You have been seriously hurt in an accident. You expected that the insurance company would be there for you. Instead, the insurer is being dismissive of your symptoms, minimizing your injuries, and making you doubt yourself. These are all forms of gaslighting, a tactic that insurance companies use to undermine you and avoid paying insurance claims. A skilled personal injury lawyer can put a stop to the gaslighting and ensure your claim is taken seriously.
What is gaslighting?
The term “gaslighting” describes psychological manipulation that is used to get control over someone else. It hinges on creating self-doubt. The term is frequently used in the context of romantic relationships, but gaslighting can occur in all kinds of interactions. It works by breaking down your trust in yourself, usually in a gradual manner that makes it more difficult to notice.
Is the insurance company gaslighting you?
Gaslighting is dangerous because it is so subtle and gradual. In the early days, the insurance company will likely appear to be responsive to your needs and caring. The claims handler may ask about your injuries, and how you are coping, etc. This is the honeymoon period. You believe you can trust the insurance company and that you will be treated fairly. As time goes on, the insurance adjuster becomes less sympathetic toward you and begins suggesting that you may not be reliable, that you are being forgetful, or that symptoms are “in your head.”
The insurance company may throw a lowball offer to try to get rid of your claim for as little money as possible and then stop being responsive if you don’t accept the settlement. Other tactics include:
Accusing you of lying
Denying something you are sure the adjuster said to you
Twisting your words in written statements prepared by the insurer
Suggesting that you should go back to work despite your injuries
Sending you to be examined by a medical expert chosen by the insurer
Denying your claim