Insurance adjusters work to save their companies money. They want the insurance company they work for to pay as little in compensation as possible. Some insurance adjusters use improper tactics to convince you to accept smaller settlements than you are fairly entitled to. Heuser & Heuser, Pueblo personal injury attorneys, want you to be aware of these tactics, so that you may protect yourself against them.
You Have the Right to File Against Any Liable Party
Generally speaking, insurance adjusters want to keep you from filing a claim with their company. Oftentimes, multiple parties are involved in personal injury cases. In these scenarios, insurance adjusters know that they can sometimes persuade an injury claimant to file a claim with the insurer of one of the other liable parties. The adjuster will tell you that their client is less at fault than another liable individual, trying to get you to switch your plan of attack away from the company they work for.
When adjusters try this tactic, don’t let it deter you from submitting your claim. You have the right to file a claim against any liable party you choose. Eventually, the fault will be decided and one or more of the insurance companies involved will be responsible for compensation. Until the fault is determined, however, you should file claims with all insurance companies involved so as to ensure you receive your full compensation.
The Statute of Limitations Is Your Only Time Constraint
Insurance adjusters are aware that many personal injury claimants are unfamiliar with the process of filing a claim. They can take advantage of that unfamiliarity by asking you to provide a huge amount of totally unnecessary records, often diving deep into your past medical history. It can take a long time for injured individuals to track down medical records that are many years old.
The adjuster will wait until you’ve gathered all the requested documents, to possibly then tell you that too much time has passed between the accident and your claim submission. They may try and convince you that your claim will be disqualified on the grounds of being overly tardy. The company will then offer you an unfairly small settlement hoping that you’ll quickly agree to the low compensation out of fear that you won’t get another offer.
Do not fall for this tactic. The statute of limitations is the only time limit on filing a personal injury claim. As long as your claim is submitted within the statute of limitations for your state, it will not be disqualified on the grounds of being tardy.
There is one caveat to the above statement. If you’re submitting a claim to your personal insurance company, your policy may specifically designate a certain time period within which you must file a claim. But even if you file outside of this time period, the company is still obligated to review your submission unless the tardiness of the claim inhibits the company’s ability to investigate the claim.
You Don’t Need to Disclose Collateral Sources
If you’re receiving collateral imbursement from other sources, the insurance adjuster has no right to know about those. The adjuster may ask you to disclose all collateral financial resources, hoping that you will take a lower compensation on the argument that you’re receiving money from others. However, you are protected by the “collateral source rule” and are not obligated to reveal those sources (unless you’re a citizen of California).