Insurance companies have many tricks that they like to play on unexpecting policyholders. It helps to know what to expect and how to react when you encounter one. It is our goal and hope that this blog will be educational and empowering. In this article, we will address the serious problems insurance tricks after an accident can cause.
If you believe you need to consult with an accident attorney after reviewing this blog, give us a call or text at (602)-345-1818 to set up your free initial consultation with an insurance lawyer in Santa Fe, New Mexico. We'll review the facts of your case, then advise you on how to proceed.
Trick # 1 - Treating You Like a Pal
An insurance adjuster's main objective is to settle your claim for as little as possible. While they may seem easy to talk to, be aware that much of the time this is a tactic to have you put your guard down and say something you shouldn't. Don't fall for it. Refrain from oversharing, and give them only what they need to know. The insurance company is not your ally. They aren't trying to get you what you deserve; they will offer you the lowest amount that they can convince you to take. This brings us to the next trick.
Trick # 2 - Telling You That You Don't Need a Lawyer
You need a lawyer because you need someone on your side who is informed about legal issues and has experience with auto accident cases. You may be led to believe that your case is simple and doesn't require a lawyer. In reality, the first thing you want to do when you're told this is consult a lawyer. The insurance company will tell you that you don't need a lawyer because they know you'll probably get more money out of them. Here is some information on why you should get an insurance lawyer in Santa Fe, New Mexico to handle your case.
Trick #3 - Requesting More Than What Is Required
If your insurance company asks you to give a recorded statement we recommend against this until you speak with your lawyer. In some cases, you'll have to give a recorded statement to your insurer. Never give another insurance company a recorded statement. It is common for the other person's insurer to use phrases, such as, “an accident that could have happened to anyone” or “ it wasn't anyone's fault.” These and other misleading statements are used to get you to stumble over your words. They will try to twist what you said into an admission of fault. If you've been injured, insurers will often ask for a broad medical release form. This is frequently unnecessary. Never sign anything before consulting your lawyer.
Trick #4 - Offering a Quick Lowball Settlement
This offer will most likely be portrayed as putting an offer together quickly for you because they know “how hard it must be on you.” In reality, they know that you might be in serious need of the money and they are hoping that you'll accept their low offer. Having the money to pay for damages and medical care can relieve stress, but it will be far less than what you deserve. Accepting a lowball settlement is signing away your right to seek any further compensation from the accident. Click here to read our discussion on negotiating with the insurance company after a car accident.
Trick #5 - Dragging it Out
Insurers may also try to wait you out. If you were badly injured, they know that you probably aren't working. They might try to negotiate and slightly improve the offer after some time, hoping you'll be desperate enough to accept way less than what you deserve. Don't let their tricks discourage you into taking their low offer. Your lawyer will be working to try to get you the compensation you truly deserve and will do everything possible to move the insurance company along. Typically, claimants who hire lawyers will receive larger settlements.
Bad Faith Insurance
Insurance companies have a duty to their clients. If the insurance company fails to uphold its duty to you, you have grounds for a bad faith insurance lawsuit.
You may have a bad faith insurance lawsuit if:
- They took an unreasonable amount of time to pay your claim
- They imposed additional requirements beyond what is required to pay a claim
- Your claim was denied and you weren't given a satisfactory reason; it's legally required that they reveal a reason for the denial
- The insurance company inaccurately interprets their policy to minimize the cost of your claim
- The insurance company undervalued your claim after inadequately determining property damage
This is How You Stay in Control
We want you to have the information needed to make an informed decision. We wouldn't be doing our job if those who are well-intended don't have the information needed to protect themselves and their financial future. Always consult with an attorney. Don't put yourself in situations where you don't have to be and allow your words to be used against you. We will communicate and negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf.
Impact Legal has experienced lawyers licensed to practice in both Arizona and New Mexico. Call (602)-345-1818 for a free consultation with an insurance lawyer in Santa Fe, New Mexico today or fill out our online form.