If you were selling your house or your car, you would expect the buyer to haggle over the price and try to convince you to accept a lower amount. It is common for people in Georgia and elsewhere to save money by pointing out the things that are wrong with your property in an attempt to devalue it.
However, you would not expect the same to happen when your health is the item someone is appraising. Nevertheless, insurance companies use different methods to undervalue your claim after an accident. It is important to know how insurers work to avoid falling into their traps and losing benefits you deserve.
Don’t fall for it
Following an accident, an insurance adjuster will likely contact you to hear your side of the story. It may seem like a social visit, and you may even be touched by the representative’s sincerity and good wishes. Winning your trust is advantageous to an insurance adjuster who is looking for a way to minimize your payout. Be cautious of any of these requests the adjuster may make:
Medical authorization: This form allows the adjuster to access your medical records. You should not sign it without your lawyer’s approval, and you should never sign a blank form, which allows the adjuster full access to all medical information.
Recorded statement: The adjuster may casually ask to record your conversation or tell you it is necessary for your claim, but you have the right to refuse. If you record your statement, the insurance company may use your words against you, and you will have little defense.
Additional paperwork: You may hear a request for more proof of your financial losses resulting from the accident, especially lost wages. This is often a tactic to bog you down and frustrate you into accepting a low settlement.
Friendly conversation: The adjuster received training on how to be personable so you will let down your guard, but every word you say is under scrutiny.
Settlement: It is likely the adjuster will have a check right in his or her brief case. You may feel pressure to accept it, but your attorney will know if the offer is fair.
In fact, if you have the right assistance, you may not have to deal with an insurance company at all. A skilled attorney will have the experience to handle all these matters so that you have the best chance of obtaining a fair settlement, even if it means taking the insurance company to court.