Chattanooga Personal Injury Attorneys

7 Secret Tactics Car Insurance Claim Adjusters Use to Reduce Your Claim

7 Secret Tactics Car Insurance Claim Adjusters Use to Reduce Your Claim

After an injury in a car or truck crash, medical and other bills start to add up.  If you are facing a long recovery, the pain and financial stress can be overwhelming.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, there have been 4989 fatal or serious vehicle crashes so far in 2021.  Every day, motorists are seriously injured or killed on a routine drive to work or across town.

After a vehicle crash, making an insurance claim is the first step toward obtaining needed compensation. While regulations exist to help ensure that insurance companies treat people fairly, the claimant too often gives up or accepts far less than their claim is worth.

Our personal injury practice is focused on clients who suffer injury through the negligence of others in Chattanooga and throughout Tennessee and Georgia.  Over many years of successful practice, we are familiar with the strategies used by insurance claim adjustors who deny, defend, and delay legitimate vehicle crash claims. These insurance claim adjuster tactics are not secret in the industry—but they may be to you.  The more you know, the better your chance of success when working with an insurance adjustor.

Let’s take a look at seven common insurance adjustor tactics that work to undermine—and under pay—your claim:

  1. Initiating contact quickly after a crash injury: While you may think it is great customer service, an early call for information from an insurance adjustor after a crash is not in your best interest.  Speaking with an insurance adjustor on the day of the crash, or soon after, may find you in an emotionally fragile state.  You may not know the extent of your injury and the trauma of the event could leave you vulnerable to making admissions or agreements against your interests.  If an insurance adjustor calls you shortly after an accident, thank the individual for the attention, take their contact information, and tell them only that you will be in touch.
  1. Denial of liability after an accident: At the outset, an insurance adjustor will probably be polite, explain that they will take care of things, and encourage you to trust them.  Part of that script may be to convince you that you did not really suffer much injury or damage and that your claim is likely to be denied. The goal to is to convince you that trying to obtain compensation is going to be more trouble to you than it is worth.

As well, an insurance adjustor may try to devalue your claim by stating you contributed to the cause of your injury.  They may mention that Tennessee follows a “50 percent rule.”  This rule means that if you are found to have been 50 percent at fault for a crash that caused your injury, you may be unable to obtain compensation for your injury. This rule, or modified comparative negligence, is a standard by which a judge or jury in Tennessee decides who is owed compensation.  It is not the place of an insurance adjustor to decide negligence.  If this comes up in conversation, you should quickly and politely end the conversation and speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can answer your questions.

  1. Request for an open-ended Authorization for your medical records: If you are seriously injured or making a claim for injury after a crash, do not sign and return an Authorization provided to you by an insurance claim adjustor.  A signed Authorization for Release of Medical Records allows an insurance company to obtain copies of all your medical records, not just those related to your accident.  While there are many advantages to an insurance company examining your health record—there are no benefits for you.  Your medical records are Protected Health Information (PHI).  Do not sign an Authorization for release of your records without speaking with your attorney.
  1. A request for a recorded statement: It is not uncommon for an insurance claim adjustor in Tennessee to ask you to make a recorded statement about the crash. You have no obligation to provide a recorded statement and doing so may materially damage the likelihood of receiving fair compensation for your injury.  If asked to provide a recorded statement, or a make a statement “on the record,” tell the adjustor you must speak with your attorney first.
  1. Downplaying the need for an attorney: Throughout conversation with an insurance adjustor, they may downplay your need to speak with a car crash attorney.  In Chattanooga and elsewhere, insurance companies will try to convince you that they can work out your claim without an attorney.  If an insurance adjustor tells you an attorney is not needed, speak with an established personal injury attorney right away.  Most reputable injury attorneys provide a free consultation to answer your questions and discuss your injury.  With a serious injury and without an attorney, it is not likely you will receive fair compensation for the harm you have suffered.
  1. Low-ball settlement offers: For many people who are injured, some money sounds better than no money.  If you work with an insurance adjustor without the benefit of legal counsel, you will likely be offered a fairly quick settlement of your claim.  While it may be a relief to receive a check right away and be done with it, the first offer from an insurance company for a serious injury is probably a low-ball offer—less than you would receive than if you were working with an experienced personal injury attorney. As tempting as it sounds, do not agree to an offer, or sign an agreement to settle your claim without speaking with an injury attorney about whether you are being cheated out of your claim.
  1. False deadlines: if you suffer a serious injury, it is essential for you to wait until you have reached a point of maximum medical improvement before you consider an offer from an insurance claim adjustor. The reason for waiting is to understand how well you will heal from your injury.  If an adjustor gives you a fast offer with an upcoming deadline, turn it down.  If you accept early money or a low-ball offer, you will lose your opportunity to align a money settlement with your actual long-term physical prognosis.

These are just some of the secret tactics used by insurance claim adjustors to close out your claim before you have a chance to speak with an attorney about your case.  When you are injured through the negligence of others, speak with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney about fair compensation before you talk with an insurance claim adjustor. You will be glad you did.

Trusted Chattanooga personal injury attorneys can help you today

If you are injured through the negligence of others, reach out to Dennis & King Law for a free consultation about your injury.  With decades of experience serving clients across Tennessee and Georgia, our law firm is known for its aggressive pursuit of fair compensation on behalf of our clients.

If you are injured in a car or truck crash, or other accident, contact us today or call toll free 423-847-2946.

By |2022-03-14T20:00:12-04:00December 22nd, 2021|General Info|0 Comments
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In almost all personal injury claims, insurance companies will offer you significantly less than what you deserve. It’s tempting to accept the first offer, especially if you are in a great deal of pain and unable to return to work. But if you’ve already taken a devalued settlement from the insurance company and your medical bills start to pile up, there’s little legal recourse to ask for more. That’s why it’s crucial to involve a Chattanooga personal injury lawyer before you even file a claim.

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Car Accidents

Chattanooga car accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King have recovered millions of dollars in Georgia and Tennessee for car and motor vehicle accident victims like you.  If you or a loved one has been injured and need help with your medical bills, then you have come to the right place.   Auto accident victims and their family members in East Tennessee and North Georgia can confidently rely on the experienced auto accident attorneys at Dennis and King. We are the law firm that has compassionately, yet effectively, helped victims and their loved ones navigate the aftermath of difficult situations.

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Truck accidents in the United States are on the rise. Recent statistics show that almost 150,000 people are injured in truck accidents each year, and 6,000 people are killed. The regional area of Georgia and Tennessee is a crossroads and a center for car manufacturing, river traffic, and other industries. Large trucks, semi-trucks, 18-wheelers, and other commercial vehicles are constantly on the road. This has a downside as frequent truck accidents occur on I-75, I-24, I-59, Highway 153, U.S. 27, Amnicola Highway, Corridor J, and other roadways. If you or a loved one has been injured in a Georgia or Tennessee truck accident, you may be eligible for substantial compensation.

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Experienced Chattanooga motorcycle accident lawyers Tricia Dennis and Russell King are avid fans of motorcycles, but they also realize how serious motorcycle accidents can be. With over 75 years of combined experience, Dennis and King Injury Law knows the legal process to achieve fair compensation for motorcycle crash victims. Contact one of our lawyers today to learn more about how to start your motorcycle accident claim.

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Under both Tennessee and Georgia law, ATVs are not authorized for use on paved road, but children continue to bring ATVs on to our roads and highways. Georgia and Tennessee laws also prohibit the carrying of passengers on most ATVs, require children below the age of 16 to take approved ATV training courses, and require kids younger than 16 to wear helmets, eye protection, and over-the-ankle boots when operating ATVs. However, these requirements apply only when ATVs are operated on public lands, leaving kids essentially without protection when riding ATVs on private property.

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The most tragic type of bicycle crash is a bike-car collision. Cyclists are completely defenseless traveling on 30-pound bikes when they’re surrounded by 3,000-pound cars and trucks racing by them. Pedestrians, defective bike parts, recalled bike helmets, and other ineffective bicycle safety equipment can also cause bicycle accidents. Bike accidents can result in wrongful death or serious injuries such as broken bones, amputation, traumatic brain injury, neck, back, and spinal cord injuries.

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One of three factors usually cause boat accidents: an inexperienced boater, an intoxicated operator, or a boat malfunction. More than a third of both fatal and non-fatal boat accidents are alcohol-related. It is estimated that boat operators with a blood alcohol content of .10 or higher are 10 times more likely to be injured or killed in a boat accident than sober operators.

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No one ever expects a family member or friend to be the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home. However, abuse and neglect do occur every day and in many ways.

Dennis and King are Chattanooga nursing home abuse attorneys who will fight to recover all that you and your loved one deserve. With our experience in nursing home negligence matters, we thoroughly and carefully assess each individual case. We prepare each case for either settlement or trial in order to obtain compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. We help victims and their families hold these facilities accountable.

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Premises liability is a vital facet of personal injury law, placing responsibility on property owners for maintaining a safe environment. When accidents occur due to negligence or hazardous conditions on someone’s property, victims have the right to seek compensation. This encompasses incidents like slip and falls or inadequate security leading to assaults. Dennis and King excel in handling these complex cases, tirelessly pursuing justice for our clients.

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Free Strategy Session

During your initial strategy session, we will assist you in creating a strategy in how to best pursue your claim, whether it be the result of a car accident claim, 18 wheeler injury, or, other kind of personal injury claim.

There are 5 points to your free claim strategy session:

  • First, we will listen to your story. You will have a chance to tell everything to someone who wants to hear what happened to you.
  • Based on the information you provide, we will give you our best advice on both what claims you have and the next steps you should consider to go forward with your claim.
  • If you claim is something that we think we can help you with, we will explain the services that we can provide for you, and what the next steps are that we should take. We will start working immediately.
  • If your matter is something that we do not think we can help you with, then we will attempt to put you in contact with another lawyer that might be able to help you.
  • Either way, what should happen is we will put to rest some of the unknowns that you may be experiencing. We will start to shed light on what you can expect and how to best pursue the benefits you deserve.