If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, you’ll likely be working with an insurance company in an effort to obtain a settlement to compensate you for your injuries. While it may seem at first like the insurance company is working in your favor, at the end of the day, insurance is a business, and it is in the company’s best interest to avoid having to compensate you.
Throughout the process, there are a number of tactics that insurance companies use in an attempt to minimize your settlement as much as possible. It is important that you recognize these tactics to ensure they don’t take advantage of you. Here’s what you need to know.
#1 Acting Like They Are on Your Side
When you first reach out to an insurance company regarding your injuries, it may seem as though they are working on your behalf. Insurance company representatives are trained to present the image that they are as compassionate and caring as possible. Their goal is to make you feel relaxed and comfortable working with them so that you’ll let your guard down. Keep in mind that this is likely only an illusion. The representatives work for a business, and they will always have the business’s best interests at heart, not yours. It is up to you to make sure that your needs are being fully addressed.
#2 Discouraging You from Working with an Attorney
During your initial discussions with the insurance company, they’ll likely attempt to dissuade you from calling in a personal injury attorney. They’ll try to tell you that you can easily handle everything directly through them without having to take legal action. This is a common trap that far too many people fall into. Insurance companies are notorious for making things difficult for claimants, and it can make a huge difference having an attorney to advocate on your behalf. Even if you ultimately do choose not to work with an attorney, you should at the very least see one for a consultation to discuss your case.
#3 Pressuring You into Making a Statement Right Away
In the aftermath of an accident, it is perfectly understandable for you to be a bit shaken up and emotional, and insurance companies will undoubtedly try to use this to their advantage. They’ll often push you into making a formal, recorded statement immediately after the accident. They’ll also try to trip you up and trick you into admitting partial fault or downplaying your injuries. It is important to take the time to think through what you want to say very carefully before giving a statement, and an attorney can help you do that to avoid making costly mistakes.
#4 Rushing a Low-Ball Settlement
The initial settlement that an insurance company may offer you will almost certainly be far lower than the amount you are actually eligible to receive. They are hoping that you will simply take the settlement and walk away. Don’t sell yourself short; if you keep pushing, you can likely get a much higher settlement that is truly on par with your injuries and ongoing pain and suffering. While it can be tempting to just take the settlement offered, you’ll likely be rewarded if you hold out for more and trust an experienced attorney to be on your side.
#5 Using High-Pressure Courtroom Tactics
If you take your case with the insurance company to court, they’ll do everything in their power to try to discredit you and downplay your injuries. This can include digging through your history, monitoring your social media posts, and even attacking your personal character. The goal is to get you to crumble so that they can avoid having to pay you a settlement. They’ll try to get you to accept a smaller settlement simply so you can avoid the added pressure in court. Your attorney can help you stay strong and get through the process to maximize your settlement.
Don’t Let Insurance Companies Take Advantage of You
Insurance companies take advantage of people every day, but you don’t have to be one of them. Andrew Pickett is here to help. As a personal injury attorney based in Melbourne, FL, I’m not afraid to take on the big insurance companies for you. I’ll work tirelessly on your behalf to help you get the settlement you deserve. Reach out online or call me today (321-503-4014) to schedule a free consultation to review your case in greater detail and learn more about how I can help.