It’s been said before, but it’s worth saying again: If you’ve been injured in a wreck, the other party’s insurance company is not your friend. That adjuster on the phone may seem genuinely kind and caring, but their job isn’t so much “pay claims fairly” as it is “mitigate the losses to the company.”
Most people have no idea just how many ways insurance adjusters will try to devalue a car accident claim – but knowledge is power. Here are the tactics you should be prepared to encounter:
A super-fast call to check on you after the wreck.
It’s not even a full day since the accident, and the insurance adjuster is already calling. That attentive service isn’t about you, however. Instead, the insurance adjuster may:
- Hope to quickly establish feelings of trust between you, so that you’ll be more inclined to rely on them (and not seek legal guidance of your own) during the claims process.
- Try to get you to agree to a recorded statement about the accident or your injuries, knowing full well that you may still be shaken up and not even 100% sure how badly you’re hurt.
- Get you on record saying something that could potentially damage your claim, such as “I didn’t even see the other driver coming!”
Since Arizona uses a comparative negligence rule, your compensation is reduced by whatever percentage of liability you bear for the wreck, and the insurance company may try to assign you more than is fair.
Blaming your injuries on something else.
It won’t take long before the adjuster wants to dig through your medical records and look for anything that can be used to say your injuries were mostly or wholly pre-existing.
They may push you for broad medical releases you don’t have to give, or they may try to send you to a doctor of their choosing for a supposedly “independent” evaluation.
Insurance companies know that car wreck victims are in a vulnerable state. They’re often suffering physically and financially in the immediate aftermath of a crash – which is why you need to quickly move to protect your legal interests.