Accident and malpractice victims are beginning to realize that insurance companies will not treat them fairly on their own or give straight and honest answers to important questions. What are some questions you should ask the insurance adjuster? Here are 7 key questions for the insurance adjuster:
1. How much insurance coverage does the other driver have?
It is possible that you should receive the maximum amount of insurance coverage available. Many insurance companies will not tell you truthfully what the maximum amount of coverage available to you is. Does the responsible party have umbrella or excess coverage? We’ve run into insurance companies who have tried to hide that information from us, but we know how to find out in most cases whether the party at fault has more insurance coverage to take care of your injuries.
2. What have you paid other claimants for similar injuries?
Insurance companies will not tell you what the fair value of your claim is worth. Ask the insurance company to show you a printout of their payouts in similar cases. Insurance adjusters have that information at their disposal. At our firm, we know how to find out what insurance companies often pay for similar injuries.
3. If I settle now and have future problems, will your insurance company pay my future medical bills?
Once you sign the settlement documents, you’re usually giving up the right to receive compensation to cover future medical bills and other damages. Insurance companies will not want to account for what your future problems will be, so you will need to make sure the settlement factors in the risks of future complications and the cost of surgery. We often meet with our clients’ doctors to make sure we know your future medical needs.
4. What is the deadline for filing a lawsuit?
Many insurance companies will not tell you about the deadlines that might bar your claim forever. We’ve heard stories of insurance companies dragging things out beyond the deadline and then refusing to pay anything. In your case, we will research the key deadlines to make sure your rights are protected.
5. Why do you want to take my recorded statement?
The insurance companies would love for you to give them a recorded statement. Why? They will use that statement against you. They will ask the questions in a way to put their side in the best light, not yours. If you make any mistakes, the insurance company’s lawyer will pounce on you. Before any statement is given, you need to have a copy of the police report and to give some thought about how you can tell what has happened to you in the most accurate and truthful way.
6. Why should I sign a blank medical authorization?
The insurance company will often want you to sign blank medical authorization that might give them access to confidential medical information that has
nothing to do with the case. The insurance company will try to use that information against you. We never allow the insurance company to go on a “fishing expedition” for your medical records.
7. What is a fair amount for all of my pain, suffering and aggravation?
In Missouri, the law permits injured people to recover for pain and suffering because another person’s carelessness can wreak havoc in the injured person’s life. Just paying for a person’s medical bills and lost wages is not fair. Insurance companies may act like they are doing you a favor by offering to “pay you a little something for pain and suffering” — even before you know what your future will likely be. An injured person, though, is entitled by law to a fair amount for pain and suffering. Sometimes that pain and suffering is the most serious injury in the case. At our firm, we will work with you to understand the value of your pain and suffering.
Keep in mind, though, that the choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisements. Disregard this solicitation if you have already engaged a lawyer in connection with the legal matter referred to in this solicitation. You may wish to consult your lawyer or another lawyer instead of us. The exact nature of your legal situation will depend on many facts not known to us at this time. You should understand that the advice and information in this solicitation is general and that your own situation may vary. This statement is required by rule of the Supreme Court of Missouri.
Have questions about your case or about questions for the insurance adjuster? Call us on our cellphones anytime: