"Believe it or not I'm known for being a No B.S. straight-shooter. No legal mumbo-jumbo, lawyer talk. Ever."
Bill Turley - - Defense Base Act Lawyer and author of Win Your Defense Base Act Case
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Part 2 - Why you shouldn’t talk to the DBA Insurance Adjuster
This is part 2 of a series of articles on How to Avoid the Five Worst Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Defense Base Act Case.
Make sure you check back soon for the rest of the articles.
In this article, I tell you in no B.S. easy to understand English, how folks wreck their Defense Base Act case by talking to the insurance adjuster.
Mistake No. 2 - Destroying your DBA Case by talking to the DBA Insurance company adjuster
Why you shouldn’t talk to the DBA Insurance Adjuster
One question that I hear a lot is, “Should I talk with the DBA insurance adjuster?” and/or “What should I do when the DBA insurance company calls me?”
When you're an overseas civilian contractor that has a serious injury, you are going to have a lot thrown at you. Besides being injured (it can be a physical injury or PTSD or both); you are now having to deal with a Defense Base Act claim.
You probably have a lot of questions:
How am I you going to get by if I’m not getting paid?
How am I going to get proper medical treatment?
What should I do and not do?
For most folks, they aren't thinking about whether they should talk to the DBA insurance company adjuster.
Truth is, talking to the DBA insurance adjuster is never a good idea.
Always tell the truth
I repeat it like a mantra. "Tell the truth." There is a reason for this. It's because I want you to win your DBA case. If you get caught lying, you'll lose.
It also feels better to tell the truth. But that's another discussion. Now, I'm all about winning. Or, just as importantly, not losing.
My best advice
Here is my best advice. If you answer the phone and the DBA insurance aduster is calling you, be polite and tell them that you can’t talk to them right now. If you’re reading this article, that’s a start. At least you’re looking for help. But instead of spending time researching what to say to the DBA adjuster, I would suggest that you spend your time learning about your DBA claim.
My next best advice
My next best advice is for you to click here and check out the dozens and dozens of 5 Star reviews on my book Win Your Defense Base Act Case on amazon.com. After you do that, I suggest that you request a free copy of my book here on this website.
If you want to buy it from Amazon.com, my wife will appreciate that also. But my office will immediately ship you a free copy.
What to do BEFORE you talk to the adjuster
I suggest that you read my book BEFORE you talk to the DBA insurance adjuster, BEFORE you sign any forms and even BEFORE you hire the wrong DBA lawyer to represent you.
In my book I explain all of this in more depth. I go into all the trick and traps that the insurance company will use to jack up your case. You can’t get this insider information anywhere else.
Tanking your case, rabbits, hats and Humpty Dumpty
There’s a lot of bad things that can result from you talking to the DBA insurance adjuster. Everyday, well meaning, honest folks just like you tank their DBA case by talking to the adjuster. Happens all the time.
People fall for the insurance company’s tricks and traps. And their DBA case is in shambles even before it really starts.
Not to suggest that we can’t sometimes pull a rabbit out of your DBA case hat and save your case in spite of you falling for one on the insurance company’s tricks or traps, but it will usually diminish the value of your case. Meaning, you and your family will get less money. And that sucks.
Sometimes, we can’t fix it. Sometimes we can’t get Humpty Dumpty back up on the wall. Your case is simply shattered in way too many pieces.
Petting a rattle snake
I compare talking to the insurance adjuster to petting a snake. While some people can do it, most people that try and pet a rattle snake get bit. And the venom can kill your case or at least, get your case very, very sick.
"What else should I do?"
I realize that some of you aren’t going to listen to my advice
I get it. So let’s talk about talking with the DBA adjuster. Other than you shouldn’t do it, what else should you know?
The adjusters go to school to get trained on how to screw you and your case
The insurance company adjusters come in many different personality styles. Some are nice as your Sunday School teacher or a kindergarten teacher. Sweet and smooth and acting all sympathetic. These are usually the worst kinds. Because they seem harmless and they are just trying to be friendly. Seemingly harmless questions and off the cuff answers will tank your case. Happens all to often.
Others will be short and gruff. Even disinterested or seem like they don’t have time for you or your case. Folks will blurt things out, trying to get them to talk to them and say the darndest things.
Other will ignore you. They make it very difficult for you to get a hold of them. Then when folks finally get a chance to talk to them, they have diarrhea of the mouth. People end up telling them everything, because they are concerned that they won’t get another chance to talk to them.
Many folks talk to the adjuster because they’re desperate. Desperate to get weekly compensation benefits. Not realizing or willing to gamble that because they have a “legitimate” case - that they have to talk to the adjuster.
Not only is this strategy wrong - but’s it very wrong.
Be honest - tell the truth
Nothing is more important than you being honest and always telling the truth. Where good honest folks screw up is by thinking, “Hey, I’m, honest, I’m good, I’ll be alright talking to the adjuster.
It isn’t that easy.
Pause and think before you answer any questions. Take your time.
Adjusters, vinegar, honey and Mom
Even though the DBA insurance adjuster may be screwing your life up, you can't be short, mean and/or rude to the adjuster. You have to be nice and polite, no matter what.
The adjuster is sizing you up. One of the factors that they use to decide how much money to offer you is whether or not you are likeable. Seriously.
Because they know if the Judge likes you (and believes you); you have a much better chance of prevailing in your case. And as my Mom said, "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar."
It’s a lot easier to pay money to people you like than people you don’t like
Let’s back ‘em up a tad
The insurance adjuster has over hundred files. Each month they have to recommend some files for settlement (read: close files) and recommend some files for trial. Each month they have to stop benefits (read: file an LS-207 - Notice of Controversion) and stop folks benefits and/or not provide benefits to begin with.
Knowing, that this is going to happen - it is simply human nature for the adjuster to recommend denying claims with people that they don’t like personally. And it is human nature for them to “go to bat” for you, so to speak, if they like you.
Not to suggest that you won’t get screwed over even if you’re nice to the DBA insurance adjuster. What I am saying, is that all things else being equal - it’s more likely that you will get a better result with the DBA insurance adjuster if you don’t give them any additional reason to dislike you.
Be on your toes
The adjusters are trained to engage you in friendly conversations that get you to let your guard down. They’ll ask about your family or even high school football (more on these questions in a moment) just to try and get you to let down your guard. It sounds friendly and fun. Only it isn’t. They are always looking for way to deny your claim. Depend on it. I know I do. So should you.
Like they say in football, "Keep you head on a swivel."
Be careful on what you agree to
Ever. They will sometimes ask a series of questions, with you agreeing to each one. Then after they get you in the “Yes mood” - - they will sneak in a zinger. Whoops.
The CIA and let the silence suck out the truth
According to some sources, in the CIA they tell people “let the silence suck out the truth.” Meaning, that if the adjuster is quite, people want to talk. And talk they do. They will ask you a question and after you answer there will be silent. Too often, folks think they have to keep talking.
Then they start volunteering stuff that this is going to sink their case.
Don’t be afraid of the silence.
Assume they know the answer to every question that they are asking you
Because 95% of the time, they either know the answer now or they will get the answer before your case goes to trial. They are asking you questions, hoping that you will lie.
Inappropriate questions - Just because the insurance adjuster asks a question, doesn’t mean the question should be answered
Only you won’t know the inappropriate questions from the proper questions. Refusing to answer makes you look evasive and that you’re trying to hide something. It’s why your lawyer should be talking to the adjuster, not you.
Too many sorry’s
You have a court case. That’s what a DBA case is - a court case.
The insurance company’s lawyer’s goal at trial is to make you look like a liar. So you can’t be trusted and so the Judge won’t like you.
The Judge may give you one “Hey I’m sorry, I forgot about that.” But two or three and it starts to look like a pattern.
These are only a few examples. I cover all of this in more depth, in my book. Make sure you claim your free copy of my book - Win Your Defense Base Act Case.
Don’t believe me?
Make no mistake about it - it’s all a numbers game for the DBA insurance companies
It’s not personal (unless you make it personal - by being rude, mean and/or short with the insurance adjuster); it’s a business to them. They evaluate your case based upon logic, most of the time. It’s why so many folks take they’re DBA case to trial and lose. Folks are too emotional about their case.
Folks with a DBA claim are oftentimes, too emotional in how they value they’re claim. The DBA insurance company is usually basing their value of your claim on statistics and objective numbers.
It’s another reason why you need a good, honest DBA lawyer that you trust.