Insurance Claims The Secret Connection Between Your Behavior and Your Claim
Let's say you were involved in an accident. You were rear-ended by the car behind you. You are not at fault for the accident. You were injured in the accident. The driver behind you wasn't paying attention when they sped into your stopped car. That's a bad day, a very bad day.
You're injured, your car is broken, and you're not the least bit happy about it. That's an understandable place to be mentally. Someone else's actions have severely affected your life; you didn't ask for this and you certainly didn't want it to happen. You want justice, maybe even revenge, and it shows in your conversations with the other person's insurance company. These are entirely human emotions, but they might cost you a little in the long run. Why?
Injury claims are an efficient way to resolve accidents without needing to get the courts involved in the outcomes. The value-added process here is the fact that you don't always need the time and expertise of judges, lawyers, court administrators, court reporters, bailiffs and the like to indemnify the claimant. If an equitable solution can be found outside the courts, then both parties win. Ideally, less money is spent, less stress is experienced, and less time is used. Anytime a judge is asked to hear a case, we are asking for that judge's time and attention to be focused on a specific case. That means the matter needs to be important.
What does all this have to do with how you interact with an insurance injury claims adjuster?
The reason your attitude, your personality and, more generally, the way you represent yourself, is meaningful is because it's an indication of how you would behave in court. If your injury claim isn't successfully resolved, that means it's likely headed to court.
The insurance company is assessing how positively or negatively a judge and/or jury would receive you. People are much more likely to side with someone they like. Conversely, people are much more likely to act unsympathetically or callously towards someone they dislike. So an adjuster will, in some cases, offer more money to a claimant they suspect would represent himself or herself well in court.
Does this mean you need to cooperate with everything the adjuster says or asks from you? The answer is a firm no. This only means that losing self control or denigrating someone else during the claims process might alert the adjuster to the fact that in court you'd do the same. The simple advice here is whenever possible, be decent. It might be a time in life that you will actually get paid money for doing so.
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