PROVIDING PROFESSIONAL AND AGGRESSIVE LEGAL SERVICES TO CAR ACCIDENT VICTIMS IN CHARLESTON, SC AND SUMMERVILLE, SC
Ever wonder why commercials from insurance companies are so warm and fuzzy. Whether you employ a duck that talks like Gilbert Godfried, or you hawk the "Discount Double Check" with Aaron Rodgers, or you have Peyton Manning shilling for your company while he eats his Chick Parm sandwich, these commercials that otherwise seem cute and pointless serve a very critical purpose. It is the attempt by the insurance company to lure you into the illusion that they have your best interest at heart. If you ever need confirmation that the insurance company is not there to protect your best interest, then welcome to the world of personal injury claims.
Lesson one to remember about insurance companies . . . They exist to make a profit!! Let me repeat that in case you missed it . . . They exist to make a profit!! That is the reason for their being, its not charity, its not philanthropy . . . they exist to make money and pay out legitimate claims as cheaply as possible.
Claims adjusters are professionals at what they do! They are hired and promoted on two specific character traits. One, they will be very friendly to you. Personality is a sub-conscious mechanism used in all theaters of persuasion to elicit responses from people in an emotional rather than logical manner. Second, claims adjusters are money savers. Promotion within insurance companies is directly tied to profitability and cost reduction. Adjusters will reach out to an accident victim quickly in hopes of settling any potential injury claim as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They also go for the gusto quickly so that the injured does not have time to hire an attorney.
I wanted to take this opportunity to write this article after a recent experience of a friend who tried to navigate this system on her own prior to contacting me for some guidance . . .
10 TRICKS USED BY THE INSURANCE COMPANY TO DENY YOUR CLAIM
- THEY CLAIM TO BE ON YOUR SIDE
- As mentioned above, nothing could be further from the truth. The primary and only obligation of the adjuster is to settle your claim for as cheaply as possible! The future salary, job security, and promotion potential of the adjuster is specifically tied to how cheaply they can pay you off.
- ADVISING YOU NOT TO SEEK OR HIRE A LAWYER
- I have to admit this is not as prevalent as it used to be back before smart phones and general public surveillance, but yes there are still adjusters that will flat out advise you not to hire a lawyer. They will try to convince you that lawyers only delay settlement and reduce your settlement. That is patently false. Any personal injury attorney worth his or her salt will undoubtedly increase your net settlement from an accident while also having your legal fees paid for so that you don't have to come out of pocket.
- ASKING FOR A RECORDED STATEMENT
- Adjusters will always push for you to make a recorded statement prior to hiring an attorney. Adjusters are expert interrogators and they will pull any information they can to reduce the value of your case and diminish the extent of your injuries. Adjuster have even tried in the past to say a recorded statement in necessary prior to any settlement of the claim.
- PRESENTING A QUICK SETTLEMENT IN RETURN FOR A FULL RELEASE
- Insurance adjusters will undoubtedly offer a quick settlement amount to an accident victim in exchange for a full release. This allows the insurance company to 1.) Prevent you from seeking any legal advice concerning your compensable injuries and 2.) Allow them to "buy you off" before you have even started and completed any medical treatments. The sooner you give them the release, the bigger discount you have given the adjuster because now any injuries or treatments that come up later as a result of the accident are on you . . . you cashed out early and let the insurance company walk!
- DENYING PAYMENT OF YOUR CLAIM
- The theory on this practice is simple. While you as the accident victim struggle to make ends meet while missing work and having medical bills pile up, the insurance company will wait you out and deny, deny, deny, . . . The specific aim is to get you as the victim to "crack" and take less money simply out of desperation.
- ASKING FOR AUTHORIZATION TO OBTAIN YOUR MEDICAL RECORDS
- Insurance Adjusters will also seek to get your authorization to allow them to access your medical records under the guise of "knowing the extent of your injuries." Adjusters know that if they can get this authorization prior to you hiring a lawyer, these records can be manipulated to reduce an offer of settlement by claiming pre-existing conditions and personal neglect are the basis for your claimed injuries, not the negligence of their insured.
- MISREPRESENTING THE COVERAGE OF YOUR POLICY
- This is most often seen when you are dealing with your own insurance company due to an "uninsured driver," "under-insured driver," or "hit an run" claim. Adjuster have flat out lied to clients and told them that they do not have the applicable coverage in their policy to collect under these clauses. If you are told by your own insurance company that you do not have any of these coverages, ask to see a copy of your refusal of these coverages. By law, the insurance company has to make a "meaningful offer" to you for uninsured and under-insured coverage. This requires a signed refusal by you! Have them show you the signed waiver!
- SURVEILLANCE AND SPYING
- Insurance companies, especially in cases involving higher-end pay outs and more serious claimed injuries, will hire private investigators to follow you, check you out, and photograph and video tape you. It is always imperative that you are honest and forthright about your injuries. Always operate from the assumption that the insurance company, at the very least, will send out a spy on a fact finding mission to check up on you and your activities.
- DENYING LIABILITY FOR YOUR CLAIM
- This point will reinforce the need to call law enforcement and get an accident report concerning your car wreck. Insurance companies will try any combination of saying the wreck was your fault, that you contributed to the accident, or that another third-party was at fault and that they are not liable to pay for your injuries.
- DISPUTING YOUR MEDICAL NEEDS
- Insurance adjusters will try to play doctor and tell you that your medical records, proposed treatments, and prognosis do not support your claim for injuries. Remember, these guys are corporate bureaucrats not licensed medical professionals. Your personal injury attorney will have access to your treating physicians and have a true understanding of your needs.
THE MCMILLIAN LAW FIRM - CHARLESTON, SC AND SUMMERVILLE, SC CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
Contact me at The McMillian Law Firm. Once you have obtained legal representation on your matter, the insurance company must cease direct contact and deal with your lawyer instead. Contact me as soon as possible so that I may conduct a site visit of the accident and begin to obtain witness statements, police reports, and all relevant materials I need to build your case towards an acceptable settlement or trial.
It is never too early to contact me! Each and every day is a day the insurance company will try and short-change your claim. I am available for home visits, hospital visits, nights and weekends, just let me know what works for you.
If you have been involved in a car accident and live in Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Summerville, James Island, West Ashley, Goose Creek, Moncks Corner, Walterboro, Folly Beach, or any of the other fine communities of the South Carolina Low Country, contact The McMillian Law Firm now!! 843-900-1306 or email at [email protected]