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What Should I Expect From Insurance Companies During a Personal Injury Claim?

February 7, 2021 By Cerussi and Gunn P.C. Legal Team

When seeking financial compensation for an injury in New Jersey, your claim will most likely be against an insurance company, not an individual. It is critical to understand at least the basics of how insurance companies work and how their adjusters review claims. Otherwise, you could be at risk of falling for an insurance company’s tactics to take advantage of you and devalue your claim. This could lead to accepting less than your injuries are worth.

How Do Insurance Companies Investigate Personal Injury Claims?

To understand how an insurance company investigates a claim, it is necessary to understand the insurance company’s motivation. The main goal of an insurance company – as well as its insurance claims adjuster, who is assigned to review your case – is to save as much money as possible on your claim.

Insurance providers make a profit by keeping client payouts as minimal as possible. During an investigation, an insurance company may try several tactics to devalue your claim or deny benefits altogether. For example, an insurance claims adjuster may ask you questions about your accident shortly after it occurs, when you may not understand all the details. The purpose of this is to try to get you to say something the adjuster can twist around to use against you later.

The adjuster may also contact other involved parties to ask them questions about the accident. Then, the adjuster will review all the facts and evidence collected, such as photographs and police reports, before making an in-person visit to assess any claimed property damage. Expect the insurance claims adjuster to try to get as much information from you as possible before making a recommendation to the insurance company to accept or reject benefits.

What Is Insurance Bad Faith? What Are Common Examples?

You may or may not encounter insurance bad faith during your personal injury claim in New Jersey. Insurance bad faith describe the insurance provider failing to treat your claim as it reasonably, lawfully and ethically should. If an insurance company treats you unfairly or does not handle your claim according to the insurance industry’s rules and best practices, you could be the victim of insurance bad faith.

Common examples of insurance bad faith include:

  • Wrongfully denying an insurance claim
  • Denying a claim without giving a valid reason
  • Misinterpreting or misrepresenting the terms of a policy
  • Undervaluing a claimant’s losses
  • Refusing to offer a reasonable settlement award
  • Unnecessarily delaying an investigation
  • Delaying a claimant’s payout

If you suspect insurance bad faith during your personal injury claim, discuss your legal options with an attorney. Bad faith could compromise your ability to obtain fair compensation for your injuries and losses. A lawyer can help you identify insurance bad faith, negotiate for a fair case outcome on your behalf and even file an insurance bad faith lawsuit against the insurance company, if applicable.

Tips for Dealing With Insurance Companies During a Personal Injury Claim

There are ways to protect yourself during the insurance claims process. Knowing how the insurance company works, along with its true motives, can give you an edge during settlement negotiations. You will know what to expect from the insurance claims adjuster and how to counter his or her tactics. Further defend your rights with the following tips.

  • Don’t admit fault for the accident.
  • Don’t agree to give a recorded statement. Submit a written statement instead.
  • Stick to the truth – don’t speculate.
  • Only answer the questions asked.
  • Do not give narrative or descriptive answers.
  • Do not sign anything from the insurance company, including a Medical Release Form.
  • Do not accept a settlement or agree to anything before consulting with a lawyer.

You do not have to deal with insurance companies alone in the aftermath of a serious accident. Work with a personal injury lawyer in New Jersey for assistance negotiating a fair award from an insurance company. Your lawyer can handle an insurance company and claims adjuster for you while you focus on recovering from your injuries.