Tears of the Crocodile: Talking to this Insurance Company Employee could ruin your case

If you’re in an accident and need to speak with an insurance company you’re going to be working with two different claims adjusters. One of these claims adjusters is going to be handling any damaged property. The other claims adjuster is going to be dealing with any injured people. If you have no property damage to resolve you might only interact with the injury adjuster, but the property adjuster might try to talk with you. Just remember these two people serve the same master.

You’re working with your insurance company,
but your insurance company is working against you.

Working with the property adjuster will be relatively easy. Property has set cost which is dictated by the market. These external factors reinforce what the insurance company should pay. You might not need a lawyer to help you deal with this person because things like Kelly Blue Book keeps him or her honest. You might not even need to talk to this adjuster at all if you don’t have property damage.

Working with the injury adjuster is more complicated. Healthcare costs aren’t clear, because everyone requires different levels and types of care, so the adjuster has more opportunity to deny claims and say that tests and procedures aren’t covered by various policies. This can be overwhelmingly frustrating. Lawyers who represent injured people know what procedures, tests, and medical care should cost. They can fairly negotiate with an injury adjuster.

It’s easy to separate these two adjusters in your head: the property adjuster is easy to deal with, but you need a lawyer to defend yourself from the injury adjuster. However these two people work for the same company. Only a very thin layer of bureaucracy separates them. If you vent some steam to the reasonable insurance adjuster (who, keep in mind, may be giving you fair market value for your vehicle), he will pass that information along to his coworker (who is trying to get out of paying for a very necessary surgery that costs ten times as much as your vehicle).

Everything you tell to one insurance adjuster is going to be communicated to the other insurance adjuster to improve their bargaining position. They’re trying to lowball you. Their employer incentivizes denying claims.

This routine is a bargaining tactic designed to decrease the value of your insurance policy. It's crocodile tears, a kind of false sympathy designed to take advantage of your vulnerability. But if you don’t have any property damage you don’t have to talk with the good cop at all. And if you do have to talk with him you can don’t have to say anything about your injuries. Doing so may hurt your case. 

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