I’m going to give you 10 questions that insurance adjusters don’t want you to ask in personal injury claims and other types of claims. Watch the entire video so you can see all 10 questions that insurance companies get bothered when you ask them. JZ helps a Florida injury law firm. I’m Attorney Justin Ziegler.
The first question that insurance claims adjusters don’t want you to ask is, what are the insurance limits in the case? They don’t want you to ask this question because it shows that you may be trying to get the insurance limits and that you’re savvier than your just average claimant and smarter than them. If insurance companies can do so, they want to avoid paying out the limits and pay as little as possible. Another question that bothers claims adjusters and they don’t like being asked is if you ask them, how much check-writing authority do they have? You’re essentially asking them, how much can they write a check for without having to get supervisor approval.
They may not want to answer that question because you may think the value of your case is above their check-writing authority, and if that was the case, you’d need a new adjuster assigned and they want to keep their file. The third question insurance claims adjusters don’t like being asked is, what is the settlement reserve? The reserve is an amount of money that an insurance company, an insurance adjuster sets aside to pay your case. They don’t want to be asked that because then you have a better idea of how much they think your case may be worth. The fourth question that claims adjusters don’t want you to ask is, how much have they paid for the exact injury that you’ve had, in the past for other claimants for their pain and suffering? Insurance companies keep very specific files that show how much they’ve paid for pain and suffering for certain injuries. You’re not gonna have access to those, and if you ask the insurance adjuster how much he’s paid in the past for pain and suffering for your same injury, he’s going to tell you, and if he does tell you, rest assured that the number that he gives you is gonna be much lower than what he’s actually paid because they rarely like to show their hand.
The best thing that you can do would be to look up past settlements and verdicts using a jury verdict search reporter. That’s not gonna really give you the exact settlements and verdicts with that particular insurance company. It’s gonna give you a ballpark value of the pain and suffering component of many different types of injuries, which you hopefully use to your advantage. The fifth question that insurance adjusters don’t want you to ask is, “Mr. Adjuster, “how many cases have you made an offer to a claimant “like myself, and then a jury has awarded “higher than that offer?” Rest assured that there’s an insurance company in Florida that has had a case where they haven’t made an offer and at some point had a personal injury claimant go to trial and get a verdict in judgment for higher than that amount.
But there’s gonna be a slim chance that the insurance adjuster tells you which cases that happened in Insurance adjusters are not always right with their offers and their valuations of your claim. That’s why sometimes at a trial they get hit for large amounts. The sixth question that a claims adjuster does not want to get asked is, how many times has your supervisor awarded a claimant and paid a claimant for an amount higher than you said your last final offer was? If you ask them that question, you’re generally going to get the responses, “Speaking with my supervisors not gonna do any good. “You’re gonna hear the same thing.” But there are certain times, and it happens often, where the supervisor just has more settlement authority and he may just want to get the file off the desk and closed, and he may award more money. There’s never a guarantee it can happen all the time, but the supervisor is a very powerful word. The seventh question claims adjusters don’t want you to ask is, what are the bad facts for your case? Many facts go into a personal injury case and many things affect the value. Witnesses are one of them. There’s a chance the insurance company knows about a witness that horrible for their defense, such as someone who thinks they’re insured with speeding or someone who saw a substance on the floor a long time before you slipped and fell. Ask the adjuster what are the worst facts in your case. You’re gonna get a good idea of how many cards the adjuster is showing you.
The eighth question a claims adjuster doesn’t like being asked is, does your insurance company typically increase the offerwhen a lawsuit is filed? They may say no, they may not be telling you the truth, but the reality is, not inevery case but in many cases, when you file a lawsuit, the case gets transferred to a different adjusterwho has more authority to settle your case,essentially for more money. It goes to a higher level adjuster. Sometimes the reserves get increased. That’s the amount of moneyset aside to pay the claim. It doesn’t always happen. There are certain insurance companies that stick to their finaloffer before a lawsuit, but oftentimes insurance companies, particularly if they haveto pay an outside attorney and they’re not one ofthe large auto insurers that has their own attorneys on staff, will increase an offer afteryou’ve filed the lawsuit. I had a case against avery large supermarket and they denied liability and forced me to file a lawsuit for myclient, who was injured when something fell onher, and as soon as I filed the lawsuit, the insuranceadjuster gave me a call and she said, “I don’t knowwhat the other adjuster “was thinking,” which we hear this often. And she offered $18,000. Now, we continued to litigate that lawsuit and settled for more money, but oftentimes insurance companies will not be fair. You’ll file a lawsuit,and the new adjuster will put all the blameon the pre-suit adjuster, saying, “I don’t knowwhat they were thinking,” or the defense attorneythat’s assigned to the case will put blame on the prior adjuster who was handling the case. So sometimes a lawsuit can be huge. In one case, we represented a gentleman who slipped and fell. The insurance adjuster denied liability. We filed a lawsuit andlater settled for $300,000.
So take what insurance adjusters tell you with a grain of salt. The ninth question that claims adjusters don’t like being asked is, how much is your insured at fault? Insurance companies have an insured, who is their client. You’ve wanted to ask them, “What percentage of negligence “are you placing on your insured?” Sometimes I’ve had cases where the insurance adjuster will tell me. “In this case where our driver hit your insured, “we’re placing 60% blame on our client, and 40% on yours.” So some of them will tell you. Some of them will say, “I’m not gonna go into that. “That’s privileged information.” But knowing their insurance percentage of fault or at least what they’re saying it helps you understand why they’re making the offer that they’re making, and you can see if their percentage of fault is in line with your evaluation. You need to know if their insured is negligent. It’s one of the main factors when evaluating how much your case is worth. Number 10. Insurance adjusters hate when you ask them, how much blame are they assigning to you? Just like number nine, sometimes they will tell you.
I have had cases where I’ve filed a lawsuit and the defense attorney says, “Listen. “We’re placing 25% to50% blame on your client “for not seeing something that she tripped over “that she should have seen before she tripped.” Sometimes insurance adjusters will tell me, “We’re placing 50% blame on your client “for crossing the road in the middle of daytime “when she wasn’t in a crosswalk.” I actually had a case like that where my client fractured her lower leg bone and we settled for $70,000, but the insurance adjuster I get inside her head and she told me, 50% of the blame they were accepted on their client and 50% on my client. As a bonus question, you want to ask the insurer, if you had health insurance that paid some of your bills, the health insurance is gonna have a right to recover money from your settlement if you reach a personal injury settlement, or may have a right. You’re gonna ask the insurance adjuster, “What percentage of the health insurance lien “are you paying me back for?” See if they’re giving you a full reimbursement. The same is true with your medical bills. Ask them, if your medical bills, out-of-pocket medical bills are 10,000, ask them, “Are you paying me for100% of my medical bills?”