Huge Mistake #2
Speaking to a claims adjuster without legal advice
DO NOT SPEAK TO ANYONE ABOUT YOUR ACCIDENT OR INJURY BEFORE TALKING TO A LAWYER! You especially don’t want to speak to claims adjusters. They want to trick you into saying something that will deny you money. Insurance companies have access to all of your information, so even an accidental slip of the tongue can revoke your right to compensation.
It’s no surprise that the other side wants to give you less money, but even your own insurance company has an interest in giving you little or no money. They want to keep their money too. Speaking to any claims adjuster without legal advice, regardless of what side they are on, can damage your case and leave you drowning in debt.
Insurance companies are not legally required to be honest with you. This is not to say that all of them will lie, but I have personally seen cases where the insurance agents intentionally misrepresent facts, understate the money you are owed, and pressure victims of accidents to take early settlements in order to pay out as little money as possible. These people have heard it all, and they will not be moved by your plight.
Insurance companies want to pressure you into accepting a small settlement, and its not unheard of that they will say if you don’t accept it soon, than the money will go away. THIS IS NOT TRUE! In times like these, it might seem easier to take a few thousand dollars now, instead of going through the process of hiring an attorney. This money will not go away if you hire an attorney. Again,we might determine that it’s best to take the settlement they offer, but if you don’t pursue all of your options, you could be stuck with a small amount that doesn’t cover your medical expenses or your loss of income, when you were entitled to much more.
I had a client that we’ll call Kate. Before she contacted me, she talked to the claims adjuster. She made many mistakes on the phone that damaged case. She had considered calling a lawyer sooner, but she didn’t want to have to pay attorney’s fees. Kate decided to represent herself. It did not take long for her to realize that she did not know what she was doing. She contacted me after making many mistakes, but it was too late. She had forfeited her right to a settlement. There was nothing we could do.
When you try to fight the insurance companies alone, it’s like you’re stepping into the boxing ring with Mike Tyson.