Having a personal injury lawyer is usually essential these days. Sadly, insurance companies have strategies that are not legal but certainly aren't ethical. They will use these tricks and strategies to reduce the award you deserve or even have it dismissed altogether. First, they will assure you that you don't need an attorney because they are willing to give you a fair settlement. They'll then proceed to deceive and take advantage of you in order to save money.
One of the first things an insurance company will do is give you an offer that is less than they know you can get. They will tell you that it is the most you can expect and that if you hire an attorney you will lose 1/3 of that paying the lawyer's fee. You can usually figure that anything they offer will be ten to seventy percent less than a judge and/or jury would give you if you hired an attorney and took the case to court. If you agree they will make you sign a release before they cut you a check. This exempts them from any future claims for any reason. Most lawyers will only allow you to sign something like this once fair compensation is paid.
Insurance companies will also ask you to sign a statement or make a recorded statement "for the record" without representation. During recorded statements in particular, skilled adjustors can make you say things that will later support their claim that you are not injured as badly as you say. You may inadvertently claim fault or the adjustor will lure you into a detailed account of your day up until the crash or other accident. Then they will say you were distracted-and it's right there on tape.
Don't give access to your medical records to the insurance company, even though they say it will help compensate you. This gives them access to all your records for the last couple of decades and they have no right to such sensitive information. They can use the fact that you saw a cardiologist ten years ago to claim the accident was your fault because you may have had a mild cardiac event that you were unaware of.
They will say you have pre-existing conditions, such as the "heart problems" we just cited. They will claim that a previously fractured wrist made it more likely that you would also break it in the car crash you just had. Some insurance companies even use this tactic for mental and emotional injuries; they'll say that the impact of a car accident on a veteran or victim of abuse with post traumatic stress syndrome was to be expected and they should be exempt from compensating that person. Believe it or not, this tactic works. This is also one of the reasons why you should be completely honest with your personal injury attorney, whether you have had substance abuse problems or a ticket for impaired driving 30 years ago.
These are only a few of the tricks insurance companies use to cheat claimants of just compensation. An experienced Miami Personal Injury attorney can clue you in all these strategies and protect your interests so that you don't get cheated.