It’s hard to tell who is on your side, especially when you’ve been in an accident. That’s why Wendy’s book, ‘Five Deadly Sins That Can Wreck Your NJ Accident Case,’ contains crucial questions to ask and advice on what to look out for after an accident. Here’s an excerpt containing three tactics insurance companies use.

For years, one major insurance company encouraged claimants to not even talk to an attorney before setting the claim. They used fear (“the lawyer will take one-third of this check we’re about to pay you just for talking to them”) to dissuade people from getting good advice.

Guess what? You may not need an attorney to represent you in your case! No one, however, should settle a case without understanding the system. Typically, for example, the insurance adjuster isn’t going to tell you that you might have to turn around and give the check they just gave you to your health insurance company. That adjuster just wants to close the file and get you to release all of your claims.

Here are some other tactics I’ve seen insurance companies use just to wear you out and get you to go away.

Deliberate Delay

They know that, often, you are in a financial squeeze. Even if you have good health insurance, the fact that you aren’t working may make it difficult to pay co-pays and deductibles. The insurance company knows that you are getting dunned by the doctors, so they take their time with your claim.

Request Unnecessary Information

Insurance companies will insist that you track down every little piece of information before they can evaluate the claim. Even if the info they are now asking for would not add a penny to their offer, they are happy to wait another six weeks for you to track it down. Meanwhile, they are earning interest on the money they are NOT paying you.

Disputing Medical Treatment

Even though I’ve never met an adjuster who went to medical school, they seem to know just what treatment is right for you! Usually, they “know” that you were over treated because “our computers say that you should have been better by now.”