If you are dealing with any sort of personal injury or worker’s compensation claim, you will probably have to deal with an insurance company in order to finalize your settlement. This may not seem like a huge endeavor to some, but you have to remember that insurance companies are full of expert negotiators. In addition to this, insurance companies have every reason to minimize your settlement and no incentive to actually offer you the true valuation of your case.
Unfortunately, this is the case regardless of whether or not you are dealing with your own insurance company. A lot of people mistakenly believe that insurance companies are there to work for the innocent. At the end of the day, however, companies will always put their own interests first. Their number one goal is to protect their bottom line. They do this by probing deeply into every reported accident, injury, and claim.
You may be surprised by the lengths insurance adjusters will take to disprove your claim. It can be hard to know just what to do if you do not have the proper training. That is why procuring an experienced personal injury lawyer is the best thing you can do for your case. Regardless of whether or not you decide to seek out legal assistance, we are here to help. In this blog post, we will give you a brief overview of insurance claims investigations and how you can stay prepared against them.
Before an insurance investigation can begin, there must be an open file. The insurance company will then assign the file to a claims adjuster. A claims adjuster is the person who is tasked with the responsibility of investigating all the relevant details of your accident. Then, guided by their findings, they will negotiate a settlement of your claim. You can think of an insurance claims adjuster as an investigator.
While the insurance claims adjuster is investigating your claim, they will be compiling all the evidence they can. Evidence may include but is not limited to accident reports, statements from the insured party, and any other official records that may exist. Evidence may also include any documents you provided the adjuster with when you filed the claim, such as any medical records and proof of property damage.
However, do not be fooled into thinking that insurance investigations are just limited to official documents. In this day and age, it is not uncommon for claims adjusters to check social media for any possible incriminating evidence they may find. This is especially tricky territory to navigate if you have an ongoing claim, as it is very easy for social media posts to be misconstrued. They will also check to see if you have a history of filing multiple lawsuits.
Another part of an insurance claims adjuster’s job is to take recorded statements from you regarding your injuries and accident. Stick to the facts when they are taking these statements. Again, especially in the heat of the moment following an accident, it is very easy for some statements to get misconstrued. Also, keep in mind that you do not have to give them a recorded statement without first consulting an attorney.
Once all this has been said and done, the claims adjuster will then attempt to value and settle the claim. Remember that it is very difficult to get a true valuation of your claim, and that the insurance company will always try to get you to settle for the smallest possible settlement. Contact an attorney before agreeing on any settlement amount.
Many times, insurance companies view personal injury claims with extraordinary skepticism. Due to a wealth of common misconceptions, many claims adjusters automatically assume all personal injury victims to be exaggerating their accidents. Guided by this belief, they will try to find any possible evidence to counteract your claims. As we have already established earlier in this blog post, this means scouring your social media for any potentially incriminating evidence.
You may believe that you have nothing to worry about as long as you are being truthful. In reality, it is extraordinarily easy to do or say things that could be taken out of context or willfully misconstrued. Simply having the current medical records to prove your injury is not enough. Claims adjusters will also look through at least a year’s worth of past medical records as an attempt to prove a preexisting condition that could reduce your claim. Make sure not to sign any medical authorizations without first consulting your lawyer.
Because worker’s compensation fraud is such a serious issue, insurance companies will do everything to investigate these cases as closely as possible. They may even use various types of surveillance (e.g., audio and/or video). It is also common for claims adjusters to interview victims’ colleagues, friends, and family members. Plus, along with all standard investigation procedures, they may also perform an extensive background check on you. This may include procuring copies of your medical records, employment records, and legal history.
Dealing with an injury of any kind is always stressful. You not only have to deal with the pain but you also must figure out how to get your life back in order. This may involve exorbitant medical expenses, lost wages, and general pain and suffering. You may even have to worry about how to provide for your family while recovering. Luckily, you do not have to go through this alone. Legal recourse is available.
If you or a loved one have recently been involved in any sort of accident, we at Injury Victim Law may be able to help. Though we are a Colorado-based firm, our team of experts and investigators is ready and available to assist personal injury victims all across the country. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with one of our experienced nationwide personal injury and worker’s compensation attorneys. Let us fight for you.