You could be entitled to compensation for your injuries caused in a slip and fall or other premises liability accident if it was caused by a property or business owner’s negligence. However, the insurance company could try to deny your claim or force you to accept less money in your settlement—even if you have a strong case against their insured. Here are five unfair tactics they could use to achieve this goal that you need to watch out for.
#1: Delaying the Process
One tactic the insurance adjuster could use is to delay the process of settling your claim. They could drag their feet on investigating your claim or keep asking for additional documents even though they have the ones they need to resolve your claim. Why are they doing this? They are trying to wear you down and force you to accept less compensation for your injuries or give up on pursuing your claim entirely.
#2: Disputing Their Liability
The insurance company could raise disputes to deny your claim or argue that you are not entitled to all the damages you are seeking. They may make these arguments even if they do not have evidence to back them up. Common ways they dispute liability include:
- They may dispute that their insured’s negligence caused your accident.
- They could claim that you were partially at fault for your premises liability accident and are barred from obtaining any compensation under Virginia’s contributory negligence laws.
- They could argue that your injuries were caused by another incident or that they are not as serious as you claim.
#3: Asking for a Recorded Statement
The insurance adjuster could ask you to give a recorded statement, which is a question and answer session that is recorded and transcribed into a written document. Even if you are careful and have nothing to hide, you could say something that hurts your claim. They would use your statements against you in settlement negotiations and in court.
#4: Offering a Quick Settlement
If the insurance company offers to settle your claim quickly, it may not be because they know they are responsible for fully compensating you. They may offer you a lowball settlement in hopes that you will accept far less compensation than you deserve because you need to receive the payment quickly.
#5: Misrepresenting the Insurance Coverage
Another tactic the insurance adjuster could use is to misrepresent how much insurance coverage the business or property owner has. They may claim that there is far less available to pay you than there really is. They would do this to get you to accept a smaller settlement under the mistaken belief that this is the most you could obtain from them.
How to Avoid Being Taken Advantage of by the Insurance Company
The best way you can avoid falling victim to these and other unfair tactics by the insurance company when you file your claim is to retain an experienced premises liability lawyer right after your accident. They will take over all communications with the insurance company and will fight so that you receive the maximum recovery in your settlement. Contact our Norfolk office to schedule a free consultation to learn about your options and how we can assist you.