A common misconception when it comes to filing an injury claim is that the claim adjuster assigned to you has your best interests at heart. While there are helpful ones out there, the truth is the claim adjuster’s main job is to save their insurance company’s money.
And even though there are rules in place dictating how they can go about saving that money, there are many claims adjusters who choose to operate outside the rules, thinking they can get away with it.
With you as their unsuspecting target, there are a few improper settlement tactics they might choose to employ. It is in your best interest to be aware of these tactics and make sure they are not able to pull a fast one over on you.
One common tactic is for an adjuster to tell you to contact the insurance company of someone else involved in the accident. They will claim it is because the other person was more responsible than its insured. In truth though, until one person or company commits itself in writing as being the primary insurance carrier, you have the right to proceed against any responsible party, including the clams adjuster’s insured.
Another common tactic used is to tell you that you waited too long to file your claim. Because of this delay they will tell you there is a chance your claim will be disqualified.
In reality, as long as you file a third-party notice of claim within the state’s statute of limitations, the claims adjuster cannot disqualify your claim. In New Jersey the statute of limitations is six years for both written and oral contracts and property damage, and two years for injury.
In some cases, when filing a claim with your own insurance company, the policy might make it so the notice has to be filed within a specific number of days. But when it comes down to it, even if you filed after a delay, the insurance company has to honor your claim unless it was so late that it affected their ability to investigate the claim.
One last tactic claims adjusters might utilize is trying to consider other sources of payment when determining a reasonable settlement amount. These sources would be if your medical bills were paid by your health or other insurance. In fact, claims adjusters are not allowed to ask about those types of payments under the collateral source rule.
It basically comes down to the simple fact that a person you caused you harm or injury should not benefit from the fact you took the precaution of paying for health or other additional insurance, or if you earned the right to be paid for sick leave or vacation time.
It is always important to contact your insurance company when filing a claim even though you will have to deal with a claims adjuster. Knowing this, you should also contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you with your claim.
In New Jersey, the lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A., have the tools and the know-how to properly handle your personal injury claim and make sure you get the proper compensation for your damages. Call today at 732-564-7165 to schedule a free initial consultation.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney/client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.