Four Tactics Insurance Claims Adjusters Use to Trip You Up

By Greg Kohn

If you are injured in a car accident, the insurance adjuster for the other driver may contact you to discuss your claim. Even if you have the same insurance company as the other driver, the insurance adjuster is not on your side. An insurance claims adjuster works to protect the insurance company’s best interest, which includes paying the smallest amount to settle your claim or gaining evidence to deny your claim.

Before discussing your claim with an insurance claims adjuster, you may want to consult with experienced New Jersey car accident attorneys. An attorney can help you avoid some of the insurance tactics designed to trip you up and hurt your chance of recovering full compensation for your claim.

Four Common Tactics Used by Insurance Claims Adjusters

  1.  Requesting a Written or Recorded Statement
    This tactic is one of the most common tactics used by insurance claims adjusters. The adjuster may tell you that providing a statement is required to process your claim. He might explain that he is just gathering information to process your claim quickly.
    Anything you say in a statement can be used later to undermine your claim. For example, if you innocently state that you overslept and was running late for work, the insurance company may try to argue that you were rushed that morning. Therefore, you were distracted and/or speeding at the time of the crash. Your actions must have contributed to the cause of the accident, so you should not receive full compensation for your injuries.
    Don’t fall for this tactic. Always consult with a New Jersey car accident attorney before providing a statement.
  2. Signing a Medical Records Release Form
    This tactic is closely related to asking for a statement. The insurance claims adjuster may give you a medical records release form while explaining this procedure is simply to verify your injuries so you can receive your check. The adjuster may not point out that the release form is unlimited in its scope. Therefore, the insurance company can poke around your entire medical history.
    The purpose of this tactic is to discover prior injuries or conditions. The insurance company may allege that your current claim of injury is related to a prior accident or injury. Again, the company is searching for a way to undervalue or deny your claim. Don’t give the chance to trip you up.
  3.  Telling You an Attorney Will Just Take Your Money
    You have the right to legal counsel, but an insurance claims adjuster might tell you that an attorney will take your money for doing the same thing that you can do. What the claims adjuster is not telling you is that many people who hire attorneys receive a larger settlement than individuals who “go it alone.” An attorney ensures that you are being treated fairly and any settlement offered by the company is reasonable and just.
  4. Offering You a Settlement Very Quickly
    If the insurance claims adjuster knows that the company is liable for your damages and your damages may be substantial, he may offer you a quick settlement. Adjusters know that accident victims who are out of work may be experiencing a financial burden because of the accident. They may take advantage of your need for funds to settle a claim for less than the claim is worth.

Settling an accident claim before you know the full extent of your injuries may result in a much lower settlement amount. Once you sign a release, you cannot go back to the insurance company for more money even if you discover additional injuries and damages. Consulting an attorney before accepting a settlement amount can help you avoid being cheated out of compensation you are entitled to receive.

Contact Trusted New Jersey Car Accident Attorneys For More Information

Our New Jersey car accident attorneys are familiar with the tactics used by insurance companies and their insurance claims adjusters. Let us deal with the adjusters and insurance company. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey car accident lawyers as soon as possible after the injury to ensure you protect your legal rights. We protect your legal right to seek full compensation of all damages.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.