If you have recently been involved in an accident, such as a collision with a vehicle or if you slipped and fell on someone else’s property, chances are that an insurance adjuster is trying to contact you. Most, but not all, accidents will involve an insurance company. While having insurance is extremely useful, getting them to compensate you what you deserve after an accident can be a challenge.
Insurance adjusters deal with accidents like yours on a daily basis. They have a lot more experience and knowledge than the average accident victim. Unfortunately, adjusters sometimes use that against you to get you to agree to a settlement that is far less than what your case is worth.
If you must deal with an insurance adjuster, use the following quick tips in your communications.
1. Keep in mind that an insurance adjuster doesn’t have your best interests in mind.
Insurance companies are in the business of making money, and that means that they want to pay you as little as possible for your claim. While an adjuster may seem friendly or concerned about your situation, keep in mind that he or she is not on your side. Letting your guard down or agreeing to things you did not mean can have a serious adverse impact on your personal injury case.
2. Do not agree to give a recorded statement without talking to a lawyer first.
Insurance adjusters have a knack for getting you to say things that you might not mean. For example, if you explain that you did not get medical care right after the accident, but fail to mention that you went to the doctor the following day, the adjuster could try to say that you didn’t get medical care at all. You should have an attorney present for your recorded statement so he or she can ensure that you can tell your whole story and your rights are protected.
3. Communicate in writing whenever possible.
It is much harder for the insurance company to twist your words if you only communicate with them via email or letters. Correspondence also provides a helpful paper trail for your claim. It also cuts down on the opportunities for small talk with your adjuster. Sometimes innocent comments like mentioning family vacations, work, or other aspects of your life can end up hurting your personal injury case.
4. Avoid volunteering information to the claims adjuster.
You should have an initial conversation with the claims adjuster merely to confirm that an accident took place. You can answer some general questions about the crash, such as when it occurred, but do not volunteer any information if you are not asked. If you are concerned about answering a question, check with your attorney before you answer.
At McKINNON LEGAL, we want to help you with your personal injury case. Insurance adjusters are experienced, but you can level the playing field by getting seasoned legal counsel on your side. Contact McKINNON LEGAL to schedule a meeting with us to learn more.