The majority of personal injury claims are brought against insurance companies. State regulations mandate that insurers handle these claims in a fair manner. As an example, the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA) requires all insurance companies in Washington state to use good faith settlement practices.
Unfortunately, in reality, it can be challenging to get full and fair compensation after an accident. Insurers have a wide range of tools that they can use to deny or reduce the value of a claim. Below, our Spokane insurance dispute lawyers highlight five common insurance adjuster tactics that you need to know.
1. Calling the Victim Almost Immediately After the Accident
If you were injured in an accident—particularly a motor vehicle collision—it is not uncommon to receive a phone call from an insurance company within a few days. Insurers often act quickly to start developing their legal defense. Please know that you have a right to take your time to recover mentally, physically, and to gather your thoughts. Do not let the insurance company rush you.
2. Presenting Themselves as ‘Fact-Finders’—With a Friendly, Disarming Tone
Insurance companies know that they have a legal obligation to pay out valid claims in a timely manner. In many cases, they will try to present themselves as friendly fact-finders just looking to gather information. This is misleading. Insurers are fundamentally interested in protecting their own bottom line. They are not impartial parties in the claims process. Insurance adjusters are trained to find things to use against you to deny or reduce your claim. Keep your guard up.
3. Implying that You are Legally Required to Give a Recorded Statement
You are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement to a third party insurance company immediately after an accident. While they know the law, an insurance company representative may subtly imply that you “should” give a statement or that they “need” more information to begin processing your claim. You should consult with a lawyer before giving a statement.
4. Pushing a Quick (Low) Settlement Offer
A quick settlement is often an unfair settlement. When insurers know their liability is clear, they will shift strategies and start focusing on limiting the total value of a settlement. They understand that victims want to resolve their case and move forward with their life. Unfortunately, in some cases, they lead with fast, unfair settlement offers. Make sure you know the true value of your personal injury claim.
5. Discouraging the Victim from Hiring an Attorney
Never let an insurance company discourage you from hiring a lawyer. If an insurance adjuster is recommending that you avoid “getting an attorney involved”, take that as a serious red flag. You always have the right to work through a lawyer who has the skills and experience to hold the company accountable and protect your best interests.
Speak to a Spokane Insurance Denial Lawyer Today
At Albrecht Law PLLC, we are experts of insurance law in Washington. If your personal injury claim was denied by the insurance company, our legal team is ready to help. To set up a no cost, wholly confidential review of your case, please contact our lawyers today. We represent victims throughout Eastern Washington, including in Spokane County, Whitman County, Adams County, and Garfield County. Call (509) 495-1246.