To get medical bills paid and obtain compensation for injuries, South Carolina car and motorcycle accident victims have to go through the at-fault driver’s insurance company adjuster. Adjusters have one job—settle your case as cheaply as possible, no matter how hurt you are and no matter how friendly they seem.
To shortchange unsuspecting victims, adjusters employ a variety of unsavory tactics you can combat. The insurance company doesn’t matter—adjusters do the same things to cheat victims at Allstate, State Farm, GEICO, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Travelers, or anywhere.
A primary adjuster goal is to prevent seriously hurt victims from contacting a car or motorcycle accident attorney. Before we look at their tactics for this, let’s talk about why.
Why Adjusters Don’t Want You to Get an Attorney
No one is an island, but you are if you take on the adjuster alone. And you’re a very small, inexperienced, wounded one with no resources, compared to the massive insurance company.
Simply put, an experienced car and motorcycle accident attorney can level the playing field in ways you might not even expect, help you'll really need if you're a motorcycle accident victim. But chief among them is determining, protecting, and pursuing your right to the full value of your case. That means the insurance company might have to pay more than it wants. Insurance companies hate that. It prevents them from making money.
That’s why adjusters put up a fight to keep you from an attorney. They can isolate you from knowing your rights, then wear you down with delay tactics until you give up—allowing them to pounce on you with a cheap settlement.
Sound like hyenas thinning a wildebeest herd by selecting a crippled one to attack and devour? Good, because that’s exactly what it is.
Here’s the point. If adjusters work this hard to keep you from getting an attorney, shouldn’t you wonder if you need one?
If you’ve made the smart choice to contact an attorney, you don’t have to tell the adjuster. If you do, don’t fall prey to their cunning strategies to keep you cut off from legal knowledge.
Adjuster Tricks to Keep You Away From Attorneys
Here are things you might hear from an adjuster if you tell him you’re considering an attorney. And here’s what you should think about when you hear them.
- “Why do you need an attorney? I’ll work with you on the claim.” Answer: You better believe the adjuster will work with you—in the insurance company’s best interest, to settle it fast and cheap. You need an attorney because you’re an inexperienced, seriously injured amateur going against a seasoned professional backed by the limitless resources of a mammoth insurance company. As stated before, there are many good reasons why victims should contact a car or motorcycle accident attorney.
- “The claim won’t be any more valuable just because you get an attorney.” Answer: The problem is, you don’t know what that value is, because you don’t do this for a living like an adjuster or an experienced attorney. The adjuster is motivated to cheat you out of money, so you can’t count on him to do right by you. And experienced attorneys can make many cases more valuable by knowing how to preserve and present evidence that’s admissible in court to maximize your financial recovery. That’s especially true for evidence that’s hard to prove, like pain and suffering, the cost of future medical care, and punitive damages, if they apply. Plus adjusters won’t help you determine if there’s extra insurance on your own policy that can help pay. They certainly won’t help you protect your rights to that coverage, which can be extinguished if you sign the wrong type of settlement document.
- “The attorney takes at least a third of your recovery. Why should that third go to him when the two of us can work things out together?” Answer: Attorney fees in serious injury cases are well worth it. You can count on the adjuster negotiating your case for a dramatically cheaper amount because they don’t have to settle with you for full value, since you likely don't know it. And an honest accident attorney should tell you when you can be better off without an attorney—that’s what we do. I will talk myself out of a fee if I think it will make you happier in the end.
- “Why do you need a lawyer if I’m looking out for your best interests?” Answer: There’s no need to dwell on this. It’s a lie.
- “If you get a lawyer, we won’t have the convenience of working together directly any more on this claim.” Answer: Ask yourself how convenient it’s been for you so far. Wouldn’t you rather have a professional deal with the adjuster and worry about getting him on the phone, so you don’t have to worry about it anymore and can focus on just getting better?
- “If you hire a lawyer, it will slow down the claim process.” Answer: Wrong. If you have a hard-working attorney, it might actually speed it up. Attorneys can get adjusters to work faster by submitting solid evidence packages with firm settlement offers—and time limits adjusters have to respond to, or else. The only thing that can speed up the process for you is to quit and shortchange yourself with a cheap settlement that doesn’t reflect how bad you’re hurt. That’s exactly what the adjuster wants.
- “If you get a lawyer, we will have to hire one.” Answer: Not so. Insurance companies generally don’t hire lawyers unless we file a lawsuit when we can’t get it settled otherwise.
- “If you don’t accept this amount now, we will withdraw all offers.” Answer: This is generally an empty threat. If your case has value, they are bound in good faith to settle it. They are preying on your fear.
Get Informed. Get Peace of Mind.
The greatest enemy of the car or motorcycle accident victim is ignorance. Your lack of knowledge—and lack of access to it—can cost you in your claim. That’s why adjusters want to keep you from it.
You don’t have to worry about that anymore. You can get answers from our FREE BOOK on crash cases so you can get informed on your case. To get your questions answered on the phone or in a FREE strategy session with no obligation to hire us, call us toll-free at 888-230-1841 or fill out a Get Help Now form. You can also scout what it’s like to work with us on Avvo or Google +.