Why Insurance Adjusters Aren’t Your Friend
When negotiating with an insurance adjuster, it’s likely that they’ll be a people person—a sociable, friendly, and generally polite correspondent who’s well trained and can certainly assist you in reaching a settlement quickly. As such, they’ll usually claim that they have your best interests in mind and just want to help—however, you shouldn’t place too much stock in these statements or treat adjusters like a trusted friend, even if they make a convincing effort.
This isn’t to badmouth adjusters; on the contrary, insurance adjusters are ultimately people too, and many truly are reasonable, friendly individuals who are glad to help. Yet for all their pleasantries, adjusters are ultimately employees working for for-profit insurance companies; their ultimate obligation is to maximize profits, and that means minimizing how much they pay you. On top of this, it’s far from unheard of for adjusters to utilize dishonest, unscrupulous tactics to sabotage the compensation of their clients, so you should always be wary.
How Adjusters Try to Minimize Your Claim
In general, insurance adjusters use a friendly facade to achieve one of two things; achieving a quick, no-questions-asked settlement, or securing evidence that can be used against you:
- Most victims just want to get their money and get out; they aren’t interested in any sort of legal battle or anything that could delay their compensation. Adjusters, knowing this, will usually offer, quick, easy settlement offers that cater to their client’s needs—what they won’t mention, however, is that these initial offers are usually significantly undervalued, meaning that it’s always a risk to accept a settlement before consulting an auto accident attorney.
- Insurance adjusters will usually ask for formal, recorded statements, but it’s in your best interest to avoid providing these unless absolutely necessary. These types of statements will only ever be used against you and can result in tricky legal scenarios if you inadvertently say too much or contradict your claim in some fashion.
- Prior social media auto accident cases have already demonstrated that social media posts, even when made to “private” sections, can be discovered and used against you in many cases, especially in the context of legitimizing or calling into doubt your injuries. As such, treat your social media as though you were talking to your adjuster directly, being careful to avoid anything that could contradict your statements.
At times, insurance adjusters may also deny a claim in what’s known as bad faith; under Arizona’s bad faith laws, this involves cases in which an insurance company declines, fails to process, or fails to pay a claim for an unreasonable cause. As this involves an intentional breach of duty of care, bad faith cases tend to involve extensive amounts of compensation.
Let an Arizona Accident Attorney Advise You
Without legal experience, it’s nearly impossible to accurately tell whether or not an adjuster is acting honestly; as such, it’s always a good idea to talk to a Phoenix auto accident attorney before talking to your adjuster too much. Simply having a lawyer on your side can often net you a larger settlement, faster, as insurance companies don’t want to deal with the financial hassle of a long negotiation process either. If you’ve been hurt in a crash in Arizona, give us a call at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation and discuss how ELG can best help you. Even if your accident is minor, ironically, talking to a lawyer can often be the best way to realize that you might not need a lawyer at all, giving you peace of mind if you do settle with an honest adjuster.