After a car accident, insurance adjusters will try to get in contact with you. It’s normal to be dealing with a lot of stress and aggravation. But before you pick up the phone, it’s important that you understand what you should and should not say to them.
Let’s look at
- When and how an adjuster might contact you;
- What you should say; and
- Topics you should avoid discussing—especially if you think the other party is at fault for the accident.
Each time a claim is made with an insurance company, an adjuster will be assigned to your case. Their job is to investigate the incident. Then, they determine the fault of the party and later negotiate a settlement with the claimant. They’re trying to save their company money and move on to the next case as quickly as possible.
Insurance adjusters have a lot on their plate. While they may not be maliciously trying to mislead you, they may not spend as much time as they should looking at the evidence and listening to your side of the story. Because of this, you have to take it upon yourself to advocate for your needs and move toward a fair settlement.
When and How the Insurance Adjuster Will Contact You
The first contact might come as soon as the first few days after the incident. But it will almost certainly come in the first few weeks. The adjuster won’t wait long.
Note that this first contact is almost certain to be through a phone call. It’s rare for an insurance adjuster (other than one from your own insurance company) to contact you via email or text message. they tend to prefer the sort of on-the-spot discussion that can come from real-time interaction.
Requests for statement
By no means are you required to provide a statement of any kind to an insurance adjuster. In fact, you should refuse a statement and look to hire a trained and skilled personal injury attorney. Because if you do, the adjuster will likely:
- Use the statement against you.
- Use the statement to reduce compensation.
- Ask contradictory questions to create inconsistency for the benefit of the insurance company.
Remember, the goal of the insurance company is to reduce the cost as much as possible. If you give a statement, it is essential to keep the conversation as brief as possible. Ask for the conversation not to be recorded.
Also, keep the following in mind not to:
- Admit guilt.
- Answer questions you are unclear about.
- Volunteer additional
Tips for Talking with the Other Side’s Insurance Company
The number one thing to remember is that at every moment of every interaction, the insurance adjuster has their company’s best interest in mind, not yours. Their objective is to get you to accept the lowest amount of money possible in the shortest amount of time. That’s the main thing to keep in mind when communicating with the adjuster, and the following tips flow out from there.
Remain Calm and Polite
Although you may still be angry about the accident and your injuries, taking out your anger on the insurance adjuster won’t help. You may not know exactly how or when an insurance adjuster’s goodwill may pay off. They may promptly handle your claim. Additionally, they might believe your version of an issue that’s difficult to prove. So, it’s always best to keep your cool and stay professional.
Ask For Their Information.
Prior to speaking with an adjuster (or anyone from the insurance company for that matter), it’s important to obtain their information. This includes their name, number, address, and the name of the insurance company. It’s also important that you confirm the name of the individual on behalf of whom the company is calling.
Don’t Share Too Much Information.
You need only tell the insurance adjuster the basics like your full name, address, and phone number. Additionally, you can also tell them what type of work you do and where you work. But at this point, you need not explain or discuss anything else. Don’t talk about your work, your schedule, your income, your medical/injury history, or anything else.
What information will they ask me to provide?
An insurance adjuster will ask for your personal information. Don’t go into great detail here. Just provide the basic information like your:
- Phone number
Next, the adjuster will likely ask you for details about the accident. Again, provide only the basics:
- The type of accident.
- Vehicles involved.
- Responsible parties.
- Witness identities.
Finally, the conversation will probably turn toward your injuries. It is key to steer clear of a detailed description of your injuries. You may notice a delayed injury after the car accident, or your injuries may end up being worse than you first thought. A knowledgeable attorney can assist you through the communication process.
Give No Details of Your Injuries
Naturally enough, an insurance adjuster is going to want to know about the nature and extent of your injuries. Do not give a detailed description yet. You might leave something out, or discover an injury later, or your injury may turn out to be worse than you originally thought. If you need to say something, just tell the adjuster that you are “still treating,” and leave it at that. Learn more about how your medical treatment affects the value of your personal injury case.
As soon as your conversation is over, write down all the information you received over the phone, as well as whatever information you gave to (or requests you made of) the person with whom you spoke.
Don’t Settle Right Away.
After you’ve been in an accident, you may be inundated with increasing medical bills and lost wages. For these reasons, a settlement offer from the insurance company may seem like an oasis in a sea of never-ending financial issues. However, it’s important that you understand that insurance companies will want to pay out as little money to you as possible. When you combine that with the fact that many injuries don’t arise for weeks or even months, accepting a settlement too soon can end up with you receiving far less than you deserve.
The “Final Offer” Isn’t Really the Final Offer
During negotiations with an insurance company for a personal injury settlement, the company will likely use language such as, “final offer,” to push you into agreeing to the amount they’re offering. This is a common tactic that does not mean if you say no, you won’t get a settlement. If the insurance company owes you money, it cannot “rescind” a settlement offer because you turn it down. Instead, your case will go to trial for a better offer.
Getting Help After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in any kind of accident, you might not always feel up to battling it out with the other side’s insurance adjuster. That’s especially true if you’re still recovering from significant injuries, and things are getting contentious.
A personal injury attorney won’t be intimidated by an adjuster’s tactics and will make sure every angle of your injury claim is presented in the best possible light, to ensure a fair result. Learn more about how a personal injury lawyer works for you and get tips on finding the right lawyer for you and your case. And if you’re ready to discuss your situation with an attorney now, you can use the features right on this page to connect with a personal injury lawyer in your area at the law office of ESSA, JANHO & ASSOCIATES, LLC.
Consult With a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney.
There’s no doubt that dealing with insurance companies is often a stressful experience. But when you are already dealing with many other difficulties such as physical, emotional, and financial injuries, it only compounds the aggravation. Many insurance companies will often take advantage of your lack of knowledge and fail to inform you of your rights. By consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney, he or she can help to make a tough situation easier.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident due to the fault of someone else, it can have a big impact on your life – physically, emotionally, and especially financially. That is why you deserve an experienced personal injury attorney who understands the law and knows how it works. Partnering with such an attorney can help to gather the requested police reports and medical records. It is important to have someone in your corner – especially to deal with insurance companies.
Contact Essa, Janho, & Associates! We will fight for you!
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