4 Ways Insurance Companies Can Trick You
Not every insurance company is dishonest. Many will offer fair settlements readily, especially for minor auto accidents. Despite the warnings of most law firms, not every insurance adjuster is out to trick unsuspecting motorists and scam them out of their money—however, these things do still happen, and more often than you might think. Knowing common underhanded tactics used by dishonest insurance companies can alert you when something is awry; simultaneously, you’ll have an easier time recognizing honest, fair settlements and be more confident if you decide to accept an offer.
Quick and Easy Settlement Offers
Insurance companies often suggest that victims accept quick, easy sums of money shortly after an accident, promising a hassle-free settlement. Although this can seem tempting, it’s never advisable to accept such an offer without consulting an attorney and waiting. If you accept a settlement and sign off on a full release of liability early, you might be unable to receive compensation for delayed-onset injuries and other unforeseen complications.
“You Don’t Need a Lawyer”
Even if you don’t hire a lawyer to handle the settlement process on your behalf, simply talking to one for advice can clear things up and inform you whether or not it’s safe to accept an offer. Insurance adjusters know this, and will often try to convince you that you shouldn’t consult an attorney; dishonest tactics and bad faith claims are easily noticed by experienced lawyers but can be concerningly effective when used against inexperienced drivers.
Putting On A Friendly Act
Many insurance adjusters will act like they’re on your side, assuring you that they “just want the best for you.” However, insurance adjusters are employees like any other, meaning their loyalty is to their company and its best interests—i.e., profit. Insurance companies are businesses first and foremost; the less they pay you, the more they make. Don’t trust that a settlement offer is fair just because an adjuster seems friendly and trustworthy.
Requests for Formal Statements
Adjusters will try and request formal statements from you, which will later be used to minimize your settlement in any way possible. For example, innocent comments about pain could later be used to doubt the validity of your injuries if you realize they were worse than initially thought. Even if you think a statement couldn’t possibly be used against you, don’t risk it—insurance companies will do everything possible to prove certain conditions for fault, which in Arizona, will reduce your compensation in direct proportion to your fault (for example, failing to signal can make you over 50 percent at fault, more than halving your settlement).
Handling Dishonest Adjusters After an Arizona Accident
An experienced auto accident attorney is your first line of defense against dishonest insurance adjusters. Scheduling a free consultation with an Arizona lawyer gives you a professional opinion on your case, and can alert you to suspicious tactics not covered in this article. Even if you’re reasonably confident a settlement offer is fair and comprehensive, we at ELG ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS strongly recommend consulting an attorney; at worst, they’ll confirm that you’re being fairly compensated and give you peace of mind, and at best, they could stop you from being scammed out of the settlement you deserve. So, please, call us today at (623) 877-3600.