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Ways Insurance Adjusters Protect Their Profits

An experienced Florida personal injury claim lawyer knows how insurance adjusters and the insurance companies they work for protect their profits. Understanding the tactics they use and how to overcome them will help you win the compensation you deserve in court or settlement negotiations. Learn what to expect from adjusters and how to find the right attorney to represent you. 

Most people go through life believing people operate in good faith and with good intentions. Especially if you’re involved in something like a car accident or a construction safety incident, you’d like to believe people will do what’s right.

It’s shocking sometimes to realize that people are sometimes simply a transaction. All that matters after an injury is whether it will cost the liable party and how much.

Insurance companies, businesses, employers, property owners, and others who act negligently go to great lengths to avoid fault and protect their financial interests. Whether that’s the right decision is a topic for another day.

Today, though, we’re looking at ways insurance adjusters limit their financial exposure and avoid making substantial payments in personal injury cases.

At Leighton Law we are concerned with knowing how to anticipate their tactics and maneuver around them to fair settlements for our clients. Injury victims often have to pay thousands of dollars in medical fees, deal with years of pain and suffering, and lose future income due to someone else’s negligence. Sometimes it’s worse, and they have lost a loved one in a wrongful death.  Insurance adjusters are hired by insurance companies to save them money

For every dollar they do not pay you in a claim, it is a dollar in profit to the insurance company.  Multiply that by hundreds of millions (really billions if we are being accurate), and you can see the profit motive.

Let’s examine the things insurance adjusters do to hurt your case and shrink the money they owe.

Insurance Adjusters Act Quickly to Record Statements

A lot of our clients tell us that the insurance adjuster call is the first thing they hear after a work accident or vehicle crash. So don’t be surprised if a commercial truck runs into you on the highway, and the next thing you know, their insurance company is on the phone asking how you’re doing.

“Wow, these people are on it!” some people may think. WRONG! The insurance adjusters are working fast because they know it is not in your best interest to talk to them.

They hope that they can get to you before you:

  • Talk to friends about what you should do
  • Find an attorney
  • Talk to your own insurance provider

Anyone with experience dealing with other insurance adjusters knows not to talk to them without an attorney present.

Why?

They want to get your version of the events on record as soon as possible. So they’ll tell you things like they’re just trying to find out what happened or say that it will help move your claim forward.

What they are looking for is inconsistencies in your story.  They may get you to say something that can be manipulated or does not coincide exactly with another fact.  Or get you to say you are doing okay (people generally do not like to complain).

You need to be worried about the fact that many people have a hazy recollection of events immediately after an incident. What if you fell and hit your head? You may be concussed and not thinking clearly.

When an insurance adjuster acts like they’re your friend and trying to help, think twice and talk to your Florida personal injury lawyer first.

Insurance Adjusters Will Act Like Your Friend

We just said that insurance adjusters would act like they’re your friend. It’s no surprise why.

Police officers do the same thing to alleged criminals. They want you to let your guard down. Adjusters want you to believe you can have confidence in them and that they would never do you wrong.

These people aren’t on your side. Despite their empathy for your situation over the phone, they are only interested in doing their job, which is lowering the money they pay to victims.

A good attorney is like a welcome dose of reality in your situation. They’ll tell you what to believe and what to say.

They Will Delay Your Claim

Insurance providers are notorious for delaying claims as a negotiating tactic. They know that people are typically under pressure after an accident. For example, if you trip on a loose carpet in a restaurant and break your leg, you could be out of work for months. That’s thousands of dollars in lost income at the precise moment you have medical bills to pay.

You or your attorney might call them to ask what’s going on, only to hear about one reason or another for the delays. So what they’re really doing is slow-rolling you. They think that, as time goes on, increasing pressure will make you more inclined to take their low settlement offer.

Fast & Low Settlement Offers

At Leighton Law, most of the victims we represent are first-time personal injury victims. These are innocent people in dire circumstances. They’re dealing with pain, injuries, or even wrongful death through no fault of their own.

After an injury, if an insurance provider calls you up, offers sympathy, and tells you they will pay you “X” amount in damages, you might think that’s great and accept the offer.

You should know that insurance providers work off of heaps of data based on past cases. For example, they know if a person falls in a hotel lobby and breaks an arm, they are likely to accept a given amount in a settlement. They will come at you with this offer and hope you accept.

The sad news is that many people do accept because they don’t have the proper legal representation. They just don’t know better.

The right lawyer will tell you what your case is worth and when to decline an offer until the correct amount comes along.

Playing Hardball – Why You Need a Florida Injury Claim Lawyer

Depending on the situation and the amounts at stake, the insurance adjuster and provide may play hardball. They will deny any fault and act like your claim to damages is ridiculous.

When they use these tactics, they try to make you feel like you’re lucky to be getting anything. They’ll use their size as a company or talk about past cases to intimidate you. They may even make veiled threats referencing the police report, etc.

Hire a Florida Injury Claim Lawyer to Avoid Tricky Tactics

An experienced Florida injury claim lawyer is the best way to avoid being taken advantage of by insurance adjusters.

When you realize that the entire cat and mouse game they play is about risk mitigation and saving money, you understand that you need legal support to get what’s fair.

By hiring an attorney, you avoid missteps in a recorded statement, and you lower the odds of taking a lowball settlement offer. Here’s what you should look for:

  • Proven Track Record – Look at whether the firm has handled cases like yours and examine their results.
  • Court Experience – They should be ready to take the case to trial. Personal injury claims usually settle out of court, but an insurance provider may deny fault up until trial. Insurance companies know who the real trial lawyers are versus the ones who can be lowballed.
  • Good Communication – Your attorney should be accessible. Pay attention to how they respond to questions via email over the phone. It would be best if you felt comfortable working with them.
  • Resources – Above all, your lawyer should know what to do. They’ll guide you in the right direction and help you make the right decisions in your case. They’ll advocate your positions and help you avoid mistakes.

How to Hire the Right Florida Injury Claim Lawyer

The chips are stacked against people without legal help in personal injury cases. Remember, you’re going up against, in most cases, a large insurance company or some other organization with a lot of resources.

This likely isn’t their first time dealing with a personal injury case. The liable party and their insurance provider may even be dealing with several cases similar to yours concurrently. You never know.

Making the right hire makes all of the difference and evens the odds. Depending on your case and the available evidence, it can even tilt the odds in your favor.

Here are some steps you should follow after your incident.

  1. When insurance adjusters call, don’t pick up the phone.
  2. See that you receive medical care immediately following an incident, even if you feel OK. Some symptoms take hours or days to surface.
  3. Take pictures of the scene and gather witness contact information, if available.
  4. Look for and hire an experienced personal injury lawyer.
  5. With your attorney’s help, file your claim and pursue your case.

Your lawyer will help you gather the necessary evidence to review your claim and fight back against what can be intimidating insurance adjusters. They’ve been in the game and know the tricks and how to avoid them.

Follow your attorney’s advice and only speak to people about your case with your lawyer present and under their guidance. With the right lawyer, you can wind compensation to pay for medical bills, lost income, and other costs associated with your case.

Article by:

John Leighton

A nationally-recognized trial lawyer who handles catastrophic injury and death cases. He manages Leighton Law, P.A. trial lawyers, with offices in Miami and Orlando, Florida. He is President of The National Crime Victim Bar Association, author of the 2-volume textbook,Litigating Premises Security Cases, and past Chairman of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America’s Motor Vehicle, Highway & Premises Liability Section. Having won some of the largest verdicts in Florida history, Mr. Leighton is listed inThe Best Lawyers in America (14 years), “Top Lawyers” in the South Florida Legal Guide (15 years), Top 100 Florida SuperLawyer™ and Florida SuperLawyers (14 years), “Orlando Legal Elite” by Orlando Style magazine, and FloridaTrend magazine “Florida Legal Elite

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