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Insurance Company Tricks; How to Deal with them in Colorado

Posted by Michael P. Kane | Apr 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

Car insurance adjusters in Colorado work for the insurance companies (obviously). And the insurance companies are great at taking premiums but not so great at paying out valid claims to their insureds or people hurt by their insureds. This post will talk about insurance adjuster tactics and how to avoid falling prey.

First, we need to discuss what insurance adjusters do and what their motivations are. They are typically employees of the insurance companies (although sometimes insurance companies hire outside contractors to work on claims). Bodily injury adjusters handle the claims when one of their company's policyholders gets into a car accident and hurts someone. Depending on the seniority of the adjuster, they'll have anywhere between 100 - 350 claims to adjust at any given time. 

How are they evaluated by their superiors? When a car accident happens in Colorado, the adjuster will attempt to put a "settlement range" on the injured person's claim. The settlement range depends on a variety of factors including the medical bills, the injuries (soft tissue vs. broken bones), how significant the crash was, how old the injured party is, whether the adjuster's insured is completely at fault or only partially at fault, and any aggravating factors surrounding the accident (i.e. DUI or reckless driving). Adjusters who settle claims early and often for the lowest end of the settlement range are considered top performers by the insurance company. 

How do adjusters settle claims early and for the lowest amount possible? Well, they prey on injured people who don't have a lawyer and don't know what their claim is worth. Adjusters will contact the injured party and try to be friendly. They'll ask how they're doing. They'll tell them how sorry they are that they were hurt and promise to take care of everything. And most of the time, the adjusters are friendly and generally good people. But, remember what their motivations are. They want to settle the claim quickly and for the least amount of money as possible. Why? Because they get favorable reviews and promotions if they consistently settle cases for low amounts. 

Know your rights. In Colorado, C.R.S. 13-21-301 protects consumers from unfair insurance adjuster practices. The law prohibits insurance companies from attempting to settle an injury claim or getting an injured person to sign a settlement release within 30 days of the injury-causing accident. Further, it prohibits them from attempting to obtain a statement from an injured person within 15 days after the injury-causing accident. Any settlement entered into that violates C.R.S. 13-21-301 is VOID and unenforceable. 

What to do if you're hurt in a car accident in Colorado? Our strong advice is to consult with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Don't talk to the at-fault party's insurance company about your injuries or the circumstances surrounding the crash. Particularly when it's shortly after you've been hurt, you may not know the full extent of your injuries and how they will impact you longterm. Remember, the Statute of Limitations in Colorado is 3 years after the car accident occurs. There's no need to rush into a settlement right away. That's what the insurance companies want. 

If you've been in a car accident and have any questions about your rights, contact Kane Trial Law at 303-919-7777 today for a free consultation.

About the Author

Michael P. Kane

Mike Kane is a Colorado personal injury attorney specializing in car accidents, truck accidents and catastrophic personal injury litigation. He also represents victims of sexual assault against institutions and individuals. Mr. Kane, a third-generation lawyer and Colorado native, is a former US Marine who served a tour in support of Operation I...

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