If you’re dealing with an insurance adjustor in Tennessee, there are certain questions you can ask him or her to know if they’re being honest and fair with you.
Question 1 – If I give you a recorded statement, will you give me a copy of the recorded statement your insured gave to you?
If the insurance company will give you a copy of the recorded statement they took from their insured when he/she reported the case to them, then you know that they are being fair and honest – and it’s not just a one way street of information. What does their person say about who caused this wreck? Did they accept responsibility? Did they blame you? These are things that you need to know, and have a right to know.
If they won’t give this to you, it may lead you question their fairness. Why is it that you are telling me I need to give you something, but you will not give me the same thing in return.
Their failure to provide this information should lead you to ask question number two.
Question 2 – If I give a recorded statement, will you promise me in writing that you will not turn around later and blame me for the wreck?
You’ve been involved in a wreck. You know what has happened. You may have been rear ended on the interstate or at a stop light, or the other person ran a red light, and caused this wreck. They are at fault 100%. There is nothing you did wrong.
The insurance company probably knows it too. However, they also know that you will be nervous and that you MAY slip up and say something that makes you appear to be at fault or, more commonly, partially at fault so that they can save some money by having something to argue that can lessen the value of your case. For example, they may say that you were not wearing a seatbelt, which by law cannot be used to reduce your claim. They may also say that you said during a statement that you saw the person “pull out, but thought they were going to stop and didn’t”, and then argue that you had time to avoid the wreck and place 25% of the blame on you.
You do not have to give a recorded statement to the liability insurance adjuster. They will tell you it is their policy and procedure but it is certainly NOT THE LAW. They still owe you just as much should you retain your right to not give a statement to the liability insurance adjuster.
*Careful…. You ARE REQUIRED to give a statement to your own insurance company. Your insurance contract requires that and can deny your claim for lack of cooperation if you don’t. However, be careful. You cannot trust them either. See my book for more details on what you need to be careful sharing with your own insurance company. Or see the video
Question 3 – Mr. Adjustor will you tell me how much insurance coverage your insured had at the time that he hit me?
In Tennessee, this is a big secret the insurance company keeps from you. We all know it is law that you must have insurance. The insurance company may say that it is their policy that they cannot provide this information to you. Again, their policy is NOT the law. It is the insurance companies choice not to share this information with you.
Many of our clients have medical bills that exceed the state minimum required insurance coverage of $25,000 per person. You need to know that up front. Why won’t they share that with you?
If they provide this information to you, you know that they’re being fair and honest with you. If they don’t, you know that they’re not.
Question 4 – Mr. Adjustor, will you please pay for my outstanding medical bills and hospital and emergency room bills RIGHT NOW?
They may tell you that it’s their “policy” that they can’t do that, and that “We can only pay one time at the end of your case.” LIE! Ask them to put up or shut up. Have the insurance adjuster show you one single law that says that. I have never found it in all my years of practice. Why? There IS NO SUCH LAW.
Don’t let them tell you that in order to receive payments now, you must go through your own car insurance Medical Payments policy. Don’t fall for that. That is poor advice. Besides that, you should never take advice from someone, no matter how nice they are, that is your ultimate adversary and works for a company that controls their actions that are against your best interests.
There is no law that says the liability insurance companies cannot pay these medical expenses in advance. I have regularly obtained advance payments on our clients’ behalf from liability insurance companies. They don’t want to do it, and it’s not their policy, but there’s nothing that prevents them from doing just that. Nothing.
Question 5 – Will you reimburse me for my out-of-pocket expenses and my lost wages?
At a minimum, the liability insurance company should be paying for your co-pays, your prescriptions, your mileage to and from the doctor, or for your lost wages. There is nothing, again, that prohibits them from doing that. "What are the reasons they don’t do this?" One of the reasons they don’t pay until the very end of your case is for one reason only, and you need to know what this is. They are trying to starve you out.
The insurance companies want you to be desperate. They are fine with you trying to live without your wages. They want you to be in debt for medical bills so that you will take their first pathetic low-ball offer they give you. That’s it. It’s not because any law prohibits them from doing that. It is the insurance company’s choice.
If you or someone you care about are dealing with an insurance adjuster, even a “nice and good” one, I would urge you to see just how fair and honest they are being with you. Let me know what you find out.
If you would like to discuss the facts of your Tennessee case, I am here to help. Please call me at 615-807-7900 and let me know your story.