After a motor vehicle accident, contacting your insurance company to report the incident is routine. At least, it should be. While your insurance company provides you with a product and services, it always acts first to advance and protect its interests. The primary goal of any insurer is to pay the least possible amount for any claim. Here’s how to scare an insurance adjuster into offering you a fair settlement.
Insurance adjusters often try to intimidate policyholders from seeking total and fair compensation for their claims. Reminding adjusters that they serve you is often crucial, especially when you are entitled to benefits. Having a knowledgeable car accident attorney at your side can help you reduce stress and focus on your recovery while your lawyer handles the legal details.
How Insurance Companies Delay Paying You
Insurance adjusters will try anything they can to downplay your claim, such as criticizing your credibility and ignoring the evidence supporting your claim. Or, they might take a passive approach and fail to return your phone calls or make excuses for the process taking too long.
You cannot afford to let adjusters sweep you aside and move you further down their to-do lists. You can do several things to show an insurance adjuster that you will act persistently and proactively in pursuing benefits for your claim.
Take the Initiative
One method of scaring an insurance adjuster is to take the initiative to show the adjuster you have a strong claim for benefits. You can collect and organize this evidence before speaking with the adjuster. Once the adjuster sees that you have a well-coordinated file of documentation for your claim, the adjuster will know that they are going to have a more difficult time with you than with the average claimant.
Documentation to gather includes:
- Police and other accident reports
- Photos of the accident scene
- Photos of your injuries
- Photos of damage to your car or other property
- Contact information for drivers and passengers involved in the accident
- Contact information for eyewitnesses,
- Medical bills and records related to treatment for your injuries
- Estimates for the repair of any damage to your car
- Pay stubs or other proof of your lost wages or income
- A journal of your pain and suffering showing how the injuries resulting from the accident have affected your daily life
Keep Your Word
Always deal with the adjuster truthfully. If you inform the adjuster about some fact, issue, or development in your case, always have the evidence to support your statement readily available. If you tell the adjuster that you will call at 9:00 every Monday morning until the insurance company pays you benefits for your claim, make sure you place the call every Monday morning.
You can show your persistence in pursuing fair compensation by acting aggressively and never taking no for an answer when dealing with an insurance adjuster or any insurance company representative.
Acting proactively in this situation includes:
- Contacting the adjuster regularly
- Keeping the adjuster informed of any developments in your case
- Keeping copies of all correspondence with the adjuster
- Requesting a copy of the adjuster’s case file
- Showing preparedness to provide additional documentation or evidence on request
- Informing the adjuster with your words and actions that you will not settle for less than what you deserve
Show Your Readiness to Sue
You have other options if an insurance adjuster remains obstinate and unwilling to pay any or a fair amount of benefits for your claim. One option is filing a personal injury lawsuit in a New York civil court. A lawsuit is an excellent last resort when settlement negotiations fail. The credible threat of a lawsuit will scare an insurance adjuster because the last thing they want is an expensive lawsuit on their hands.
A civil lawsuit is valuable when an adjuster refuses to offer a fair settlement for your claim. It shows you are serious and unafraid to take legal action. Insurance companies do not want to incur legal fees, so demonstrating your willingness and readiness to sue puts pressure on the insurance company to take your case seriously and consider a fair settlement.
Hire an Attorney
Hiring a car accident attorney will show any adjuster that you will not back down from seeking reasonable compensation for your claim. Once an attorney is involved, the insurance company knows it will have to play more fairly.
Contact an Experienced New York Car Accident Attorney
It is often an exasperating experience dealing with an insurance adjuster after a car accident. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney at Hach & Rose, LLP can help you level the playing field and reduce the stress and aggravation of negotiating with an insurance company. Call (212) 779-0057 or contact us online.