Get notified about new articles - join the ExpertPages Mailing List now!
You and I. M. Strong, the adjuster from Granite Mountain Insurance Corporation,
are sitting at your kitchen table attempting to settle your claim against his
insured Fred Fuddle, who smashed you in the rear end several months ago.
Strong is all wound
up and on the offensive, rambling on and on about how your injuries weren't
serious. His typical pitch usually goes something like, "Look, I've been at
this a long time. I've talked to people like you, day in and day out, for well
over a couple of decades now. People who've gone through exactly what happened
to you, with the same sort of claim as yours. Sure, you had a period of discomfort
but your so-called injuries were routine. Believe me when I tell you they aren't
You can't believe what Strong is trying to pull. You respond, "I’ve been miserable!
There was no way I could get back to work because of the pain in my neck and
shift's in his seat and a victorious look (one that says he knows it all) begins
to march across his face. At that point he predictably states, "Look, I can
tell you, after handling thousands of cases like yours, that the discomfort
you may have had, for a couple of days at the most, are relatively minor. They
don’t even come close to justifying the three week’s of work you lost and the
disability you and your doctor are claiming".
thunderstruck! Now he comes at you from another angle, "I've seen thousands
of cases like yours and I've had more than my share of exposure to personal
injury claims, examinations, doctor-talk and recovery - - the whole nine yards.
I've seen physical trauma at its slightest and its worst. Any judge or jury
would know, once they heard about your so-called ‘injuries’ that your physical
problems were almost non-existent".
Strong will take a minute to let that sink in and then
he'll attempt to sway you even more by telling you he can prove your time lost
from work was not compatible with the injury involved. He'll hint around about
some "independent information" he's supposedly gathered from your neighbors
and/or business associates, which indicate you’ve been "very active" since the
Once he lets that one sink in he'll ramble on about the "independent examination"
the doctor hired by Granite Mountain executed, telling you, with outrageous
confidence, that his doctors Medical Report states there was little, if anything,
wrong with you. Then he’ll surely try this one on for size: “My doctor is a
professional .The only people he ever sees are those who’ve been in motor vehicle
accidents. That’s what he does all day long, check out personal injury claims
like yours. And I can tell you his report clearly states your physical problems
were almost non-existent”.
He hums a happy tune to himself as he observes the
amazement marching across your face and that drum beat he’s heard so very often
begins to pound away within the gray matter between his ears: Boom/Boom/Boom,
silently declaring, “I gotcha!, I gotcha!, I gotcha!”
If you let Strong get away with that than his attempt
at downgrading your disability will have been successful. As a way of "proving"
what happened to you wasn’t serious he’ll describe your “so-called injuries”
with fancy medical language and then compare them to the more extreme types
of personal injury problems or conditions he's dealt with in the past. The implication
being yours were obviously minor and have little, if any, value.
At that point he'll read the statements and opinions in your
own examining physicians Medical Report in such a way which, if not read properly,
he'll insist proves, “You may have been a little sore from a slight injury but
it clearly states you certainly didn't have any serious physical problems“.
(You can bet every dollar in your wallet that he’s made that statement several
You're quickly discovering
that neither Adjuster I. M. Strong nor his supervisors at Granite Mountain Insurance
are going to be fair. They're out to take advantage of you. That’s the name
of their game and that’s what they get paid to do.
Question: “Is that really true“?
Answer: “Yes, it’s really true”. You can take it from Dan, who
was on that firing line for over 35 years!
From that point
on you must shut down. You be the listener. Let him babble on. When he's finally
done, you say, "Your points about my injuries are very interesting. I'd like
to discuss them in detail with my doctor“. Pause and then add, “We'll call this
off for now while I go back and consult with him."
Before he answers you should get up, smile,
point towards the kitchen door and bid him "Goodbye". If he balks, sneak a peek
at your watch, tell him you're late for another appointment and insist your
meeting is over. He'll have no choice but to leave.
you do that here's what you'll have accomplished:
have seized the bargaining "momentum" and control from the adjuster and, if
you remain adamant he'll not get them back.
notice on him that it's you, not he, who will now call the shots in the negotiation
"Power Game" he's been playing.
Impressed the adjuster that the settlement will be done on your terms, not his.
may ask: “Okay, I threw the adjuster out and let him politely but surely know
I’m not going to buy into his nonsense. So, when this all gets played out, what
have I accomplished“?
answer to that one is: “I. M. Strong is aware you‘ve not bought into his pitch
and in his secret heart he perceives that reality. For those in the home office
(so as to know exactly where they stand) his instructions have always been that
everything that passed between the two of you is placed into the report’s he
continues to send in, regarding the settlement talk’s he’s been having with
you. So, the fact that you’re not buying his story, will go into your file to
be read by that adjusters superiors. Once they do they’ll have no choice but
to conclude that you’re no pushover!
going to stick to your guns because you’re right and the Medical Report your
attending physician executed for Adjuster Smart is legit. You know that both
your “Pain and Suffering” plus the length of recovery from your injuries, has
been clearly stated.
has correctly assumed that you’re not accepting his usual pitch, filled with
his usual mumbo-jumbo nonsense, yet so often works. It’s beginning to dawn on
him if he doesn’t change his tactics you’re going to hand you case over to an
attorney and his superiors at Granite Mountain won’t be dancing for joy should
that come to pass.
five or six weeks then call Smart and ask him to come back to talk some more.
I flat out guarantee you the next time you meet the power will have shifted
into your corner and you'll never again hear him attempt to minimize your injuries.
That often comes to pass because he’s received this typical six word, one line
memo, from his supervisor at the home office, “Settle this one and move on”.
Take it from Dan Baldyga, who wrote such memos many thousands
Granite Mountain will have reached the point where they’re satisfied to pay
and get rid of you. Why? Because personal injury claims continue to pile up
and clog up their incoming pipeline. They’ve got a lot of other unsuspecting
prey to trap and shoot and it’s clear you're an individual who’s too wise, too
tough and much too difficult for them to fuss with any longer.