6 Sneaky Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Devalue and Deny Personal Injury Claims
Most people believe their insurance company has their best interests at heart and will treat them fairly if they’re hurt in an accident. After all, drivers and others in the State of New Jersey pay hefty sums to comply with state law mandating they carry insurance at all times. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t the case; insurers are for-profit companies that care about their bottom line – a bottom line that gets bigger the less money they pay for injury victims’ claims. To achieve their goal there are several sneaky, manipulative tactics they often use against victims like you.
Insurance companies are master manipulators, so they know time is on their side and can be used to pressure victims into accepting lower payments. Insurers know some injuries don’t completely manifest at the time of the accident, so they may contact you immediately with a low settlement offer before you know the extent of your injuries or while you are still traumatized, confused, and vulnerable. Many people take the offer before they can make good choices or understand what a reasonable settlement in their case should be.
On the other hand, in some cases once an insurer contacts you, they delay as long as possible in finalizing claims and handing out checks. This is a tactic to make you desperate for payment of your mounting medical bills or in order to compensate for your inability to work due to injury. They hope you’ll either settle for less or stop pursuing a claim completely.
Requesting Recorded Statements
Insurance adjustors nearly always request permission to record your calls or a statement about the accident and your injuries. Never allow this; it’s a sneaky method to get you to say something that allows them to twist your words or use them against you and devalue your claim. Even responding “fine” if asked how you are today might be used to argue you aren’t as injured as you claim and deserve less money.
Disputing Medical Claims
Insurance adjustors commonly argue you weren’t as injured as you claim, your injuries are not healing quickly enough, or your treatment is taking too long and won’t be covered in a payout. What they are actually doing when giving unqualified advice on medical decisions is trying to coerce you to end treatment prematurely so they can reverse course and then argue that you went against medical advice so your claim is worth less.
Medical Record Authorizations
It’s important never to agree to sign a medical record authorization for an insurance company. The request may seem like no big deal, but the reason insurers want you to sign is to request access to your complete, lifetime medical history to search for details that will help them deny your claim. Your records might bring up a childhood illness or sports injury from your days at Elizabeth High School, leading the insurance company to claim you had a preexisting medical condition which is causing your injuries or else making your injuries from the accident worse.
Partial or Complete Liability Denial
Insurers often assert their policyholder was not at fault in order to completely deny claims. They also commonly claim you contributed to your accident or another involved party was responsible. If they want to partially deny your claim even though their client is at-fault, it’s normal to see arguments that you weren’t actually as badly injured as you claim.
Advising You Against Hiring a Lawyer
Insurers often tell victims lawyers are expensive and unnecessary to persuade you not to hire counsel. In reality, victims represented by attorneys typically:
- Receive larger settlements,
- Typically work on contingency and only get paid after you do, and
- Learn about all their legal rights and options and can make informed decisions.
Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The bottom line after an injury is victims are vulnerable; insurance companies know that and want to capitalize on it to keep you from compensation you deserve and pad their bottom line. To keep insurance companies with extensive resources from denying or undervaluing your claim, you need an experienced, aggressive advocate on your side to help protect your rights, stand up to insurers, and fight for your recovery. The skilled New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Sarofiem & Antoun LLC have spent years helping injury victims get the settlement they need to put their life back together after a traumatic accident. Contact us 24/7 at (201) 792-3333 to schedule your free initial consultation today. Take the first step towards the best possible outcome in your case – call today!