After you call your insurance company to report a car accident, you can be sure that the first thing the company will do is investigate your claim thoroughly. Unfortunately, this means that the company will begin by investigating you.
The primary purpose of this investigation is to confirm that your claim(s) is legitimate or valid. However, you will notice that even if your claim is legit, the insurance company continues to investigate you and does not write a check immediately. And you’re probably asking yourself why. The reason is that the insurance company wants to ensure that the scope of your claim(s) for damages is not embellished or an attempt by you to obtain compensation over what damages you actually suffered. If it is, then your claim will be deemed fraudulent and you may not receive any payment at all.
In the insurance world, there are essentially two (2) types of fraudulent claims. Hard fraud claims occur when a claimant makes-up a claim entirely in order to obtain a profit from the insurance company. Soft fraud claims, which are much more prevalent than hard fraud claims, occur when the claimant has a legitimate claim for damages but embellishes or inflates their claim to gain additional compensation.
Because the insurance companies won’t stop their investigation and pay you damages until they are 100% sure your claim(s) are valid, here are some tips with dealing with the insurance company during their investigation of you.
Keep Your Cool
Not only will becoming stressed-out and agitated do nothing but upset you; if you become aggravated or aggressive with insurance claim adjusters they will assume you have something to hide or are lying. Though it can be quite annoying to deal with someone asking you a million question about your accident and life in general, insurance adjusters are simply doing their job.
Try Not To Exaggerate Or Seem Overly Dramatic
When describing your injuries and pain associated with them, do not embellish, exaggerate or make your injuries out to be extraordinary or atypical. Remember, embellishments and overinflating your claim is a red flag for soft fraud. While some injuries can, in fact, be serious and extremely painful; others are likely minor and a mere annoyance. If you can downplay some of your more minor injuries, the insurance company will find you more credible and will not believe you are attempting to commit soft fraud.
I cannot stress this enough. Because insurance adjusters are looking for fraud, always be truthful when speaking to adjusters. If you had a pre-existing injury that was merely aggravated by your accident, even if it becomes serious, make sure the insurance company is aware of your pre-existing condition. Also, if you have additional information that seems relevant to your claim but the adjuster does not ask you about it, offer or volunteer this information. If you fail to do so and the insurance company discovers these facts later, they will likely be skeptical about everything you tell them. You want to gain credibility with the insurance company from the get-go.
Hire An Attorney
Especially if the investigation begins to seem particularly intrusive or extensive, you should always hire a qualified personal injury attorney–like those at Murphy & Garner, LLC–to handle your insurance company claim(s) and personal injury case. An attorney can deal with the insurance company on your behalf, negotiate a more favorable settlement for you and even limit your liability if you were at fault. The attorneys at Murphy & Garner, LLC, have decades of experience representing clients in car accident cases.