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Insurance Hardball: The Insurance Adjuster

Most of us pay monthly premiums on our homes and vehicles with the hope that when we are involved in an accident or are involved in a traumatic incident, the insurance company will help us get back on our feet. However, insurance companies have proven time and again that they are not our friends, but average corporations whose primary goal is to protect their bottom line.

If you are getting ready to file a claim for compensation in your car accident case, it is important for you know and understand that your insurance company is going to play hardball with you. They have trained adjusters whose job it is to ensure that the payout is minimal. Often, seriously injured victims need the help and firepower of experienced personal injury lawyers who can help them get fairly and fully compensated for their losses.

Before You Make the Call

If you have been hurt in a car accident, it is important that you notify your insurance company right away. You may want to prepare yourself, however, before calling the insurance company. Before making that call, you should write down how the accident occurred and gather your notes that have all the important details such as location of the crash, parties involved and damage to the vehicles. Refer to these notes throughout the phone call. Answering questions concisely and consistently will help your claim. If you fail to answer the questions carefully and end up contradicting yourself, your claim could potentially be denied.

The best approach to take if you have been seriously injured is to refrain from talking to the insurance companies. Let your lawyer do that for you. This strategy will help ensure that you don't provide insurance companies access to your private medical or financial information. It will also help you avoid other missteps that could jeopardize your claim. Above all, it will give you the time, space and peace of mind you need at this time to make a quick and full recovery.

Understand Your Rights

One of the first things that the insurance company will ask you is if you give your consent to be recorded. You have nothing to gain by allowing them to record the conversation. They will only use the recording to listen for reasons to deny your claim. You have the right to tell the insurance company not to record the conversation. Furthermore, you do not have to answer any questions that you do not feel comfortable answering. If at any time during the conversation you are worried about your answers, you can decline to comment until you have spoken to an attorney.

More Negotiation Tips

After recovering from your injuries and obtaining the documents you need, you will need to start negotiating with the insurance company of the at-fault party. You should gather a copy of the police report, witness statements, photographs of the crash site, records of your medical treatment and your bills. Having an inadequate amount of evidence to back up your claim will hurt your chances of receiving fair compensation. It can also hurt the value of your claim to ask for too little. Understand what your claim may be worth and ask for more than you need so that you have more leverage.

Playing Hard Ball

According to a CNN news report, many insurance adjusters use a strategy developed in the mid-1990s by McKinsey & Co. to increase their profits. The theme of the strategy is to "deny, delay, and defend." Insurance adjusters regularly deny claims, delay the settlement of the claim and defend against the claim in court when necessary. In general, they hope that the claimant will give up and either drop the claim or accept a much smaller settlement - often much less than what the claim is really worth. The goal is to make the claim process so expensive and time consuming in order to discourage claimants.

You Can Fight Back

You do not have to give in to the tactics of ruthless insurance companies. You can appeal their decisions, refuse their offers and sue them when you are mistreated or when insurance companies have acted in bad faith. Before making any legal decisions, it is important to learn about your options and to seek guidance when you have questions. The initial consultation with an experienced car accident attorney is completely free. So, you have absolutely nothing to lose.

Knowing What to Ask

Knowledge is power. So do not be afraid to ask questions about your potential claim. Questions to consider asking an attorney should include:

  • Do I have a valid claim?
  • What is the potential value of my claim?
  • What types of damages should I include in my claim?
  • How long will the claim process take?
  • Will I need to go to court?
  • What questions will the insurance company ask me?
  • What evidence will I need to prove my case?
  • How much time do I have to file a claim before my statute of limitations runs out?

Experienced Lawyers Can Help

It is important to know how much your claim is worth, so that you know when you are being treated unfairly. If you have been hurt in a slip-and-fall accident, a car crash or as the direct result of someone else's negligence, you may seek support for all of your losses. For example, you can request compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, loss of earning potential, physical pain, mental anguish, the cost of rehabilitation services and other related damages.

The experienced California personal injury lawyers have a long track record of playing hardball with insurance companies - and succeeding. We know what it takes to win these cases against insurance companies. Our attorneys are tenacious and skilled negotiators who take their "A game" to the table each and every time. We know the strategies and tricks insurance companies commonly use to avoid paying you what you deserve to get. Our job is to make sure that you receive just compensation for all your losses. We will not rest until that happens. Please contact us at 949-203-3814 to find out how we can help you. Consultations and case evaluations are absolutely free.


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Client Reviews of Bisnar Chase

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“We received an email from A.G. Edwards stating they have received the settlement check from Nissan. Once again, I cannot begin to articulate our gratitude to the Bisnar Chase staff - we are so very thankful for all you have done for Josh. As parents, Charlotte and I can rest in peace, when that day comes, knowing that Josh's needs have been taken care of, and his financial future is in good hands with sound financial planners at A.G. Edwards. On December 17, 2003 we received a call from the paramedics stating that Josh and Lisa had been in a severe accident, and we needed to meet them at the emergency room. I remember telling God that I can deal with missing limbs because they can be replaced, but please do not take him from us. A month later we met with members of your staff for the first time, Josh had a traumatic brain injury and his future was looking pretty bleak; we had no idea where he would be eighteen months later. All we could think of at the time was that our son's future, his goals, and dreams had been taken from him so abruptly. As time passed, Josh continued to improve and he began his journey of recovery. Many have been involved in this process, and you and your staff have been an integral part of Josh's recovery, and we will be forever grateful. God has brought so many people into our lives, and we are so very blessed. Numerous emails were sent to Personal Injury Attorney's. John...you were on a ski trip at Big Bear with your family, and you were the only Personal Injury Attorney to respond - I believe this was divine intervention. Josh has a professor from Mt. San Jacinto College who has taken him "under his wing," and is showing him other career possibilities. John, the future looks good for Josh - thank you!”

by K N.

reviewed at Yelp

“I could not recommend Bisnar & Chase highly enough! Now, I must be forthcoming and tell you that I am writing this review on behalf of my wonderful mother. You see, she's a mom, and therefor [sic] by nature is completely unable to do even the most simple of tasks on the internet. Like writing a a Yelp review. But we all love our moms don't we? Yes. We all love our moms (except Charles Manson), and would do anything to make sure they are protected and well taken care of. Upon referral from my mother's coworker, we contacted Bisnar & Chase. They had done a great job in this previous case and were located extremely close to both UCI and home, which made stopping by their office very convenient for my Mom. My Mom had been in an auto accident, nothing crazy but not a mere fender bender, and suffered what we thought to be some minor whiplash. Months later this was definitely not the case. Her client experience with the associates at Bisnar & Chase was so impressive that she raved to me about every time she heard anything from them. How thorough they were. How they listened better than I did (or something to that effect). How she liked Shannon and Mr. Bisnar and felt that they really had her best interests at heart. I honestly couldn't get her to shut up about them. But as a daughter that last part was all that I needed to hear to know that I we had found the right people and I could sleep easy at night knowing my Mom was in good hands. The Bisnar & Chase team really went above and beyond my family's expectations. And for that I am extremely grateful. If you live in the Newport Beach/Irvine/Costa Mesa/General Orange County area I would highly recommend Bisnar & Chase to both friends, and family.”

by Chelsea C.

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Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Bisnar Chase serves all of California. In addition, we represent clients in various other states through our affiliations with local law firms. Through the local firm we will be admitted to practice law in their state, pro hac vice.

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