Should I Talk to the Insurance Adjuster After an Accident?
During the aftermath of a serious car, truck, or motorcycle accident, one of the things that may surprise you is how quickly the other driver’s insurance adjusters or claim adjustors contact you. You might still be in the hospital. You might just be getting home when your phone rings off the hook. You may even receive a surprise knock at your door. Depending on the other driver’s insurance company and their plan of action, you may find yourself unnecessarily frustrated by how aggressive these adjusters can be.
What do they want from you? In most cases, that answer is simple. Even if the adjusters act respectful and concerned regarding your injuries, their goal is to you get you to settle the claim as quickly as possible in order to avoid paying you a fair and reasonable settlement amount. This goal benefits the insurance company’s own financial interests, of course, without taking your own wellbeing into consideration.
Case in point: A recent client of ours was offered $4,000 by an insurance adjuster shortly after his accident and before he hired our office to handle his claim. The insurance adjuster represented the driver of the vehicle that caused the accident and his injuries. Fortunately, the client realized he should talk with an attorney first. We took his case and ended up settling his claim for around $70,000!
Don’t be fooled by the intentions of insurance adjusters—their goal is to pay the least amount possible. The adjuster doesn’t care about you or your injuries. By aggressively attempting to get you to sign off early, they hope you won’t know any better and settle before you know your rights.
But you’re reading this. You know better. If you settle early, you may not receive the financial compensation you need to recover from your injuries and provide for your loved ones during your time of recovery. You need someone who’s looking out for you. If you’re forced to face an aggressive insurance adjuster who’s representing the other driver, you need help from an experienced Lexington, KY car accident lawyer.
Knowing How to Deal with Insurance Adjusters
If you decide to hire an attorney, your lawyer will speak to any insurance claims adjusters on your behalf, giving you the time you need to recover from the accident. Before you make that step, however, you may be forced to speak to the adjuster one or more times, depending on how aggressive they are. Watching what you say and how you say things during these conversations is essential. If you say the wrong things or agree to settle early, you could forfeit your chance at filing a lawsuit entirely.
Insurance adjusters know how to construe things you say in their favor. If you’re not sure what to say, it’s best to keep any conversations light and simple. Remain calm and respectful, but don’t talk about the details of the accident whatsoever. Don’t mention fault. Don’t talk about your injuries in any detail. If you’re pressured for details, tell them that you’re not ready to settle or talk about the case and that you will get in contact when you are ready. This gives you time to speak to an attorney.
When asked regarding any accident details, tell the adjuster to check the police report. If asked for a copy of your medical records, politely decline. If asked to give a recorded statement, decline the request. Even if the adjuster tries to tell you differently, remember that you’re not required by law to issue a recorded statement to the other driver’s insurance provider. Insurance adjusters make this claim in hopes of getting a victim to say something they shouldn’t while they might be nervous about being recorded.
You can also, of course, politely decline to speak to any adjusters entirely. You are under no obligation to speak to them at any time. You can settle your claim with the help of a lawyer or through your own insurance provider. Ignoring aggressive adjusters may cause them to continue to hound you, however. Sometimes it’s best to simply exchange a few words and let them know that you have things handled. If you do have an attorney, give them your attorney’s contact information right away and all contact between you and the adjuster should cease.
Contacting an attorney is always your best course of action after being involved in a serious accident that may jeopardize your family’s finances. If the accident was caused by negligence, carelessness, reckless driving, or you feel the settlement is going to end unfairly, you have a legal right to file a lawsuit against the wrongful party. Todd W. Burris, Lexington, KY personal injury lawyer, is experienced in handling serious accident cases of all types and will do everything he can to help you get back on your feet again. Contact our Lexington office to learn more.