Sneaky Tricks Insurance Adjusters Use in Accident Claims
If you were injured in a car wreck, odds are very high that the other driver’s insurance will be the one to pay out compensation for your losses. This means you’ll end up needing to work with the insurance company’s representative—the insurance adjuster.
We wish we could tell victims that this will be a seamless process. In reality, insurance adjusters have many sneaky tricks up their sleeves for denying claims or lowering the amount they payout. Nevada’s major insurance companies didn’t get this large by being generous—instead, they profit enormously when unsuspecting victims are fleeced by sneaky insurance adjuster tricks like those explained below.
The Insurance Adjuster Refuses to Communicate Promptly
Many accident victims have loads of questions about their claims. Unfortunately, they find that getting in touch with the insurance adjuster is a real hassle.
For example, many victims find out:
- They are given a general number and not the insurance adjuster’s direct line
- The adjuster is never in the office
- The adjuster doesn’t return calls, even if you leave a voice mail
- The adjuster doesn’t respond to written communications or emails
- The adjuster claims he needs to research an issue or talk to someone else in the company but never gets back to you with an answer
Without clear communication, accident victims are left unsure about what to do or whether their claim will ever be settled.
Trust us: this miscommunication is intentional. Insurance adjusters can certainly hop on a phone call and respond to a voicemail message—they are simply choosing not to. Their thinking is this: the less they communicate, the more anxious and nervous accident victims will feel. And the more accident victims are anxious, the more likely they are to accept a settlement.
And for those adjusters who really play dirty? Well, Nevada has a statute of limitations that requires car accident victims to file a lawsuit within two years. If you miss the deadline, tough luck. You won’t receive any compensation no matter how severe your injuries. Some adjusters might string a victim along for months with the hope that the victim misses the deadline
Insurance Adjusters Fish for an Admission of Fault
Nevada is a comparative fault state. There are two consequences of this:
- If you are more to blame than the other driver for the wreck, you can’t sue. You have to shoulder all your losses.
- Even if you are less than 50% to blame, your compensation gets reduced by your proportion of fault. So a motorist who is 30% to blame and has suffered $100,000 in damages can receive, at most, $70,000.
Insurance adjusters are aware of both facts. And both can work to their advantage. If you admit to being primarily responsible for the wreck? They have no incentive to settle with you. You won’t get a dime. And if they can get you to admit to being just a little at fault? Well, they can then reduce how much they payout and pad their bottom line.
Insurance adjusters are always fishing for evidence to use against you. One common technique is to request a recorded statement to talk about the accident. However, as you try to tell your version of events, the adjuster might interrupt and ask questions like:
- “You weren’t really paying attention, right?”
- “You never saw the driver, if I’m understanding you correctly, yes?”
- “You were probably really tired after a long day of work…”
It is extremely easy to just say, “yeah” or “uh huh”—regardless of whether the statement is true. But guess what? The adjuster could claim you are admitting to being negligent or careless. Driving while fatigued or failing to check over your shoulder are examples of negligence, and the adjuster could claim you are partially to blame for the wreck.
The Adjuster Acts Like Your Friend
We don’t want people to be paranoid. There are, in fact, friendly insurance adjusters, just like there are genuinely nice people in all fields of employment.
But be on guard for someone who seems just a little too nice. What do we mean? This is a person digging for personal information about you that doesn’t really have anything to do with the claim. For example, they might ask what you did on the weekend or over the holidays. They might be fishing for evidence you traveled or visited friends. They can then use this evidence as proof your injuries aren’t too serious or you don’t feel much pain.
Adjusters Go Through Social Media with a Fine-Tooth Comb
Increasingly, insurers rely on investigators to find information to use against accident claimants. One prime source of information is your social media accounts—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
They will look for anything helpful:
- You might have written a post about the accident. They will see if you are admitting to fault.
- You might have posted pictures of yourself partying the night before a wreck. They might claim this is proof you were intoxicated before the accident.
- You might give updates to friends or family on how you are feeling. They might use these statements to show your injuries are not very serious.
Some social media platforms also allow users to update their location. Even if you don’t post anything, an arrow might pop up on the account showing you have traveled to Colorado or California. An insurance adjuster might leap on this fact to show you must be feeling fine, otherwise, you wouldn’t have left home.
Insurance Adjusters Can Record People in Public
Take the trash out to the curb? Throw a ball with a kid on your front lawn? You might be getting recorded by an insurance adjuster staked out in a parked car with tinted windows.
This might sound crazy, but it’s true. Insurance adjusters increasingly use detectives to try and catch injured victims leaving the house. Even if you are just putting the trash on the curb, they might take a picture and claim that your injuries are negligible.
Another Dirty Trick: Delayed Negotiations
Even if the fault is crystal-clear, some insurance adjusters drag their heels and refuse to offer a fair settlement in a timely manner. Why are they stalling?
The answer is simple. Most accident victims are in so much pain they cannot work. With no income coming in the door, they also have high medical bills. Their other bills don’t get paid. Cable, TV, utilities—the bills continue to pile up, right next to your notice that your mortgage or rent is due.
When accident victims feel financial stress, they are more likely to grab at the first offer, no matter how meager it is. Unfortunately, this is almost always a mistake. Any settlement comes with a big catch: you sign a release essentially agreeing you won’t sue the defendant in the future for compensation arising out of this accident. That type of release is perfectly legal, judges will enforce it, and it is in every settlement agreement we have ever seen.
Delay tactics put the squeeze on accident victims desperate for money. More than one accident victim has settled for far less than they were entitled to after an insurance adjuster began stalling.
Dealing with a Claims Adjuster? Naqvi Can Help
We have helped countless accident victims obtain compensation following car accidents. Let us tackle the insurance adjusters while you give 100% of your time to getting well. We know every sneaky trick insurers use and can protect your rights in the process. Call for a free consultation.