or a loved one has been in an auto accident in the Jersey City or Newark areas, please contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone today to schedule a confidential consultation with our car accident attorney in Jersey City.