You may think the role of an insurance adjuster is just doing the paperwork required to give victims the limits of their coverage after a crash. Unfortunately, an adjuster who pays out the maximum on every claim isn’t going to keep their job for long. However, an adjuster who can save the company money—by denying claims or reducing the amount paid to victims—is going to get bonuses, raises, and other incentives.
Put Yourself in the Insurance Adjuster’s Shoes
An adjuster cares about one thing: settling claims with the best possible terms for the insurance company. This can involve a wide range of manipulative tactics, including:
- Acting sympathetic. Victims are hurting physically and emotionally after a motorcycle accident, and the insurance adjuster may play on this by lending a sympathetic ear. This encourages you to start talking freely about the crash, potentially revealing details that could lower your payout.
- Recording your conversation. The insurance adjuster may tell you that your call is being recorded for “feedback” or “company policy.” In reality, it’s to get you to say something that can be used against you later.
- Offering a quick settlement. An insurance adjuster who seems eager to settle your claim should set off warning bells. When the insurer cuts you a check, they also make you sign a document saying you won’t get any more for your accident, even if your injuries get worse.
- Steering you away from a lawyer. The adjuster may try to assure you that you don’t need a lawyer because the two of you can work out a compromise. The truth is that attorneys are only bad for insurance companies. Lawyers provide valuable information to their clients and are much better at negotiations, hurting the insurer’s chances of underpaying you and getting away with it.
Tips for Dealing With an Insurer After a Motorcycle Crash
Keep in mind that insurance companies only need a few basic facts to process your claim, such as your name and contact details, the date and time of the accident, and the at-fault driver’s policy number (or your policy number). If the insurance adjuster calls for more information, you can protect your rights by:
- Refusing to give a recorded statement. You are within your rights to ask that the conversation not be recorded. If the adjuster refuses, request that questions be sent to you in writing and end the call as soon as possible.
- Keeping a written record of all contact with the insurance company. Whenever you get a call, email, or any other request from an insurer, make sure you document it. Take down the name of the insurance adjuster, any information you gave them, any amounts you discussed, and other important details.
- Refusing to negotiate. If you are offered an amount that won’t cover your full costs, don’t attempt to negotiate on your own. Insurance agents are trained in negotiation, and you could accidentally talk yourself out of a bigger settlement.
- Rescheduling the call. You have the right to refuse a call, reschedule a call, or stop the conversation at any time. If you feel pressured or think the adjuster is digging for information, reschedule the call for a later time when you have spoken to a lawyer.
- Calling GriffithLaw. We don’t charge anything to listen to the details of your accident and let you know where you stand. Even if you don’t hire us, you will still be in a better position to deal with an insurer on your own.
Once you are represented by a motorcycle crash attorney, the adjuster should cease all contact with you and deal directly with your lawyer. Our attorneys know what information insurance adjusters need and, just as importantly, what they don’t need. Once we know the full value of your claim, we take over negotiations with the insurer to help you get all you are entitled to under the law.
The legal team at GriffithLaw represents all of our injury clients on a contingency fee basis, so you will also not have to pay us anything until we get you the compensation you deserve. Get in touch with us today using our online form, or give us a call at (615) 807-7900 to schedule a free case evaluation.