Top Tricks Insurance Adjusters Use and How to Combat Them. It is bad enough that you were injured in a car crash, slip and fall or other accident because someone else was negligent. But now you have the added burden of trying to deal with an insurance adjuster who does not want to fairly compensate you for your injuries. At Burger Law, our personal injury lawyers have been standing up to bullies like resistant insurance companies for over 30 years. We know every trick in the book that insurance companies use, how to combat them and how to get our clients great results. We have offices in Chicago and St. Louis and serve the injured throughout Missouri and Illinois. Call us today at (314) 500-HURT or fill out our online form for a free consultation.
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Top 7 Tricks Missouri and Illinois Insurance Adjusters Use and How to Combat Them
While insurance companies are obligated to pay you for damages their policyholders cause, the adjusters are paid to compensate you for as little as possible. Many are pretty good at their jobs, but unfortunately for them, we're better. Below are the seven most common tricks your Burger Law personal injury lawyer has seen insurance adjusters try to use and the best ways to combat them.
1. Too Much Time Has Elapsed
The Trick: The insurance adjuster will say too much time has elapsed between the accident and your first treatment. They often ask us, "How do you know your client's injuries are from the accident you are making a claim for if they waited so long?"
How to Combat It: This is a common trick and the reason that personal injury lawyers tell people to seek medical attention right away after an accident, even if they do not think their injuries are severe. There are several ways to fight this. You can show proof that you did get some initial care or that you at least thought about getting medical attention. You can also mention that there are legitimate factors that caused you to delay treatment. Maybe you were out of town on work or your spouse was away so you had to take care of the kids. Often, a pregnant woman will not want to go to a chiropractor right away for a back injury because they do not want someone pushing against the baby.
2. You Only Get Compensation for Six Weeks of Treatment
The Trick: They will try to say injuries on average only need six weeks of treatment to heal, so they will not pay for anything after six weeks.
How to Combat It: We remind them that not everybody is average. If the average is six weeks, that means some people recover in two weeks and some people recover in six months. We tell them that our client's injuries are not required to conform to a statistic. Also, injuries vary. A herniated disc may take months of chiropractic and physical therapy appointments. You have a duty to try to mitigate your damages, meaning you have to return to work when able. We tell the insurance adjuster that if they want our client to go back to work, they will need several months of chiropractic appointments or physical therapy to do that.
If a case comes to trial, we will tell the jury, "Remember that knee injury from high school? That still bothers you, doesn't it?"
3. Low Property Damage or Low-Speed Impact
The Trick: In a car accident case, they will say pictures of the car do not show much damage or the impact happened at low speeds, so it is impossible that you could have sustained serious injuries from the collision.
How to Combat It: We use a couple strategies. The first is to use science. Force equals mass times acceleration. If the facts of the case support it, we can show how the impact from a larger vehicle at low speeds can cause the same impact as two similar vehicles at high speeds. Speed is not the only determining factor of how strong a collision can be.
The second is to get into the specifics of the car. Some vehicles are built differently and react differently to being hit at certain angles. We can show pictures of the interior of the vehicle. If the force of the crash was so low, how come all the airbags are out?
4. The Adjuster Only Looks at Outstanding Medical Bills
The Trick: The adjuster will evaluate the case based on the extent of the medical bills only, and not on the extent of your injuries.
How to Combat It: There are some severe injuries that are not going to acquire a lot of medical treatments. For example, if you break your ribs you are not going to have a lot of follow-up appointments, or if you have a herniated disc doctors cannot operate on, the medical bills might not reflect the extent of the injury. Your injury is still incredibly painful you might have significant issues with mobility and daily tasks. Sometimes an injury heals, but you still have numbing or tingling sensations. In those situations, we stand up for our clients and refuse to accept anything less than the full compensation you deserve. We let the adjuster know that we are not going to back down, and that if they want to they can let a jury determine the extent of your damages.
5. The Medical Provider Charged More Than They Should Have
The Trick: The adjuster says they will not pay for the full medical bills because the cost of the medical appointments should have been cheaper.
How to Combat It: We explain that the appointments were expensive because they included injections or MRIs and other tests. We will also consult with other hospitals and other doctors in the same field to see if the provider really overcharged. You can also point out that hospitals often do not tell you what the costs will be upfront and that you did not have a choice in which emergency room you visited.
We can also file a lawsuit to have your medical liens reduced.
6. Not Disclosing Policy Limits
The Trick: The insurance adjuster will not disclose their policyholder's policy limits, so you do not actually know the maximum amount you can get in a settlement.
How to Combat It: This does not apply in Illinois because the adjuster is required to disclose this, but Missouri insurance companies do this all the time. Often, the best thing to do is file a lawsuit for bad faith failure to settle so that we have access to the policy limit.
7. Injuries are Pre-Existing
The Trick: The insurance adjuster will say that a pre-existing medical condition is the actual cause of your injuries and need for medical treatment.
How to Combat It: That depends on the specifics of your case, but generally you show them how things are different for you now. For example, you had a herniated disc from an accident years ago, but have been asymptomatic and have not gotten any treatment for it in five years. Or, we can show that your back pain used to be limited to your lower back, but now that pain has radiated all the way up to your neck. An experienced personal injury lawyer will have a thorough understanding of your medical history so they can show how your life changed after your accident. It could be that you had a pre-existing condition but new symptoms only reveal themselves after the crash. Sometimes, a client gets in two accidents a few days apart and then gets treatment. In that case, we file one lawsuit against both drivers and let the negligent drivers argue it out with each other.
Experienced and Dedicated Personal Injury Attorneys | Burger Law
It is one thing to know what tricks insurance companies use, but for the best results in your case you need someone with the dedication, tenacity and experience to fight back against bullying adjusters for you. We handle all the negotiation and litigation in your case so you can focus on healing. Talking to us is free, so there is no risk in calling us to ask us if the insurance company's being fair. If somebody else caused you injuries anywhere in Missouri or Illinois, call a Burger Law personal injury lawyer today at (314) 500-HURT or contact us online.